Dr. Melissa Dayle Durtschi is a mother, wife, teacher, friend, digital scrapbooking enthusiast, and loves to dance in the kitchen with her little ones. Her journey to her doctoral degree began when one of her twin daughters, Abigail, was diagnosed with Dyslexia before her 1st grade school year. It was a long journey learning about Dyslexia and the legal ramifications of Dyslexia and Twice-Exceptionality, where a child is simultaneously gifted and has a disability. Dr. Durtschi soon realized she wanted to create pathways for other families navigating the educational system.
Along with being a Dyslexia Advocate, Dr. Durtschi has 17 years of educational classroom experience, 13 of those specifically in Gifted Education. During that time, she worked to obtain her Masters Degree in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education. This was followed by pursuing her dream of obtaining a Doctoral Degree. She chose to focus on Educational Equity and its implications in education. Her experience in her doctoral program included focused work in giftedness, disabilities, twice-exceptionality, and racial inequities. Dr. Durtschi turned her attention to racial inequity in gifted referral for her dissertation research, “Inclusive Pathways to Gifted Education: Examining Gifted Referral Processes.”
Dr. Durtschi has worked as a Gifted Specialist across K-5, a general 4th grade teacher, and general 5th grade teacher. Now, she works as the Director of Gifted and Twice-Exceptional Services at Navigating Education. She is familiar with and has worked in various gifted education models, including: pull-out, magnet school, push-in, and cluster-grouping. She is a Licensed Gifted Specialist through the state of Colorado and has specialized training in Twice-Exceptionality.