“Melissa is an amazing teacher assistant,” begins fourth-grade teacher Julie Curtis … and she doesn’t stop there. “She cares for each child and values their individual personalities and needs. Her heart is huge, and so is her commitment here.”
Melissa (Missy) Mallory is part of the team at Big Cross Elementary, and in the dozen years she’s been working at Glens Falls City Schools, she has done a lot of listening.
“I listen to the students, and try to guide them down the right path, whether in their life, or that subject they’re struggling with,” Mrs. Mallory says. “I want them to know that I am listening to them and their concerns. It is important to me that they know I’m listening to them.”
Mrs. Mallory’s day includes working with individual students within mainstream math classes, helping students perform tasks in special area classes, and assisting small groups in ELA, social studies and science. “I can see them achieve their goals, and I know it’s because I spent time listening and working with them,” Mrs. Mallory says. “Nothing beats the smile on a child’s face when they understand something.”
She says her favorite part of the day is reading aloud to the whole class. “She loves to read to the students, and will help them from everything from tying their shoes to calming them down when they are having a bad day,” says Mrs. Curtis.
“As just one example, each year we take our fourth-grade students over to the Middle School for our swim unit,” Mrs. Curtis says. “One particular year we walked from Big Cross over to the Middle School. We had a student who had a diagnosis of autism and was having a difficult time with not only the change in schedule but he didn't want to walk along the street. Melissa pulled him aside and took his hand and told them that she was his walking buddy. The entire walk, to and from, she never let go of his hand. The afternoon ended with the student giving Melissa a huge hug and from then on she was his rock. She touches children's lives every day and she creates warm magical moments for them.”
Principal Debbie Hall says stories like this are typical of Mrs. Mallory’s dedication to students. “She is always willing to step in and help when needed,” Miss Hall says. “Missy goes above and beyond each and every day for the students at Big Cross!”
Mrs. Mallory graduated from Warrensburg High School, and the Warrensburg community is where she has planted roots with her husband and son. “My son Jordan will graduate from Warrensburg High School in 2021,” Mrs. Mallory says. “ He will follow a long family history of Warrensburg graduates, which makes us very proud.” Her favorite ways to spend time outside of work center around her husband and son. “I also enjoy watching my son play football and baseball.”