Isaiah Melendez is an educator and systems reformer who is committed to realizing the genius in each student through the disruption of systems of inequity and the promotion of culturally relevant pedagogy. He previously served as the assistant principal at Normandy High School, where he demonstrated his commitment to disrupting the systems of inequity by starting an annual program dedicated to social justice and leadership development for his students during the pandemic. Mr. Melendez’s passion for social justice reform started when he taught at Ritenour High School as a social studies teacher, serving on numerous leadership committees that partnered with local districts, nonprofit organizations, and institutions like PBS-Nine Network, Washington University, and EdPlus to empower his students to take civic action around conversations on race and inequality in schools.
Prior to working at Normandy, Mr. Melendez taught for 6 years across the St. Louis region, including a year at KIPP Inspire Academy, two years in the Ritenour School District, and one year in St. Louis Public Schools. He began his administrative career in the Ferguson-Florissant School District where he served as the assistant principal at Cross Keys and Berkeley Middle School. A native of Chicago, Mr. Melendez holds three degrees from Missouri Baptist University: a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education with a specialization in the social sciences; a master’s degree in Education Administration; and an Education Specialist in District Leadership, and he is currently working on his doctorate in leadership in teaching and learning. He is married to a fellow educator and is blessed with 4 beautiful children.