With their retirements impending, Mr. Love and Ms. Malloy have made a big impact

Posted by Jeremy Tepper on 3/13/2024

When Derek Love and Vicki Malloy’s coworkers talk about the impact the two have made on the district, they tend to get a little misty eyed.

Mr. Love has been a paraprofessional in the district since 2012. Ms. Malloy started in the district as a paraprofessional in 2016, but has held positions at Duquesne City since 2013.

Both will be retiring at the end of March. Without them, the halls and classrooms of the Duquesne City School District won’t feel quite the same.

“It’s going to be different. It’s going to be a big adjustment. They’ve both had such a big impact on the district,” said Keiana Hampton, a paraprofessional in the district. “It’s going to be sad not seeing them every morning, with Mr. Love playing his music and Ms. Vicky just laughing and telling jokes.”

The district is supported by a large, immensely impactful group of paraprofessionals. In their time, Mr. Love and Ms. Malloy have embodied what it means to be a good educator, showing patience, kindness, knowledge and ceaseless dedication to the district’s students and staff.

“Mr. Love and Ms. Malloy have not merely supported students; they have transformed lives,” said Duquesne City superintendent Sue Mariani. “Their journey, characterized by patience, perseverance, and profound compassion, underscores the essence of educational support beyond the conventional classroom setting. Duquesne and its students are on successful tracks in life due to their commitment."

Mr. Love has spent this school year supporting three 3rd grade classrooms, while Ms. Malloy supports Ms. Heasley's special education classroom. Over the years, Mr. Love has become known for his sharp-dressed style, and his distinctive approach in the classroom. Ms. Korenoski, a 3rd grade teacher, called Mr. Love “one of a kind.”

“He always wants them to be prepared. He always wants them to know and do better and just really focus on the fact that what you’re learning here is going to prepare you for what you do when you leave here. No matter what, he always wants them to know that you can do more,” Ms. Korenoski said.

“He relates to the kids very well. Even when he reads to our class, he draws them in with the way he reads and emphasizes. They can’t get enough from him.”

Ms. Korenoski and Ms. Foster — also a 3rd grade teacher — are both quick to note how Mr. Love has embodied being a team player. Whether it’s going above and beyond in the classrooms he supports, or stopping into another classroom, Mr. Love is always looking to help out.

“Even when he’s not with me, he comes to check up on me,” Ms. Foster said. “He is here for the students and for the staff. If he walks by your room and thinks you’re having it rough, he will stop in and see if you need anything or need to take a break.”

Ms. Malloy has embodied similar values to Mr. Love, but represents them in a different style. She has been not just invaluable support for Ms. Heasley, but a leader in her classroom.

“She’s a beautiful person. The kids really love her and take to her well. She’s probably one of the greatest blessings I’ve had in my short teaching career,” Ms. Heasley said. “She runs this room. She keeps everybody in order, and they just love her so much.”

Both Ms. Heasley and Ms. Hampton are quick to note Malloy’s kindness and genuine care for the students. A number of students call Ms. Malloy ‘mimi’ — an endearing name for grandma — due to her nurturing, loving nature.

“She’s just really good at this role. She’s just very caring and loving, but she’s also strong and assertive when she needs to be,” Ms. Heasley said. “She’s just the best.”