Staff Spotlight

Melissa Asher: Thankful for all the good things in her world, including her young students

At Smith Elementary, Melissa Asher works hard developing math and basic reading skills in for young fives through 2nd grade. Photo provided by Melissa Asher.

 by Amy Haggerty

You can find Melissa Asher working with students at Smith Elementary School, from the young fives through 2nd grade.

This youngest population represents the future, and Asher feels fortunate to be given this opportunity to work with these children in our community. She works hard on developing their math and basic reading skills because early skills are predictors for future academic success. In this way, she is providing the students in the community with skills they can carry through their adult lives.

Asher grew up with four siblings in Jackson, Kentucky. She attended Eastern Michigan University and Jackson College here in Michigan.

She and her husband Clarence have been married for 38 years and have two grown children. Michelle, their daughter, is 33 and married to Christopher Pate. They have two children, Isaac and Elaina who are 9 and 4 years old, respectively. The Ashers’ son, Michael, is 31 and married to Alexis Camp. They have a son, Clarence, who is 6 years old.

Asher says her husband Clarence inspires her every day to work her hardest and do her best. Her grandchildren are also her inspirations. Grandson Clarence, encourages Asher to “have a kind and gentle heart.” Her granddaughter Elaina inspires her to “be myself and to truly enjoy every day.”

Asked about what she enjoys most about her job, Asher replied, ”Finding the best way to teach each child. And, I feel honored to live in such a tight-knit community.”

“I am often stopped by children or parents throughout my day to say ‘hi’ and to thank me for the work I’ve done throughout the years. I am always grateful.”

In turn, she teaches her students to be kind to one another and reminds them that “Just because you need help learning, doesn’t mean you’re not smart.”

When she’s not teaching, she treasures her time with family and enjoys relaxing at home. She is also passionate about bargain hunting and finding good deals at garage sales, secondhand shops, and auction sales!

But working with children is a very important part of her day, and as she says, “They make me smile!” She adds: “I am thankful for all the good things in my world.”


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