michael williams

"She taught me many life lessons and how to navigate my way through life. She is not only a teacher, she is a friend." Thatís what NBA Rookie of the Year, Michael Carter-Williams, says of his high school music teacher, Melanie Mollo.

Mrs. Mollo remarks on the lesson she hopes to impart on her students saying, "I hope that I inspired Michael, and all of my students to dream with abandon, to not fear failure as it is the path to higher achievement, to be brave, honest and compassionate, and that kindness really does count."

Michael Carter-Willaims and Melanie Mollo

Michael Carter-Williams was born on October 10, 1991 in Hamilton, Massachusetts. He is the oldest son of Earl Williams and Mandy Zegarowski and step-son of Zach Zegarowski and Rosa Williams. He has a younger sister, Masey, and three younger brothers; Marcus, Max, and Adrian. Michael attended Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School in Hamilton, Massachusetts for his freshman year and led his basketball team and conference in scoring, averaging 20 points per game. He then transferred to St. Andrew's boarding school in Barrington, Rhode Island for his three final years on high school. In his three years as a starter on the St. Andrew's team, Michael averaged 25.4 points per game. During his sophomore year of high school, he committed to attend Syracuse and play on the basketball team.

In the 2013 NBA Draft, Michael was selected 11th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers and was officially signed on September 24, 2013. He recorded 22 points, 12 assists, 7 rebounds and 9 steals in his NBA debut and was named Player of the Week (his first week in the NBA).

On May 5, 2014, Michael was named the 2014 NBA Rookie of the Year and became the first rookie drafted 10th or later to win the award since 1987.

Melanie Mollo grew up in Barrington, Rhode Island where she had the opportunity to be taught by inspiring and dedicated teachers. She frequently tells her students to be open to possibilities and opportunities that arise, even if they are surprising. After earning several degrees - BS in Philosophy, BA in English & Biblical Studies, BM in Voice Performance and Pedagogy, Graduate Certificate in Operatic Studies, she planned to become a college professor. Melanie followed her own advice when she took advantage of performing opportunities and moved to Italy and began her career as an Opera Singer.

During a hiatus from her performing schedule, another surprising opportunity arose and she accepted a one-year appointment to begin a Music Program for St. Andrew's School in Barrington, RI. She loved teaching so much that she has just completed her 15th year at St. Andrew's School. Melanie encourages her students to be multi-faceted and lives this herself, teaching many Music Ensembles and Music Courses, as well as Honors Philosophy, acting as Adviser to the National Honor Society, directing Community Service Projects, and hosting the Cooking Club in her home with her husband, Roberto.

Melanie believes teaching in today's world is more than academics; it is helping to build the values, principles and character of the students. Through performing in the Arts, students learn self-discipline, active problem solving, team collaboration, commitment to a goal, and proper deportment when under stress, as well as revel in the joy of being part of something beautiful and wonderful.

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