Melissa Thom ’15 MA

2021 Neag School Outstanding Professional

Melissa Thom.A graduate of the Neag School’s talent development and gifted and talented education master’s program, Melissa Thom serves as a library media specialist for Bristow Middle School in West Hartford, Connecticut. In that role, she is known for her passion for enriching the educational lives of students and teachers. She has been recognized with multiple teacher of the year awards, including a National Council for Geographic Education Distinguished K-12 Teacher Award. Thom’s leadership efforts include serving as the vice president of the Connecticut Association of School Librarians (CASL). With CASL, she recently organized a virtual conference with 150 authors and 500 attendees. An accomplished presenter, Thom has spoken to local, national, and international audiences. During the pandemic, she has used her extensive social media presence, including her nearly 4,000 followers, to support and engage with other educators.

“Melissa’s passion to enrich and expand the educational lives of students and teachers is unsurpassed. Whether she is recommending books, setting up virtual author visits, leading community Makerspace activities, Melissa’s enthusiasm shines through.”

— Shannon McNeiceLibrary Media Specialist,
Sedgwick Middle School, West Hartford, Connecticut


Acceptance Speech from Melissa Thom

Well Wishes


“The more you are around her, the more you want to be in her presence. She has this effect on students and adults alike. Students would stay after school to spend time with Melissa in various book clubs, off campus trips, stamps clubs, organizing our grassroots library ... you name it, Melissa could talk them into doing it.”

— Ruth Lyons, Head of School,
Lee Academy, Maine


“She is a strong and dedicated presence among the community of school librarians in Connecticut, and she is recognized for her enthusiastic commitment to her own learning and opportunities for others to grow as well. She is known as the book lady and it is her mission to inspire young students to read and also to learn to love reading.”

— Catherine Little, Professor,
Neag School of Education


“Melissa, Congratulations! This award definitely acknowledges all the great learning opportunities you initiate for students and their teachers.”

— E. Jean Gubbins, Professor,
Neag School of Education


“So proud of you.”

— Del Siegle, Professor, Neag School of Education


“Congratulations, my outstanding friend. This honor and recognition is so well-deserved! Can't wait to celebrate with you in March!”

— Carrie Seiden


“You are an inspiration!”

— Shannon McNeice


“Congratulations I am so proud of you and your work! You are incredible!”

— Jocelyn Tamborello-Noble,
Neag School Alumni Board


“So proud of all you have accomplished ...”

— Joseph Renzulli,
University of Connecticut Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor


“Congratulations my friend! Couldn’t be prouder!”

— Jenny Lussier



— Barbara Johnson