President Elect: Melissa Niemi
Melissa Niemi is currently serving as the secondary science content specialist for Muscogee County School District and is the site director for the Science Olympiad Division B competition held at Columbus State University. Mrs. Niemi works with over 120 middle and high school science teachers in her district to support science instruction in the classroom and help implement district initiatives. She was a classroom teacher for over 13 years, teaching middle school science. During her time as a classroom teacher, she served in many roles including department chair, FIRST robotics coach, Science Olympiad coach and Science Bowl sponsor. At her last school, Mrs. Niemi began the Girls in Engineering, Math and Science club. This club helped inspire and encourage middle school girls to further their interests in the STEM fields by providing opportunities to meet women scientists and conduct community outreach projects. She was nominated as teacher of the year in 2016 for Arnold Magnet Academy and was selected as a top ten finalist for the district. Mrs. Niemi has been a Golden Apple Award winner and recipient of the Pratt Whitney STEM grant. She is a certified National Geographic teacher, GLOBE educator and Project Wet, Project Wild, Project Learning Tree, and Captain Planet facilitator. She also served as a researcher for the NASA LEARN (Long-Term Engagement in Atmospheric Research with NASA) program.
Mrs. Niemi received her undergraduate degree in political science from Columbus State University. She has a master’s degree in psychology and earned her teaching certificate as part of the Georgia TAPP (Georgia Teacher Alternative Preparation Program). She has also been part of the Project Zero program at Harvard University.