December 2017 Winner - Candice Maloney:(Northeast High School)


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Meridian Star Article

When Candice Maloney was named valedictorian at Northeast High School in 2010, she never dreamed that seven years later, she would receive another honor at the school.

Maloney, who teaches algebra and biology, was named the Golden Apple winner for December during a recent ceremony.

She said she was thankful for the recognition.

"We pour so many long hours into our students and it's nice to know there are people in the community who think what you are doing is worthwhile," Maloney said.

"Sometimes people have the impression we teach because we can't do anything else – I guarantee you that's not true with me. I teach because I know this is God's calling on my life. This is exactly where I am supposed to be and exactly what I am supposed to be doing."

Even though Maloney always knew she wanted to be a teacher, she studied forensic science at the University of Southern Mississippi. Now, she has a master's degree and is licensed to teach in seven different subjects.

In addition to teaching, Maloney also serves as the school's cross country coach, and gets satisfaction from watching the runners set personal records.

"It's a 3.1 mile race, so every time they run, it's the same race, but different courses and trails each time," she said. "The first race they run they always feel like they could have done better. Just watching their determination throughout the season to make it better is so rewarding."

Another sign of success she's witnessed is the school's transformation from a D to a B school, something she calls "amazing."

"It's because our students put forth the work, they know their teachers love them, and they want to work for them," Maloney said. "It's the relationship with the students that teachers build that really, really help the student succeed. Having someone they know cares about them and wants them to do well is what it's all about."

Principal Tim Moore said Maloney is one of those teachers who goes out of her way for her students – with encouragement.

"Not only is she knowledgeable about her subject matter, she cares," Moore said. "There's an old saying: kids never care about how much you know, until they know how much you care."

Derek Clayton, one of Maloney's students, agrees.

"She is one of the best math teachers for Algebra that I have ever had," Clayton said. "She's always pushed me to do my very best, everyone else too – in class and sports."