Teacher Enters District 7 School Board Race

Longtime Central Florida resident University of Central Florida graduate Melissa Byrd wants to improve educational opportunities, classroom environment, teacher advocacy and community schools.

By Jacob Engels

Former teacher Melissa Byrd filed to run for Orange County School Board District 7 today, vowing to work to improve the schools in Northwest Orange County.

While Byrd filed for the election in 2020, it is anticipated a special election will be called in 2018 as the current school board member for District 7 has filed to run for Orange County Commissioner.

“As a parent and a former teacher, I know there are many avenues we need to explore to improve our children’s educational opportunities,” Byrd says. “There are only two A schools in District 7 and that is simply unacceptable to me and to the parents I’ve talked to.”

Throughout Orange County, approximately one in three schools are A-rated. In District 7, fewer than one of every ten schools is A-rated.

If elected, she’ll focus on improvement in four areas: educational opportunities, classroom environment, teacher advocacy and community schools.

Byrd is a Central Florida native and received her degree in elementary education from the University of Central Florida.

She taught for several years at Forest City Elementary School and performed multiple leadership roles, such as the Title I reading resource teacher, working with struggling readers in all grades. After that, Byrd taught at Pace Brantley Hall School, where she specialized in working with children with learning differences in first through fourth grade.

In 2003, after the birth of her first daughter, Byrd left the classroom to raise her children, Abigail, 14, and Madeline, 10, but still works as a substitute teacher for Orange County Public Schools, working at elementary, middle and high schools in Northwest Orange County.

She currently serves as the PTSA vice president and chair of the School Advisory Council at Piedmont Lakes Middle School. At Clay Springs Elementary School, she volunteers at multiple PTA events and was a regular classroom volunteer.

Byrd moved from Altamonte Springs to the Apopka area in 1998 after marrying Alan Byrd, owner of Alan Byrd & Associates, a public relations and marketing firm.

For more information, visit Byrd’s Facebook page. 


Jacob Engels is an Orlando based journalist whose work has been featured and republished in news outlets around the globe including Politico, InfoWars, MSNBC, Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Daily Mail UK, Associated Press, People Magazine, ABC, and Fox News to name a few. Mr. Engels focuses on stories that other news outlets neglect or willingly hide to curry favor among the political and business special interests in the state of Florida.