Melissa Martyr-Wagner’s education includes a BA in Journalism, Advertising and an MS in Higher Education. In 2011, after having worked for Iowa State University and the University of Minnesota, she and her husband, Sean Wagner, left their jobs to launch together NewStudio Architecture, where she is the Director of Operations. Free time? Not only does she work with her husband, she sails with him on White Bear Lake. She also enjoy waves and water most anywhere from the Midwest to the Caribbean, as well as yoga and barre classes…and, she’s trying to get better at tennis and cross-country skiing. Melissa is one of the founders of Lakes International Language Academy (LILA), K-12 in Forest Lake. She went on to serve, as well as lead, this highly successful charter school’s board of directors, and later its foundation. Founded in 2014 and starting with 174 students, the school’s enrollment is now over 1,300 in updated facilities on two campuses in Forest Lake.
She loves supporting her community – and organizations like the White Bear Center for the Arts, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Solid Ground, White Bear Lake Area Historical Society, and, of course, Century College.
“Century College truly is one of the most remarkable assets of our community and I’m very proud to serve on its Foundation. I am always happy to proselytize with friends, or when I’m networking, of the many successes, stories, and results of Century,” explains Melissa, “My son is just finishing in the paramedic program-so I learn a lot about his experience. And, when I’m on campus I always run into high school and college students I know from the White Bear Lake and Forest Lake schools. I love, as a Foundation member, knowing about the data-informed results and the community impact of Century– but, it is the students who move me. Knowing about their academic stories and journeys always moves me to want to do more.”