By Amy Wenk
amywenk@reporternewspapwes.net

Few teachers can boast a record like Coach Lynne Malloy’s.

The Sandy Springs native retired May 28 after 29 years as a health and physical education teacher at North Springs Charter High School of the Arts and Sciences.

“Lynne is an institution here in many respects,” said North Springs interim principal Norm Barchi. “She went to school here. She coached here. She has been here for every principal.”

“She really is a part of this facility just like every block and every brick. She is a true Spartan in every sense of the word.”

Malloy first came to North Springs as an eighth-grader and spent five years — until she graduated in 1974 — as a star athlete. She competed at state competitions in track, was named most valuable player in basketball and excelled at softball and swimming.

After graduating from University of Georgia (UGA) in 1978, Malloy returned to teach at North Springs.

“I knew when I was [a student] here, all I ever wanted to do was to graduate and come back, teach and coach,” said Malloy. “I wanted to do it here at my alma mater.”

“I’m a North Springs fan. I haven’t ever been anywhere else. I’ve never wanted to be anywhere else.”

In her many years at North Springs, Malloy has proven herself as an educator and coach.

“She actually was one of the pioneers to bring girls volleyball to the state of Georgia,” said Todd Willis, North Springs assistant principal.

For 28 years, Malloy coached the girls’ volleyball team, helping them win 10 area championships.

“One of the milestones was when I got my 400th career victory in volleyball,” Malloy said. “Since then, I have been able to achieve 540. It is not the best in the state, but … I am probably fourth.”

In addition, Malloy coached girls’ junior varsity and varsity track from 1984 to 2001, as well as girls’ varsity basketball and gymnastics. In 1980, she led the eighth grade boys’ basketball team to victory at the state championship, one of her most memorable moments.

“She’s an inspiration,” said North Springs junior Michelle Labovitz, who was coached by Malloy as a member of the varsity volleyball team. “She makes me want to be a better player. She promotes teamwork.”

Malloy has also held leadership positions in the school and sports community, including eight years as athletic director for North Springs and 20 years as an area volleyball coordinator. She was honored as Class AAA Athletic Director of the Year for the 1994-1995 school year and has served on the Georgia Athletic Directors Association Board of Directors since 1995, as well as other state and national organizations.

Malloy’s teaching style — which she describes as energetic, passionate and organized — has brought her much acclaim from students and staff.

“In her 29 years of teaching, she has had a huge impact on thousands of lives,” said Varda Cheskis Sauer, a mentorship teacher who has been at North Springs for 16 years. “She is so devoted and so passionate. She makes what she teaches come to life.”

For this, Malloy was awarded North Springs Teacher of the Year three times and nominated several other years. In 1988, she was honored as Fulton County Health Educator of the Year and received the UGA Alumnus Award for Outstanding Teacher-Coach.

“I am very passionate about what I do,” Malloy said. “I don’t just want to disseminate information. I really want [students] to learn to be better human beings. I really think that is what teaching is all about.”

Malloy was recognized for her 29 years of service at a May 28 celebration held at the school, as well as a dedication in the yearbook.

“She is really retiring with 30 years under her belt,” said Sauer. “The reason she is able to leave early is because she has almost never been absent in 29 years. She has an entire year of sick days.”

Although officially retired, Malloy hopes to return to North Springs in the fall as a part-time teacher.

“My love and my passion is my interaction with my students,” she said. “I do not want to be out of the classroom. I love teaching.”

Malloy also hopes to explore her love of antiques and is considering opening a shop.

All in all, Malloy said she has truly cherished her time at North Springs.

“This profession is the essence of who I am,” she said. “I truly believe I was put on this earth to [teach].”

“I have had one heck of a ride. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I wouldn’t change one thing about it.”