Melissa Schaller will be honored with the Distinguished Young Alumna award at the 2013 Winona State University Awards of Distinction as part of the school’s Homecoming celebration.

Each year WSU and the Alumni Society recognize individuals for their outstanding commitment to the university and to improving our world. Distinguished Young Alumni award recipients are graduates 45 years old or younger who have distinguished themselves in their work or in their community.

Schaller graduated cum laude from Winona State in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and special education, and received licensures in elementary education, mild to moderate mental impairments and specific learning disabilities. While attending WSU, she was a resident assistant and was on the Student Council for Exceptional Children.

After graduating from WSU, Schaller received her master’s degree in special education and licensure in emotional behavioral disorders from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. She also earned licensures as a work experience coordinator-handicapped, director of special education and principal from University of Minnesota, as well as a superintendent licensure from Minnesota State University-Mankato.

Schaller’s numerous accomplishments in her career include being president of the executive board for the Minnesota Association for Special Education, president of the executive board for the Minnesota Council for Exceptional Children and serving on the board of directors for Cedar Valley Services.

Schaller currently works as the Director of Special Education for Intermediate School District 917 in Rosemount, Minn., where she is in charge of managing personnel, facilitating staff development opportunities, collaborating with member districts, and developing and maintaining a budget of approximately $18 million.

Click here to learn more about WSU’s 2013 Awards of Distinction.