Teachers work diligently to reach their students every school year. Countless hours, limited funds, and extensive paperwork make teaching a challenging occupation. So when a teacher changes a child’s life for the better, it is considered a success. What if a teacher reached out and touched the lives of hundreds of students? Not only students but parents, coworkers, and faculty. Mel Jones has done this; she has changed the lives of hundreds of students. She has brought her determination, love, and fight to an entire community.
What does it mean to “Love like Mel”?
Ask anyone at Gardendale High School about the hardworking, caring, spunky, and beautiful graphics art teacher, and you will get the same response. Wrapped in a smile, with eyes filled with tears, they will share her fighting spirit, hard work, love of teaching, how she would always fight for each of her students. Even those students who were not fortunate enough to have her for class or as part of her color guard team knew she would be there for them.
Anyone who needed anything could ask Mrs. Jones. If someone needed an extra pen, help on an assignment, an ear for listening, or just a hug, she never let her students down. Many remember her favorite tee-shirt that said: “hair in a bun—-better run,” which emphasized her strong-willed determination to get things done for her students.
Even as she fought breast cancer, Mel Jones never hesitated to share her energy, time, and love with her students. A friend since elementary school, Jennifer Fulford describes how strong and caring Melanie is, “ She’s never stopped fighting. Her positive attitude through the whole cancer journey has made such an impact on not only the students but also the community.”
Mel is home
Mel has given so much to her students and the community. It’s time we give back to her. There is a Go Fund Me page, and on April 9 at 12 pm, there will be a Miles For Mel Color Run in Mount Olive. These funds will help with medical expenses because she is now home with her family, away from her beloved classroom.
Let’s make her love go viral and show the world we can all Love Like Mel.
Update: Mel went home on March 23, 2022. Our hearts and prayers for the family.
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