Westerville teacher in running for Teacher of the Year

Cole Baker, Reporter

   Westerville North teacher Caitlin Maloy is in the running for this year’s Teacher of the Year award. Maloy’s role in North’s recycling club, compost and energy saving efforts have earned her a spot among four other Westerville educators for the award.

  This year some of the procedures for the school’s recycling has changed. Previously North’s recycling club members ran the recycling program at north. Now, Maloy’s AP Environmental students collect the recycling around the school and record the weight of recycled materials collected.

  Broken down between paper, plastic and cardboard, in the last month North recycled 80 lbs. of plastic, 385 lbs. of paper, and 65 lbs. of cardboard, reaching a rough average of 5,000 lbs. of recycling each school year.

  After spring break, Maloy plans on trying to find new ways to increase North’s recycling output.

  “We’re going to try and figure out ways to inform students more on how to recycle properly, not just use the recycling bins as a trash can,” Maloy said.

  Maloy said she made the change to have her AP Environmental students take over the recycling at North because of lack of turnout to the recycling club and because it goes along with the curriculum.

  Maloy and fellow North teachers Jeff Bracken and Kyle Campbell all help assist in composting at North.

  In a joint effort, Bracken would collect food scrap donations from WARM and take it back to North. From there, Maloy and her kids would transfer them into the compost bin. Campbell helps with food donations as well. The compost is then used in the soil in North’s gardens out front, which Bracken helps run.

  “It becomes a big cycle because, after the plants die in the winter, we use those plants in the compost. It’s a big, never ending cycle,” Maloy said.

  “My role in composting at North is much smaller than that of Mrs. Maloy,” Bracken explained.

  “I would normally just drop the food off at the bins and leave the rest up to Mrs. Maloy and Mr. Campbell also helps out,” Bracken said.

  Since North started composting two years ago, about 56,000 lbs. of food has been composted into our bins. Most of this came from WARM food scraps donations and coffee beans from Java Central in Westerville, but does not include the leaves or horse manure provided by Westerville city.

  “Mrs. Maloy has been great to work with, she is a special person for all she does for North,” Bracken said.

  In terms of energy saving at North, Maloy isn’t as involved in it as she is with composting and recycling.

  “How we save energy is more over my head here at North, but we have a quarterly energy saving day here when we shut off everything and all the lights are turned off,” Maloy said.

  “Another way we try to save energy is by keeping the classroom doors open in the winter so that the heat can travel into each classroom, so we don’t have to heat every classroom individually as much,” Maloy explained.

  All of Maloy’s efforts inside and outside of the classroom have earned her a nomination for 2019 Teacher of the Year.

  “I was honored to even be nominated! It’s a huge compliment to be in the running and among other great teachers,” Maloy said.

  In previous years North teachers have also been nominated. Last year Westerville North math teacher Elizabeth Robinson was nominated.

  Voting ends March 27 and winners will be recognized and awarded at their school building before the end of the year.