Teacher of the Week: Katie Malooly of Regional Alternative Schoo - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Teacher of the Week: Katie Malooly of Regional Alternative School at Harlem High School

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MACHESNEY PARK (WREX) -

In just one year of working at Regional Alternative School at Harlem High School, Katie Malooly has stood out to her peers as a role model.

"She exemplifies what a teacher is," R.A.S Site Director Barry Weisberg said.  "What a teacher is is about caring for your students.  Its about showing them that you care and teaching them more than academics."

This why Katie Malooly is WREX's Teacher of the Week. 

"She makes personal connections and not all staff members are willing or able to connect with the students and I've seen Katie do it," R.A.S Special Education Consultant Carolyn Knuth said.

Weisberg said sometimes their students need extra motivation.

"We teach at risk kids so sometimes traditionally what works might not work for them so there's other ways to reach the kids and she definitely uses those techniques," Weisberg said.

Malooly said the hardest part is motivating kids.

"A lot of the kids when they come to school they've already worked a full shift before they've came and they're tired and a lot of them if they haven't done well in school in the past," Malooly said. "So it takes a lot of work to show them they can do it and they're smarter than they think."

Carolyn Knuth, who nominated Malooly, and Weisberg both said Malooly goes above and beyond her duties as a teacher.  They both mentioned how Malooly lead yeachers in preparing a Thanksgiving dinner for students. 

"It was Katie's idea and then Katie went out and secured several large donations," Knuth said.

Malooly said it was important to her to be able to give students this dinner.

"Not every kid is going to have a good Thanksgiving when they went home for the long weekend,"  Malooly said.

Malooly has been teaching for 4 years, but this is her first at R-A-S and already she feels she's getting just as much out of it as her students.

"I think i want to keep working with at risk youth because its been really fulfilling," Malooly said.

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