Mrs. Malaney says goodbye

Mrs.+Malaney%2C+center%2C+poses+with+the+members+of+the+Tri-M+Music+Honor+Society%2C+of+which+she+is+the+moderator.++Photo+reprinted+with+permission+from+Amy+Malaney.

Mrs. Malaney, center, poses with the members of the Tri-M Music Honor Society, of which she is the moderator. Photo reprinted with permission from Amy Malaney.

Cassidy Connolly, Staff Reporter

Mrs. Amy Malaney, music teacher and Tri-M Music Honor Society club moderator, announced her decision to leave

Mrs. Malaney, center, poses with the members of the Tri-M Music Honor Society, of which she is the moderator.  Photo reprinted with permission from Amy Malaney.
Mrs. Malaney, center, poses with the members of the Tri-M Music Honor Society, of which she is the moderator. Photo reprinted with permission from Amy Malaney.

Mercy earlier this year.  Newsprint takes a closer look at her five years at Mercy, why she is leaving, and her plans for the future.

NP: How did you come to work at Mercy?

AM: Five years ago, the very first week of school, I got a call from Mrs. Witte asking me if I would be interested in coming in and substitute teaching in music, because the teacher had left at the last minute.  So I came in just thinking I would be subbing for a short time, and five years later, I’m still here.  That one phone call changed the next five years of my life.

NP: How would you describe your experience teaching at Mercy?

AM: I’ve loved being here.  I really enjoy working with high school-age girls, and I learned a lot about my skills and applying things.  Take conducting.  Teaching orchestra class, it was the first time I actually did that.  I took all the classes and stuff for conducting, but I had never done it before.  I had the skills to do it, but I never really knew I could until it became part of my job.

NP: Why did you choose to leave this year?

AM: In the fall, I started a pro/con list, which is always a really good thing to do when you have to make a big decision.  There’s a lot of reasons… Probably the biggest reason is because my youngest child will be leaving, moving out of the house.  Since my kids started school, this is the first opportunity I have to be free of a school schedule and do some things in my business that I’m still interested in doing.

NP: What other activities will you be pursuing?

AM: I have a lot of plans.  I will return to teaching private voice lessons, which I did for 18 years, and it’s just a lot more flexible.  I also plan to start auditioning for more regional theater and things that are not local.  And I plan to visit my children, who will be in 3 different places: New York, Chicago, and Penn State.

NP: What are your hopes for the girls you have taught here?

AM: My philosophy is that somewhere along the line you should leave everything better than you found it.  I really wasn’t ready to leave until I felt that my work in the department had made it a stronger department then when I got here.  I feel that it’s strong enough now that I can hand it over to someone else, and it will thrive.  And so I guess I’d say my for the hope for girls I’m leaving here is that I’ve given them all the tools to keep things strong with the guidance of a new teacher.

NP: What changes will be occurring in the Tri-M club now that you are leaving?

AM: Well, there’s going to be a new moderator.  But at our year-end [coffee house] you could tell that people were excited about the club.  It really is a student organization; a moderator is really someone who oversees.  Both Mercyaires and Tri-M, I’ve always seen them to be somewhat student-initiated.  I think it empowers the people involved if they’ve got more invested.

NP: What would you like to tell Mercy students?

AM: I’m going to miss everybody.  I don’t want anyone to take my decision personally.  When I made that pro-con list, the thing at the top of the “don’t leave” list was the girls.  But what I realized is that no matter when I left, that was going to be an issue.  There are some unbelievable girls I have now, and my gut instinct is to wait until they graduate, but there’s always going to be another group of girls I want to see graduate.  It was a problem I had with private teaching, too; I loved every class!  It was such a tough decision.