Melissa Spade Cristler, M.A.


Melissa is a senior member of the Hager Sharp education team, with more than 15 years of experience ranging from managing after-school programs to conducting evaluations for a federal program.

She demonstrates exceptional skill in project management and outreach efforts. Melissa commands a thorough knowledge of large-scale assessment along with federal and state education policy and practice. She currently oversees outreach and recruitment efforts for the National Center for Education Statistics’ National Assessment of Educational Progress and International Early Learning Study, including strategic planning, digital and social media, materials development, partnership opportunities, and speaking engagements. She also manages Hager Sharp’s work to promote the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, an arts integration and professional development program for early childhood educators.

It was Melissa’s students who inspired her to earn an MA in education policy studies and to work each day to improve education for current and future generations. Now, with a toddler of her own, she is more dedicated to the task than ever.

And, yes, she has a pit bull whose name is Candy Cane.

Melissa debated between three college majors: social work, communications, and political science. All three came together in her career and united with her passion for education at Hager Sharp.