Melissa Cleaver joined the Buffett Institute in 2021 as professional learning specialist. She works closely with Amy Schmidtke, associate director of professional learning, in developing learning programs for a variety of early childhood stakeholders. She brings 25 years of experience from the Omaha Public Schools, where she taught for two decades in as a PreK – Grade 8 art education specialist, inspiring innovation and creativity. In 2015, she earned the Nebraska Elementary Art Educator of the Year Award. She later served as Common Sense Media’s outreach manager and as the digital citizenship project coordinator for OPS. In this role, she provided consultations, professional development workshops and conference presentations. She was also a CADRE associate and adjunct instructor at University of Nebraska at Omaha. Cleaver earned a Master of Education in elementary administration from Concordia University, a Bachelor of Science in education from University of Nebraska at Omaha, and an early childhood endorsement from Creighton University.