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For the third installment in our meet the staff series we are talking to Melissa Spalding. Melissa runs our education department and is great ambassador for the Museum of Aviation.

Melissa Spalding

Job Title:  Director of Education

Where are you originally from/What do you consider your hometown: My dad was in the Army so we moved around a lot.  He retired in Satellite Beach, FL which is where I attended High School.  I have lived here in Warner Robins for 14 years now, so I consider this my hometown.

Tell us a little about your educational background: Bachelor of Science in Education from Florida State University and Master of Science in Education from Nova Southeastern University.

What sorts of hobbies do you enjoy or what do you do in your free time: My husband, Paul, and I have three children – ages 8, 10 and 13.   We stay very busy with scouts, soccer, band, cheerleading and dance practice.  I am a Brownie – Girl Scout leader.  We have two cats and a new puppy.   I enjoy cooking and just happen to have a hungry family. 

How long have you worked at the museum: On Sept 10th, it will be 14 years.   

What does your job entail: I love that my job is different every day.  Some days I am giving tours and making presentations, and other days I am updating and creating programs with the education department team. I work with a great group of people that help organize fun learning activities all year-long. 

If you were not working here at the museum, what kind of job would you like to have: Before I worked here at the museum, I was an elementary school teacher in Florida.  I suppose I would still be working in an educational environment.  I enjoy teaching and working with children.

How does being a museum employee change your experience when you visit other museums? I definitely appreciate the entire process of museums and their collections/stories much more than I ever did before I worked here.   I find myself looking at the ways other museums display their collections compared to ours.  

What is your favorite aircraft or exhibit at the museum and why: I am partial to the 507th exhibit in the WWII hangar because I worked on the planning of that exhibit for several years.  I learned so much of the history during the process – I even got to visit Normandy as part of the creation of the movie “Papa Said, We should never forget.”   My office is on the second floor of the Century of Flight Hangar and I love the view. I appreciate my job and am proud to work at the Museum of Aviation.

The education department here at the  Museum of Aviation is top-notch and the wonderful staff, Melissa included, makes it all possible. Make sure to check out their website here for a full schedule and all of the programs offered.

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