•  Principal's Page


    Melissa Houde

    Welcome to the beginning of a new school year! We are excited to have you back and to meet many new faces.

    For those of you who I have not had the pleasure of meeting yet, I wanted to share a little about myself. I grew up in Eau Claire, WI (so yes...I am a Packers Fan) and moved to Minnesota when I attended college. Before coming to Oakdale Elementary, I taught kindergarten for 7 years at Dugsi Academy in St. Paul and coached gymnastics for 15 years. Oakdale has now been my “home” for the last 10 years and I have found it to have a "family feel". I started my career at Oakdale as a kindergarten teacher before moving into the role of Instructional Coach. As an Instructional Coach I was able to mentor teachers, lead professional development in the building and across ISD622, support curriculum development and work on many district-level committees and projects. At the same time, I studied at Hamline University to complete my K-12 Administrative Licensure. My course work included completing my elementary admin hours working with Mrs. Buhl right here at Oakdale Elementary.

    I currently live in Forest Lake, MN with my husband, Rick and two children - Charley, 5 and Cortlin, 3 1/2. (I do have quite a long commute...but I feel it is worth it to work with such an amazing group of students, staff and families!!!) Charley will be entering kindergarten this fall, so I can definitely relate to all of you who will have an incoming kindergartener. For my family, as with many of yours, last year was difficult and stressful at times due to social distancing, quarantines, working from home and worrying about the health of high-risk family members. That being said, as a family we had many things to be grateful for too. My children have become very close after spending so much time together, we created LOTS of family art projects and now we appreciate every moment with friends and relatives on a deeper level than before COVID.

    As a school, I believe Oakdale also has a lot to celebrate as we reflect on last year. Just think about how much we have all grown our technology skills in such a short period of time. WOW!!! We also learned to be more flexible, creative, resilient and gracious as we navigated through a variety of learning models.

    I am truly honored to have been given the opportunity to support, and lead, this amazing school community during the 2021-22 school year. There is no place I would rather be than with all of you - my Oakdale Family. I look forward to collaborating with you to ensure this school year is GRRReat!!!


    Melissa Houde

     phoyo       m