Melisa Preuss-Muñoz is enjoying her fifth-year teaching at St. Joe where she has been blessed to be able to share her love of language with her students. Genuine happiness comes from experiencing students' delight as they connect with and are able to communicate effectively with people of other cultures. To facilitate this, Muñoz is implementing the Comprehensible Input (CI) curriculum in her Spanish classes while building on three principles of Catholic Social Teaching: Dignity, Solidarity, and Subsidiarity.
Muñoz, a Mississippi native, received her BA in Mass Media Communications from Mississippi College and her Master of Education degree from Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. She began her 28-year teaching career in Bogota, Colombia where she lived with her grandmother and taught high school English. After returning to the U.S., Muñoz lived in Chicago where she worked with a team of educators to open a charter school, Alain Locke Charter Academy. Here, she found her passion for teaching, literacy, and cultural diversity. Muñoz then became the director for Hull House Even Start, a multi-cultural family literacy center that served infants to adults.
In Chicago, Melisa met her husband, Francisco, while Salsa dancing. When their son Nicolás was two years old, the Muñozes returned to Mississippi to be closer to family. Melisa began teaching at St. Therese Catholic School in 2003 and has been working and teaching within the Catholic Diocese ever since. Muñoz’s son Nicolas, a 2020 graduate of St. Joe, is studying Psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi. Her daughter, Leah Grace, will graduate from St. Joe in 2023. She then plans to study Engineering at Mississippi State University. The Muñoz family calls St. Richard Catholic Church its parish home.