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NHA Logo Taylor Exemplar Academy 26727 Goddard Rd Taylor, MI 48180
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Melissa Nickel, Principal


  • Eastern Michigan University:  Bachelor's degree In Elementary Education
  • Eastern Michigan University:  Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership

Previous experience

I began my career at Metro Charter Academy, teaching 6th grade Language Arts. I moved on to teach in the Willow Run Community School System for seven years before taking two years off to stay at home with children. I came back to NHA in 2010 and worked at South Arbor Charter Academy as the Accelerated Learning Programs Language Arts and Science teacher. I bring 13 years of educational experience, most recently serving as a dean at our sister school, Quest Charter Academy.

Why did you choose education as a profession?

It chose me. From the time I can remember playing, I always remember pretending to be a teacher. My sisters would be forced to sit at the table or at the chalkboard at the bottom of my grandparents basement steps and listed to me teach them letters of the alphabet, art class, and math. It has been something that I have always loved.      

Personal information

I enjoy spending time with my children. I enjoys reading, playing in the sun, and attending my children's gymnastic and hockey sporting events.  

Katie Sims, Dean of 5th-8th Grade


  •     Eastern Michigan University-B.S. Education (6-12) Social Studies/History (2002)
  •     Marygrove College-M.A. Education (2006)
  •     Central Michigan University-Leadership Degree (Spring 2017)


Previous education experience and number of years in the field:

12 years teaching middle school in the Southwest Detroit area prior to coming to TEA in 2014.

What do you like most about working here?

I love working with the students and families here at TEA and look forward to spending many years here.


I live in Livonia with my husband and two sons. We are kept busy with their sports and extracurricular activities. We love to attend sporting events and go on family vacations.

Scott Schneider, Dean of 2nd-4th Grade and Specials


  •     Eastern Michigan University: Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education
  •     Central Michigan University: Master’s degree in Educational Leadership

Previous education experience and number of years in the field:

    The last five years I served as a fifth grade teacher and middle school teacher at a sister NHA school, Flagship Charter Academy.

What do you like most about working here?

I am incredibly excited about the families at TEA. I am also excited to be part of a leadership team that collaborates and focuses on key tasks at hand to benefit students most effectively.


I have been married for seven amazing years. I have three children and a dog named Lola. My biggest interests are bodybuilding, tennis, golf, and reading transformational books.

Brittany Colbeck, Dean of Y5K-1st Grade

Stephanie Van Engelen, Dean

Molly Eaton, Interim Dean

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