Guidance director Veronica Melei earns the title of MSD’s Teacher of the Year


Mariapaz Santacoloma

Guidance director Veronica Melei has been selected as Teacher of the Year for the 2022-2023 school year.

Jasmine Bhogaita, News Editor

An assuring voice and a calm demeanor. Picking classes and advising students. If a student has any questions about high school, they can depend on Guidance Director Veronica Melei. Her outstanding work has won her Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s Teacher of the Year for the 2022-2023 school year.

Melei has been working at MSD for six years as the guidance director. She oversees dual enrollment, teacher assistants and the guidance department.

Before choosing a career in guidance, Melei was interested in nursing. For her nursing classes, she did many internships. While she enjoyed them, Melei recognized that nursing was not her passion.

“That’s why when [students] come see me about volunteer hours, I always recommend looking for something that you are interested in and want to do,” Melei said. “I really got to see the nursing career hands-on and by interning through that experience, I realized that was not the help I wanted to do.”

Melei attributes her love of helping students to her family. Her parents were both educators; her father was also a guidance director and her mother was a third grade teacher.

“I saw the positive impact that my parents had on their students and I realized that [education] was something I really wanted to do,” Melei said. “I wanted to try to give back and be that impact to students and parents.”

As Teacher of the Year, Melei can apply to be the Broward County Teacher of the Year. The process requires nominees to fill out many applications and forms, in addition to submitting a video presentation that the judging committee will watch. The Broward County Teacher of the Year will be announced during the Broward Caliber Awards Ceremony on Feb. 3, 2023.

“I was beyond honored [to be recognized as the Teacher of the Year],” Melei said. “We have so many incredible teachers that are here. Day in and day out I see what they do. They go above and beyond for their students. So just to be nominated, and then to win. It’s really a blessing.”

Outside of school, Melei enjoys keeping active, going to the beach and shopping. She is family-oriented, and tries to spend time with her family as much as possible. Melei is expecting a baby sometime in January, an addition to her family she cannot wait for.

Melei has made a positive impact at MSD. Over her years as a guidance counselor, she has helped numerous students deal with the changes in their lives. Her award is only a physical representation of all the feats she has accomplished at MSD.