Let’s start with the basics, shall we? My name is Michelle Rotella. I was born October 8th, 1987, in Gaithersburg, Maryland. My earliest years were spent playing with my friends who attended my mom’s home daycare and family weekends taking our boat out along the MD shores to catch the best crabs on the planet! At about age 11 my parents divorced and I began a new life-journey growing up as part of a large blended family. I have two older brothers and gained three step brothers and two step sisters after both of my parents remarried. Growing up with a large family is something I would never take back. There was always laughter, drama, and of course lots of love.
Between fifth grade elementary, middle, and my freshman year of high school, I attended five schools in five years. As a result, I never really felt like I fit in to a particular “group.” I considered myself to be more of a chameleon, blending in with different types of people, and personalities. Making lemonade out of lemons, I believe this learned skill of ‘personal adaptability’ has helped me throughout my life and career.
Impatient with the traditional ‘swiftness’ of education I graduated high school at 16, and immediately entered community college where I completed my Associates degree at 18. School was always my thing; I was good at it and always looking for more challenges making sure I stayed busy and pulling off great grades.
I transferred in the fall of 2006 to Florida State University, in Tallahassee, Florida. This is where and when I began my journey to become a meteorologist. Since I was a little girl weather has always fascinated me. Watching The Weather Channel with my mother or standing outside with my brothers and watching storms roll by, I became infatuated –and curious- with the science of it all, and had to understand why certain things happened the way they did. In spring 2009 I graduated with a B.S. in Meteorology and a minor in math from FSU. I have to say that was one of my proudest moments and best days of my life.
Six months after graduation my first job in the broadcast industry was as the Weekend Meteorologist for WeatherBug in Germantown, Maryland. This was a great stepping stone for me; I was able to get my feet wet in the business and launch my career.
Ten months later a new position at WOKV Newstalk Radio in Jacksonville, Florida gave me the opportunity to try my hand at news producing. I quickly learned that even though I was good at writing, it just wasn’t for me. I felt the need to once again surround myself with ‘weather’ and do what I feel I do best, broadcast television.
It was then that I was offered the amazing opportunity to take the skills that I had developed at WeatherBug and WOKV and use them as “Weekend Meteorologist/Weekday Reporter” for WNEP Newswatch 16, in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
After two years with WNEP, I took my next career leap and moved back to my college Alma Mater city to become the Morning and Noon meteorologist for WTXL in Tallahassee, Florida.
After about a year, personal family matters came into play that called me back to my home state of Maryland. Trust me, I know, another move right? I-95 and I became like ‘best friends’ at this point. Initially hired as the Morning Meteorologist I was offered and am currently the Chief Meteorologist for HMTV 6, in Hagerstown, MD.
I have learned you can only plan so much in life as nothing ever goes perfectly or according to plan. What do I see foresee in my future? …Open doors with a path that leads anywhere. I will never ‘limit’ myself. As hard as change can be I’ll always be ‘down’ for the ride and looking forward to the personal growth and endless opportunities that will, God willing, come with it.