Woman in purple shirt smiling outside

2020 Commitment to Excellence Award Recipient

Melissa Samluk attended the University of Detroit Mercy, earning a BA in History and French (majors). She also attended Michigan State University, earning her MA in French Language and Culture as well as a Master’s in Curriculum and Teaching.

Melissa began her career in Okemos in 1998 at Chippewa as an English as Second Language (ESL) teacher. That same year, she began teaching at the high school as a
French teacher and has been there ever since. She has also taught History and World Language AC.

Her family includes her husband, Mike and children Kyle (OHS 2019, currently attending Michigan Tech), Nathan (South Lyon HS 2021), Kaylie (South Lyon HS 2023), and LIla (5th grade). She also has two ‘fur babies,’ Bear and CeCe.

Reading is a passion of Melissa’s and she just built a Little Free LIbrary with her husband. She started a photography business last year and has run in 12 marathons!

In addition, Melissa coached soccer at OHS for about 14 years, winning a state championship in 2006! She runs the Care Closet at OHS with her partner in crime, Trisha Funk. She also started a non-profit on April 1 of this year, feeding frontline healthcare workers in the Lansing Area!

When asked about her time in Okemos, Melissa says, “I turned down an interview at Ann Arbor Huron to interview at OHS because Kathy Kirksey made me feel so welcome. I had the good fortune to work alongside Kate Marsh, who was an invaluable mentor, and I can never thank her enough for the guidance that she provided me through the years. I drive 50 miles, one way, to get to Okemos High School. Many people have questioned why I never looked elsewhere for a job. It has always been about the people. Teachers and administrators do not have an adversarial relationship in Okemos. I've always thought that was the key. We have a common goal of doing our best for students and families.”

Congratulations and thank you, Melissa, for doing what is best for students and our community!

2021 OEF Awards Banquet
Committment to Excellence Award Recipients - alphabetical listing