Love at first sight

Art teacher who fell in love with the Academy after hiring on a year ago is leading school’s innovative new middle school art electives program.

Melissa Lamb is in her second year of teaching art at The Grosse Pointe Academy. She previously taught seven years at schools located in Detroit.

When The Grosse Pointe Academy art teacher, Mel Lamb, first got a glimpse of the campus a year ago this past summer, and especially the art program’s facilities, she had one word for it all: “Wow!”

“When I saw the art room and figured out that I didn’t have to bring in my own art supplies as I had in my previous teaching jobs, I thought, ‘wow!,’ just ‘wow,'” she said. “I absolutely love my art space. It’s unreal how lucky I am.”

According to school administrators, it’s also been a big plus for both the staff and students that Lamb decided to teach at the Academy.

“We are so pleased that Melissa joined The GPA family last year as our art teacher,” said Didi DeBoer, the Academy’s assistant head of school for grades 4-8. “It is awesome to watch her share her love for art with our students. Middle school students are especially excited about the new elective courses Mel is teaching this year as she leads them in discovering ceramics, inspires them in a fashion and fabrics course, and shares her love for printmaking with them.”

DeBoer also noted that Lamb will also be sharing her passion for art with the faculty and staff when she will be conducting an after-school art class for them in November.

“She truly is bringing out the artist in all of us here on campus,” DeBoer said.

Before coming to the GPA campus in the summer of 2017, Lamb taught in three different schools in Detroit, including four years of teaching high school art and three years of middle school. She said she got into education as a career in the first place because of a teacher she had back in her own high school.

Lamb is with her boyfriend of three years, Geoff.

“I was inspired to become an art teacher initially because I’ve always had a strong interest in art, plus, my high school art teacher was awesome,” said Lamb, who holds a BAA degree from Central Michigan University and a BS degree in art education from the University of Michigan. “Education was always my first choice because I get to share my love of art with students of all ages.”

Sharing her love of art definitely is important to Lamb, who grew up in Metamora, Michigan, and currently resides in Southfield. But it’s not totally about the art when it comes to her Academy students.

“Aside from being the best art teacher I can be, I think the most important part of my job is to be a positive mentor for my students,” she said. “I strive to know my students as individuals and show them that I care for their wellbeing as well as about their learning. I’m still in contact with many of my former high school students who are now young adults, and we share stories and they still ask me for advice. It warms my heart to know that they are doing well and reaching their goals.”

Lamb, left, who grew up in Metamora, Mich., is with her brother, Drew, and parents, Marlene and Dave.