Buffalo Sabres January 2024 Teacher of the Month

Future GoalsTM Program

Buffalo Sabres logo

Buffalo Sabres January 2024 Teacher of the Month


Melanie Stolzenberg


Royalton Hartland Elementary School

Classroom Team:

Tell us about yourself!

I am an elementary educator, in year 17, all of which are in 4th grade. I became a teacher because I have always had a drive to provide community service, specifically children. I love seeing the “light” come in in their eyes when they understand something. I love their hugs, smiles, and sometimes tears both happy and sad. I love watching students grow from struggling to successful. Outside the classroom, I am the PTA president and a member of the Challenger League of WNY. With PTA, I run our school field day, fundraisers, and after school fun nights that are open to the community. Challenger is important to me as I have a son with autism who proves daily, autism isn’t a disability, but an ability to see the world differently.

What is your favorite part of the Future Goals™program? How do you see STEM in the game of hockey?

I love that this program is easy for students to use, and given that it is digital, it is accessible for all out students, without the need for extra supplies. It allows students to work on it when they have free moments as they want. There is also a great variety of programs available. I see STEM in hockey when we look at angles of shots, plays and speed of puck travel. It’s in the creation of sticks that increase speed and accuracy and pads that protect players. STEM is endless in sports!

Who is your favorite NHL player?

I have always loved Rob Ray. I loved his tenacity and drive to work hard for his team. He was always a defender of his teammates, never afraid to lay down the law. I love that after all these years, he still is here with our team, making calls ice side. He recently took a puck to the face during a game. He got stitched up and came right back. His toughness is unparalleled. A few years ago, I was fortunate enough to play in a basketball game against him, and he was so fun and great to be around.

If you played hockey, what position would you play and why?

I played field hockey in high school and was always defense. In ice hockey, I think I would still choose defense. I love supporting my goalie, and feeding the ball/puck to the forwards.