Alumni Spotlight

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Melissa Ostrowski


Devoted to becoming a teacher while growing up in Washington Boro and Millersville, Melissa Detz Ostrowski ’92, ‘97M, chose to further her education at Millersville University. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education social studies, Melissa dedicated 10 years to teaching social studies at J.P. McCaskey High School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Her experience as a teacher led to the discovery of her love for diverse interactions with her students. It was clear that returning to the ‘Ville in pursuit of her M.Ed. in School Counseling was her next move. Melissa has since become the K-12 Counseling Department Coordinator at Penn Manor School District in Lancaster County.

Melissa loved her experience at Millersville and speaks highly of her college memories. She experienced valuable life lessons that encouraged success. To this day, Melissa shares stories about courses that taught her “how to think, consider varying perspectives and be open to trying new things” and describes her college experience as a “truly exploratory period of life.” “Dr. Mary Klinedinst in the Education Foundations department was a strong role model for me. Dr. Beckie Meyer in the School Counseling program mentored me and guided me.” She also pays tribute to her experience as a member of Delta Phi Eta Honors Sorority where she made “longstanding friendships.” She cherishes the connections she made at college. Consequently, Millersville is where she met her husband, Dan ’04. The two have been married for 25 years and have a daughter who graduated from Millersville in 2020.

Melissa states, “There is a sense of pride and value for a school that is shown when you choose to give back.” Millersville was where she learned the value of compassion that has strongly molded her abilities as a professional. “As a public school teacher and a school counselor, it can be a challenge to hear and see the struggles our students and families face. To go into school each day and meet kids where they are, accept them for who they are, and open doors to broader opportunities is what keeps me going.”

In addition, Melissa is an active member of national, state and local school counseling associations and served as president of the Lancaster County School Counselors Association. Melissa is a member of the
Lancaster Branch NAACP Education Committee and the Delta Kappa Gamma Sorority for Key Women
Educators. Melissa was a member of the Board of Directors for Millersville Area Meals on Wheels and the Board of Directors for Homefields Incorporated. She currently serves on the MU Technology and Engineering Education Advisory Board and is a board member for Penn Manor Alumni Association.

With eagerness, Melissa plans to continue her career as a K-12 Counseling Department Coordinator, explore the world and try new things!




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