Melissa Schools will recognize five inaugural Wall of Honor inductees this Friday, Sept. 23 as part of the 10th anniversary Homecoming. Inductees include Amy Burchett, Lee Hill, Dave Phillips, and Doug and Lisa Zadow.
The Melissa Schools Wall of Honor distinguishes altruistic, high achieving individuals with a significant history. Inductees were officially endorsed by the Board of Trustees on Monday.
Amy Burchett initiated a fundraising program to support the development of a playground at Melissa Ridge Intermediate and was a key person in establishing the Melissa Band Boosters. Most notably, Amy spearheaded the creation of a Special Olympics program for the district eight years ago, along with a Special Olympics Track Meet that has since become an annual event.
“Amy is a truly humble individual who serves where she sees a need, and when she knows she can help,” wrote her nominator. “She has spent countless hours devoted to making Melissa Schools a better place for students, staff, and community members. Through her efforts with the Special Olympics, Amy has forever changed the face of Melissa Schools.”
Amy Burchett has devoted countless hours to making Melissa Schools a better place for students, staff, and the community.
Amy doesn’t serve seeking praise or to get attention; she is a truly a humble individual who serves where she sees a need, and when she knows she can help.
Amy researched and initiated the “Box Tops for Education” program in Melissa.
When Melissa Ridge Intermediate needed a playground, Amy took it upon herself to find a way for the school to have the best and safest playground possible. She discovered a program called “Community Build” where community members came together to build a playground in one day. Overseeing a Community Build for each phase the MRI playground, Amy arrived at 5:30 a.m. with volunteer sheets, assignments, tools, and plenty of food. The playground built on that day is still enjoyed by Melissa students today.
She was one of the key persons who helped organize and establish the Melissa Band Boosters to provide financial and volunteer support for students and band directors.
When the Band Boosters merged with the athletics Booster Club, Amy represented the band on the Booster Board and even became the Secretary.
Amy was named Volunteer of the Year in 2013.
Amy’s greatest impact has been the Special Olympics program that she began nearly 10 years ago. Amy recognized that the district had a need for a Special Olympics program, and she stepped in and filled that need. Amy worked tirelessly with school administration, teachers, the City of Melissa, the fire and police departments, and numerous volunteers to ensure the success of Special Olympics Track Meet not only for that first year, but for the years to come.
Amy loves our school district and every student in it.
Lee Hill was an integral part of the Melissa Booster Club and its many fundraisers – including chairing the annual golf tournament – for all six years that her daughter was a student in the district, and even after her daughter graduated.
“Lee would spend her weekends getting behind-the-scenes work done so that weekday games and activities would go on seamlessly,” wrote her nominator. “She wears her red and black proudly and would sell Melissa to any outsider on the great community and schools. She has a heart of gold.”
Lee Hill was constantly involved in the Melissa Booster Club all six years that her daughter attended school. She was an integral part of the concession stand, the athletics awards ceremony, and the annual Melissa Open Golf Tournament.
Lee volunteered countless hours for other endeavors with Melissa Schools even after her daughter graduated, including chairing the Melissa Open Golf Tournament which raised hundreds of thousands of dollars throughout her tenure.
Lee goes above and beyond for the well being of the community. She spent endless hours on weekends doing “behind the scenes” work so that the weekday games and activities would go seamlessly.
Arguably, Lee has built more connections and relationships through her work on the Booster Club in over 8 years than anyone. Because of her relentless work ethic and attitude, Lee managed to lay a foundation in establishing relationships with donors and vendors that is still visible today.
Lee was awarded Volunteer of the Year in 2009.
Today you’ll still see Lee attending athletic and other community events, oftentimes volunteering where help is needed.
Lee would literally give you the shirt off her back if you asked her to. She has a heart of gold and she treats everyone’s kids as if they’re her own.
Dave Phillips was a volunteer coach at Melissa Schools for over 20 years. He helped start the Melissa Youth Sports Association in the 1980s and served as a Board of Trustees member. Dave later served as a teacher and coach for the district.
“Dave was a tremendous help for me for the 16 years that I coached,” wrote his nominator. “He was a great man of character and a role model for our students.”
