Mr. Mellerski: More Than a Business Teacher

0
27

By Vivian Rung

Mr. Mellerski, a self-described average business teacher, is so much more to our school and community. Even if you have not had him as a classroom teacher, he has still had an effect on your high school experience in some way if you’ve ever been involved in a school club. Teaching at East for 28 years, he is primarily responsible for teaching business classes, and coordinating the internship and work experience programs. He currently teaches two Accounting 1 classes, and one College and Careers, Internship, and Work Experience course. 

With multiple degrees in business related subjects from various schools in the area, Mr. Mellerski never pictured an average workday taking place in a high school. He first earned his bachelor’s degree in Finance and Marketing from University of Buffalo and used it to secure his job at HSBC before UB paid for him to go back to school. He was able to earn his MBA from Canisius College while still working for HSBC. He took advantage of more free education several years later when New York State was paying for people who have business degrees to become educators. Because of this great opportunity, he was able to earn his Masters in Business Education from Buff State.

Before East, Mr. Mellerski was a commercial loan officer with M&T bank and was involved in the training process of new hires for about seven years. When imagining his future from a young age, he never imagined he would end up in the education field. “Initially I started as a business and finance major thinking that was where I was going to make all the money and be super successful, but I soon realized that it’s not always money that makes you happiest and realized I wanted a career where I could spend more time with my family. I am very glad I made the change from the business world into education.” It is very clear that he has found his calling in how passionately he teaches his classes and his determination to help students understand the concepts he teaches. Mr. Mellerski’s favorite part of his job is working with students but even more “when I know that they’re learning and they’re excited because of it”. From my own experience, he has turned a subject that I never thought could be interesting into something that is easy and enjoyable to learn. Being taught so well by him is especially advantageous as the skills and knowledge he teaches us are things we will use in our lives now and in the future. 

Many people don’t know that he is our school’s Treasurer, as well as the VP for Finance for the Williamsville Teachers Association. This is an incredibly time consuming job as there is no specific time frame in which he begins and ends working. Mr. Mellerski chooses to spend a lot of his own time making sure the club funds are properly organized to ensure clubs can run smoothly. This means that he has formed a relationship with all of the club advisors within our school as they are responsible for giving him deposit and reimbursement slips while also keeping the books for each individual group. Part of this includes multiple trips to the bank per week which take place either during his free periods or on his own time.

Between teaching in the classroom and being our school’s treasurer, “There’s no such thing as a free period,” says Mr. Mellerski. When he’s not teaching, he is either counting money,  balancing books, doing bank reconciliations, or whatever needs to be done to make sure all the classes and club funds are taken care of. Not only this, but Mr. Mellerski has taught summer school for the past 29 summers. Even still, this lack of downtime during the day and throughout the year has been worth it to him as he still gets to spend more time with his family than he was able to prior to becoming an educator.

Mr. Mellerski’s support from his family, especially his wife, to switch to the education field made his decision to leave the business world all the more worth it. He has been married for 30 years and has three children – two sons and a daughter. His oldest son and daughter in law have four children and live locally, which makes spending time with his grandkids one of his favorite things to do. Other than family Mr. Mellerski enjoys traveling and cruising, playing tennis, and spending time in his large yard gardening. Real estate is another area in which he spends a lot of his time doing. He has owned a total of ten homes with his wife in the past 30 years. Mr. Mellerski said, “Some of them have been flipped and even when ‘flipping’ wasn’t very popular 25 years ago, we were buying things and fixing them to sell”. Having a business background has made pursuing and navigating this hobby an easier task for him because of his knowledge in buying and selling as well as making big purchases.  

In my own experience, Mr. Mellerski is one of the most encouraging, understanding, and passionate teachers I have had the pleasure of learning from in my time at East High School. Even with his full and ever-changing schedule, he will always find a way to accommodate his students, whether it be to make up an assignment or get extra help on a difficult topic. Accounting can be a difficult subject, especially for students who are not the most math inclined. However, Mr. Mellerski is always sure to explain things thoroughly and allow for everyone in the class to learn at their own pace.