Malachi Cleary

Malachi Cleary

School: Aynor Middle

Age: 26

Education: Bachelor’s degree in middle level education from Coastal Carolina University with specializations in science and social studies; pursuing a master’s degree in educational leadership at Coastal Carolina University

Years teaching: 4

Why did you become a teacher? I became a teacher because I believe very strongly in the power of knowledge and I wanted to play a part in the education of the students in my community.

What do you enjoy most about teaching? My favorite moments as a teacher include, of course, the academic successes of the students. But I find it even more enjoyable to serve as a positive force in students' life in all aspects. Students deserve somebody who cares about them because as hard as it is to talk about, not every student has that.

What is your most memorable experience as a teacher? One year a student handed me a letter on the last day of school and ran away before I could read it in front of her. The letter described the student's difficult home life and their troubles with mental health. In the end, the student wrote that I was the only adult in her life to ever express concern for her. I think about that letter often, and when I am having a difficult time I refer back to that to remind me why I am doing what I am doing.

What does it mean to you to be chosen as your school's teacher of the year? It is an honor. I am proud to serve as a representative of Aynor Middle School and as an exemplification of a good teacher.

Contact Charles D. Perry at 843-488-7236

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