Melissa Lowry '00

Melissa Lowry '00 is an educator, entrepreneur, parent and now a published author. After a career as an advertising executive, Melissa decided she wanted to give back through education. Having heard many positive recommendations for the Loyola Marymount University School of Education, she enrolled in LMU's literacy education program, now offered fully online as the Master of Arts in Reading Instruction @ LMU.

Melissa is also a mother, and it's through this lens that she co-authored Answer Keys, a recently published book that provides practical and authentic strategies to parents that are born out of the her expertise and passion for teaching. Written in collaboration with three other moms and teachers, Melissa says, "Answer Keys is a fresh approach to meeting the challenges of parenting with confidence. We've consolidated the research and best practices of teaching and parenting in a lesson plan format to give parents the tools to put the joy back into raising their children." Dr. Candace Poindexter, professor and director of LMU's literacy programs, has high praise for this book, "Answer Keys is a treasure trove full of practical and realistic ideas for parenting. As an educator and parent, I highly recommend this as a very worthwhile read!"

After earning a masters degree and a California teaching credential from LMU, Melissa taught preschool, elementary and middle school, ultimately serving as principal of Holy Family School in South Pasadena. Combining her education and business skills, Melissa founded SmartyPantz Education, a consulting firm that specializes in providing parents, teachers, students and administrators with the tools necessary to build a solid bridge between home and school.

Reflecting on her time at LMU, Melissa says, "I was fully engaged in my classes because they were so hands on. The professors are high caliber teachers, practitioners and scholars who are always extremely accessible." She attributes much of her success to what she learned at LMU. She says, "The LMU School of Education prepared me to think critically and to lead with confidence." Melissa highly recommends LMU to others, remarking, "LMU is perfect for someone who is looking for an educational opportunity to develop one's passion for lifelong learning in an environment where excellence is expected."

Ever the lifelong learner herself, Melissa stays up-to-date on the current research and trends in education and parenting through her SmartyPantz blog, where she writes about issues affecting teachers, children, literacy and families. Read more about Melissa's new book.

Learn more about the fully online Master of Arts in Reading Instruction @ LMU.