Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Windham High teacher is living her dream

Melissa Dubois
By Matt Pascarella

Melissa Dubois was drawn to teaching through her love of athletics. Dubois has taught in Maryland and at Freeport High as an Educational Technician and next year will celebrate her 20th year at Windham High School.

Dubois developed a passion for coaching early in her college career. When she went to college at Radford University in Virginia, she knew she wanted to play field hockey but was undecided on her major. Eventually she figured out she wanted to be a health teacher. “Physical education and health education majors were housed in the complex where the athletes were. I was always in an environment of passionate teachers. It just kind of happened; it was a stroke of fortune,” she explains. “As I’m falling into teaching I’m thinking ‘I can coach’ I can do this. I can have my dream and live it.”

Dubois got her undergrad from Radford University in Health and Physical Education and started teaching physical education and coaching right out of college at St. Mary’s County in Maryland. She led the Saint Mary’s field hockey team to become state champions, she led the shot put, high jump, discus and triple jumper to set school records; as well as taking their basketball team, the Chopticon Braves, to regional playoffs many times. coaching and teaching for nine years in Maryland, she met and married a gentleman from the Coast Guard who was stationed in Maryland at the time but was originally from Maine. When her husband wanted to move home, Dubois saw moving to Maine as an adventure and she has never looked back. She started teaching at Windham High School in 1999 as a health and family consumer science teacher. She partnered with former teacher and coach Terry Christy and eventually transitioned to head field hockey coach at Windham High for five years, and then started a lacrosse program. Dubois left coaching altogether two years ago to spend more time with her family.

Dubois says she has stayed at Windham High not only because of the love of her students, but she also works with phenomenal colleagues and goes on to say the building oozes compassion. They are a group that takes care of and looks out for one another.

Recently, she received the Gay/Straight Alliance Club’s first ever ‘Ally of the Year’ award. “This is the best award I’ve ever received in my life,” exclaims Dubois. “I love everyone and embrace their mission, so I guess I kind of acted like their godmother.” She helped the club organize events, get t-shirts and supported them in any way she could. She was presented with the award during one of her classes and she’s very proud of it.

Dubois would like to get back on the field, as a referee, but only when the time is right. She lives on Sebago Lake with her husband, her yin, as she describes him. She has a son who is in college in Colorado and a son who is a junior at Bonny Eagle and two dogs. She loves four-wheeling and the outdoors. 

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