“She always makes us feel wanted and motivated.” That’s high praise for Christy Maloney, but it demonstrates why she is the Bishop Dwenger High School recipient of the Christ the Teacher award in 2021.
The Christ the Teacher award is granted on an annual basis to teachers from participating schools in the Fort Wayne-South Bend Catholic Diocese. Teachers are nominated by students, parents and fellow faculty members; final nominations are sent to the Catholic Schools Office of Fort Wayne.
“I was obviously surprised, but honored,” said Maloney, who is in her seventh year at Bishop Dwenger High School.
To be nominated, a teacher must demonstrate excellence in the following areas: Christian values, student motivation, participation in extra-curricular activities, knowledge of content, and rapport-relations with students. It sounds like a lot of boxes to check, but when you look at Christy Maloney’s dossier, she seems to fit the bill perfectly.
According to information from Bishop Dwenger High School, Maloney is the chair of the Bishop Dwenger Arts Department, teaches advanced placement music theory, leads all choral classes, co-directs and oversees musicals and plays, and coordinates the liturgical choir. She also directs show choir.
Comments gleaned from nominations for Maloney noted the following:
“She strives to instill a sense of responsibility, professionalism, and pride in her students.”
“Never a dull moment when she is around.”
“She reminds us to pray. She takes the show choir to Mass every Friday during the season.”
“Mrs. Maloney is an exemplary Christian model.”
“She earns our respect because she is incredibly hard-working and desires the best for her students and performers.”
“You can tell she loves being around her students.”
“We need more teachers like Mrs. Maloney.”
During a regular academic school year, before the COVID-19 pandemic, there would be a Christ the Teacher honoree luncheon, sponsored by the Quality Dining group. However, plans have not been specified for this year’s special event.
The pandemic similarly has disrupted school events, such as show choir. Bishop Dwenger has been involved in competitions, Maloney said, “but they are so much different this year.”
“Schools are performing one at a time and both the choirs and spectators leave before the next choir begins,” Maloney explained. “We are practicing and performing masked, distanced, and on a tighter budget than most years, as we were unable to host any of our fundraising events, or the events were at least under heavy restrictions that lessened our income.”
“The kids are just so excited to be performing on a stage for a live audience at all,” Maloney said. “This year has made us count our blessings.”