Melissa Tebbenkamp Honored as Outstanding Recent Alumnus
University of Central Missouri President Chuck Ambrose, left, presents the 2014 Outstanding Recent Alumni Award to Melissa Tebbenkamp at the Dec. 13 commencement ceremony.
Once considering a career in law, Melissa (Baker) Tebbenkamp '01, '03 turned to the University of Central Missouri to prepare for a profession that allowed her to embrace her passion for education and leadership. Today, she combines both of these priorities in her job as director of instructional technology for Raytown Quality Schools. During winter commencement ceremonies Dec. 13, she was presented the UCM Alumni Association's Outstanding Recent Alumnus Award.
Tebbenkamp, who is one of the first 46 individuals in the nation and one of only three in Missouri to become a certified education technology leader by the Consortium for School Networking, joined the school district in 2006. Through this certification, she is considered by Cosn.org as a leader who demonstrates "the knowledge and skills needed to define the vision for and successfully build 21st Century learning environments in [their] school district."
As supervisor of two assistant directors and 27 technicians at Raytown Quality Schools, Tebbenkamp and her diverse team provide instructional and operational technology leadership while serving 22 facilities; 1,400 staff; and 8,800 students as well as managing a budget that exceeds $5 million annually. Under her leadership, her department has been recognized in several national and international industry publications. In addition, Raytown Quality Schools is frequently cited as a reference and model district for many technologies, practices and procedures.
Tebbenkamp graduated summa cum laude while earning a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, Instructional Technology degree from UCM in 2001. She completed a Master of Science in Educational Technology in 2003.
A sister's death led to her decision to attend UCM. "My senior year of high school I had a decision to make, apply to Harvard and become a lawyer or apply to the best education college and become a teacher. A tragic car accident resulting in my sister's death forced me to consider my priorities. I decided that I wanted to be close to home and in a career that would allow me to continue to focus on what means most, family. Even though I enjoyed debate and policy, education was where I belonged. I chose UCM."
While pursuing her college education, she served from 2001-2005 as senior community support specialist for A.O. Community Services in Warrensburg, leading a team that provided services for 14 counties. Her duties included identifying and locating community resources to assist with family success, and advocating for children’s rights. She also served from 2005-2006 as production engineer for interactive television at KMOS-TV, UCM's public television station. There, she maintained and controlled equipment for interactive classrooms, trained faculty on best practices and use of interactive television, provided technical support for the office, supervised upgrades and remodels of two interactive television classrooms, and identified new technologies, just to name a few.
Tebbenkamp has developed a national reputation for her work through her involvement in professional organizations. She is a founding member and past chair of the Board of Directors for Missouri Education Technology Leaders and is moderator and creator of the Missouri Technology Leaders Professional Learning Community. Additionally, she has made presentations for regional, state and national groups dedicated to educational technology and has advised on several white papers and national best practices publications.
She noted, "The confidence instilled through the UCM programs gave me the strength to excel as one of the youngest female administrators in my field and the drive to lead my district, as well as other districts, through the developing field of education technology."
Tebbenkamp and her husband, Bryan, also a UCM graduate, are the parents of two sons.