When École Mother Teresa Catholic School Principal Rob Maloughney’s last day was announced last Thursday following the school’s Remembrance Day assembly, a chorus of no’s filled the gymnasium.
“I will truly miss coming to Mother Teresa, although I don’t think I’ll miss the drive,” said Maloughney, who lives in Red Deer.
A student from each class came forward and presented him with a gift. Some students hugged him.
Maloughney had been at the school for four full years, and was partly through his fifth when he accepted a position as principal of St. Teresa of Avila School in Red Deer.
The offer resulted from the resignation of a superintendent from Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools.
“As they fill the position it’s the domino effect,” said Maloughney, who has known about the change for three weeks.
Maloughney is happy to be going to St. Teresa, where he has worked before, but said he will miss Mother Teresa.
“It’s such a vibrant school,” said Maloughney. He added that the school’s French and English programs, in addition to its combination of elementary and junior high education, contributed to its atmosphere.
He will especially miss the school’s staff and students. He describes the staff as “phenomenal”, citing their willingness to take on extra work to make up for the school’s small size.
“They just teach more core curriculum, because they need to, and yet they’ve never complained,” said Maloughney, adding that less busy staff often help their overburdened co-workers. “I’ve never seen a staff that has been so willing to step in and support their staff mates.”
After the news was announced, many students presented their own goodbye gifts to Maloughney.
“When you have students come up and parents come up, that’s what makes it tough,” he said.
Maloughney started his new job Tuesday.
Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic School Principal Dorice Swensrude will take over as principal of Mother Teresa.
“There’s so much to do that I haven’t really had time to sit down and think about it,” said Maloughney. “It just feels like there’s things that need to be done and I want to be here to do them.”
Teacher Lisa Alford has known Maloughney since he started at Mother Teresa.
“It’s been a blessing to have him here,” said Alford, citing his care for staff, passion for education, and the value he places on each student.
Alford also said Maloughney takes time to talk and high five students in the hall, and shows faith in the staff by allowing them to create their own curriculum.
“He’s had a tremendous influence on the school in terms of parent contact,” said Alford, adding that Maloughney makes the parents a part of their child’s education.
Grade 6 students Keara Keaton and Lauren Nielson said they are sad to see Maloughney leaving, and mentioned his jokes and sense of humour.
“We’ll miss him,” said Nielson.