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Susie Malone treasures Teacher of the Year award as she retires

By Bernie Moussad for the FCT


Susie Malone has worked for the Russellville school system for 34 years. It might be no wonder, then, that she received the RHS Teacher of the Year Award.

Malone was born and raised in Russellville and graduated in 1967. After graduation, she attended the University of North Alabama and was a part of multiple organizations during her time there, including secretary/treasurer of the Student Government Association and head majorette of the Pride of Dixie Band for four years.

After graduating from UNA with her Bachelor of Science and master’s degree, Malone taught business classes at Russellville. “I also served as yearbook/school newspaper advisor; FBLA co-sponsor; varsity and JV cheerleaders coach; directed the Miss RHS Pageant; coordinated the Homecoming Court activities; and served on numerous committees,” Malone said. As most people can tell, Malone stayed busy during her time at RHS.

She said she feels blessed to have been able to teach at her alma mater. “The faculty and administrators at RHS will always be dear to me. I have worked with some outstanding students and have memories that will last a lifetime.”

To Malone, the reward a teacher receives is not watching students learn from you in that very moment but using what they learned in their adult life. “The rewards are watching your students become successful adults and having them come back to thank you for the positive impact you had on their life,” Malone said.

When she received the Teacher of the Year award, Malone said she was humbled. “Over the years, I have received numerous awards, but receiving the RHS Teacher of the Year is my most cherished.” She said she would like to thank the RHS faculty and administrators for their support.

After her many years of work, Malone has finally decided to retire, which will take effect Oct. 1. Malone has loved working for RHS and “will continue to support my alma mater and pray that it will continue ‘A Tradition of Excellence.’”

For Malone, this popular phrase will always hold true: “It’s truly great to be a Golden Tiger.”

Dr. Tim Guinn, former principal of RHS and current administrative assistant at RCS Central Office, said, “Ms. Malone is an icon of Russellville City Schools, who has dedicated her life to teaching children more than just what can be gleaned from a textbook.  She taught them the necessities of such life skills as personal responsibility and accountability, not to mention the invaluable business technology skills she taught in the classroom.”

Guinn said Malone had high expectations for all of her students, whether it was in the classroom, in FBLA or on one of the cheer squads she helped coach.

“She put together an outstanding annual each year and was always involved in student life. She virtually organized all the homecoming events for the week, as well as all club, sports, and school pictures for years, making sure there was a complete record of student life available for posterity for many years to come.

Malone, Guinn added, “is the epitome of a professional educator. She will be missed by administration, students and colleagues alike.”