Parent of The Month: Melissa Morton

Parent of The Month: Melissa Morton

Chagrin Falls mom, Melissa Morton, moved to Ohio last year  from New York City with her family of 5. Her Husband, Mark Kleid, is a doctor at University Hospitals and she has three kids: Sam, Charlotte, and Harrison. Sam is a current senior and Harrison is in fifth grade at Chagrin. Charlotte spent her first year as an eighth grader at Chagrin, but now goes to Hathaway Brown. 

Morton grew up in Andover, Massachusetts and attended Brown University for her undergraduate degree and University of Southern California for her masters degree. 

I was working as a teacher in an urban school that was trying to change the landscape of learning and raise the bar for kids in the neighborhood in terms of attending college. I loved parent teacher conferences so much, learning about the child and the family and understanding what kids were struggling with before they got to school. I was meeting with parents for 45 minutes instead of the required 20. This caused me to investigate Masters degree programs that would train me to integrate mental health into the educational environment. This led me on a path to get my Masters Degree in Social Work at The University of Southern California,” said Morton.

Morton is currently working as a therapist through telemedicine. She has patiences that she meets with over zoom and works with them that way. She has found that balancing her work and family life has no black and white answer for anyone.

“This is the question every mother or father wants answered! I don’t know if I have completely figured it out yet. However, I have found that seeing clients during the day when my kids are at school allows me to be available to them when they return at the end of their day. When they were little I’d spend the day with them, we would have dinner together, I’d get them ready for bed and then work in the evening.  If there is one thing that I have chosen throughout my career it is that time with my family comes first. Everyone finds this balance in different ways. These are the ways it has worked for me. I have always made it a point to build in some self care time so that I am rested and centered for my family and my clients. This is the most important,” said Morton.

Morton has many plans for her future. She hopes to open her own private practice and work alongside schools working on the inner mental health of students.

“I plan to open my own private practice that I run and manage myself. I specialize in children, adolescents and young adults. I would also like to return to working with schools to assist them in enhancing mental health support within their school communities. This has been my specialty since the beginning of my career as a Teacher and a Dean of Students. It is at the heart of why I became a therapist in the first place. Plus, kids spend a lot of their day in school. School should be a mentally healthy and supportive environment for them to learn and grow,” said Morton.