Melissa Wheelahan

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Associate Faculty
Child Development and Education
Social and Behavioral Sciences
SC - BGS 318 - Office
Saddleback College

Hi! My name is Melissa Wheeahan and I am proud to be a part of this amazing community of learners. I received her AS in Early Childhood as Saddleback College, then went on to receive my BA in Education from Concordia University and my Masters in Early Childhood from Pacific Oaks.

I left the classroom in 2014 to move to my current position at the Orange County Department of Education. For the past five years there I have done many things from coaching preschool teachers, training on varies topics, QRIS validator, CLASS anchor, managing the AB212 Stipend program, and Professional Growth Lead.

Currently, I am a Program Specialist supporting our regional QRIS work. In this role, I work with our QRIS (Quality Rating and Improvement System) region, which includes Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Imperial. My main job is to support leadership and QRIS staff in building program capacity. Some of the things I do in this role is to manage state-wide grants, participate in state-wide ECE workgroups, supervise coaches, train, and create trainer-of-trainer content for other counties. We will learn more about QRIS in this class.

I participate in many community organizations that support teachers, families, and children. I am on the selection committee for the Ca Early Childhood Mentor Program (Links to an external site.); this program places practicum students with qualified teachers to complete student teaching hours. I am an active member of the workforce development committee through the OC Child Care and Development Planning Council (Links to an external site.); this committee looks for ways to help teachers move forward in the field. Lastly, I am the current Treasurer for OCAEYC (Links to an external site.), The Orange County Association  for the Education of Young Children,

On a personal note, I live in Mission Viejo and I have 3 boys and a husband. Dennis my husband is an outside sales manager for Western Exterminators (no bugs in our house). Trey is 23 and graduated college in 2018 ; he works in Irvine as a manufacturing engineer for a bio-med company. Mason is 22 and is a restaurant manager in Mission Viejo. Ashton is 19 and a first-year student at UCI as a Mechanical Engineering major,  he is also part of Air Force ROTC. In my spare time, I like to go to escape rooms with my family, take short road trips to find new interesting places, and spend time at the beach or resort pool.