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Marielena (Mel) joins PLUS as a Project Director after working for the School District of Philadelphia’s Office of Talent, where she managed the Teacher and School-Based Support Recruitment and Selection teams. During her time with the School District, Mel developed the District’s teaching competencies and application process that continues to drive a rigorous selection model for recruiting and hiring high quality teachers to the highest needs schools. Prior to joining TNTP, Mel spent three years with Teach for America as a Manager of Teacher Leadership Development in Philadelphia and a Director of Corps Member Learning in Oakland, CA, where she managed a team of instructional coaches in designing region-wide professional development and coaching models for first and second year teachers. Mel started her career teaching high school English and Special Education in the School District of Philadelphia as a Teach for America Corps Member. Mel holds a BS in Psychology from the University of Washington and a M.Ed. from Chestnut Hill College.