In conjunction with serving on the School Board, Dave Phillips volunteered for over 20 years as a coach prior to his employment with the district. He did this while working full time for Delta Airlines.
Dave worked alongside Coach Kenny Deel to develop a middle school athletic program that was key to the future success what is today’s Melissa Schools Athletics program.
In the 90s, Coach Phillips started the North Texas Basketball League which served kindergarten through sixth grade athletes; it is now the Melissa Youth Sports Association or MYSA.
Dave was hired as a full time PE/Special Education teacher and coach in August of 2000.
During his time as a coach for Melissa, Dave was instrumental in keeping the athletic program successful at a time when it was in danger of becoming nonexistent.
Dave has been a tremendous part of our athletic programs here in Melissa. As a high school coach, he has been the Head Track Coach, Head Golf Coach, Assistant Football Coach, Assistant Basketball Coach, and Assistant Baseball Coach.
Dave has seen the athletic program go from nearly nonexistent to winning a Texas State Championship in 2011.
Athletics aside, Dave enjoys movies and drama. He has participated in musicals for the district, including choreographing Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and “Monster Mash”. He played the part of Elwood of the Blues Brothers and can play a mean harmonica.
Dave is a man of great character and a role model for our students. He has touched hundreds of kids’ lives throughout a span of five decades.
To sum up Dave, as another one of his nominators said, is to call him Mr. Melissa.
Doug and Lisa Zadow have served the Melissa community and its schools for over 30 years. They donated Zadow Park to the City of Melissa, which is used for all Melissa Schools softball and baseball events. Doug initiated the start of the Booster Club’s annual golf tournament, raising over $50,000 for students each year. Lisa was the first executive director of the Melissa Education Foundation, and for four years raised funds for teacher and student scholarships and grants.
“It is fitting that Doug and Lisa Zadow be inducted to the Wall of Honor for their countless hours, leadership, and direction to the students of Melissa Schools,” wrote their nominee.
For anyone who has been a part of Melissa for any amount of time, the Zadow name is a familiar one.
If you have ever been to a youth baseball or softball game in Melissa, you’ve heard of the Zadows. If your child has ever played on the playground near the middle school, you’ve heard of the Zadows.
Zadow Park was designed and donated to the City of Melissa by the Zadow family. Each of the sports fields are named after their three daughters: Sydney, Shelby, and Skylar. The family moved to Melissa in 1985 and has proudly served our community and schools ever since.
In addition to what Doug and Lisa have done collectively, each has contributed significantly to the district in their own right.
In 2006, Lisa Zadow became the first Executive Director of the newly formed Melissa Education Foundation. MEF provides scholarships to Melissa’s graduating seniors as well as grants to Melissa teachers. It was Lisa’s insight and creativity that started the annual MEF Casino Night, which is the biggest fundraiser for the foundation to date.
Lisa ran the foundation for more than four years, collecting sponsorships and donations, planning casino night, and giving out scholarships and grants – all while never expecting anything in return. In doing so, she ensured that all monies would go toward the students and staff of Melissa Schools.
Lisa also served for many years on the McKillop PTO, the Booster Club, and in fact, served as the Booster Club President.
Doug Zadow is currently the President of the 4B Board for the City of Melissa. Doug’s position on the 4B Board is instrumental in the development of the City. Doug initiated the conversation between the City and the school district to form a joint partnership in the building of the Melissa Sports Complex.
Doug has also served on the Melissa Booster Club in many capacities. Doug’s knowledge and love for golf led him in planning and running the first of many annual Melissa Open Golf Tournaments. While under Doug’s guidance, the tournament netted over $50,000 per year for Melissa students. This past year, Doug graciously offered his assistance again and helped make last year’s Melissa Open the most successful one since his departure from the Booster Club.
In addition, the Zadows give an annual scholarship through the Melissa Education Foundation for graduating students attending Texas A&M University.
The Zadows have given countless hours, leadership, support, and direction to the students and staff of Melissa Schools for the last 30 years.
In addition to being recognized at this year’s Homecoming game, each inductee will be featured on the Wall of Honor in the Board Room at the Melissa Schools Home Office.
We invite the community to join us in congratulating these five inaugural Wall of Honor inductees for their invaluable dedication and contribution to Melissa Schools.
Media Contact: Maddie Coe, Community Relations