Throughout the years, Hood River Valley High School has seen many changes. There have been changes in staff, events, and even the building’s size, with the relatively recent addition of the science wing. Although many things are different now, something — someone — has remained constant: math teacher Cary Mallon. Mallon has been an instructor at the high school for very many years, and after all of this time, he still continues to represent true kindness on campus and involvement within the HRV community.
In 1990, Mallon began coaching Hood River Valley High School’s alpine ski team. After 10 years of what he described as a “second job,” Mallon concluded his coaching career. Though he no longer had the time required to coach, Mallon didn’t want to discontinue his involvement with high school activities entirely. So, around 2003, Mallon became Senior Class Adviser.
As Senior Class Adviser, Mallon essentially plans graduation; he is in charge of organizing a lot that goes into what is one of the most important events of the school year. This is definitely not an easy task, considering all of the details involved in the planning, which include meeting with high school principal Rich Polkinghorn, fellow teacher Niko Yasui, and other administrators, ordering the senior class flowers, contacting photographers, and running graduation practices. However, he fortunately does not have to do all of this alone, as school librarian Ann Zuehlke, who he shares the role of Senior Class Adviser with, copilots the preparation of the event. He praises her for all she does, saying, “I’m glad that she’s my partner, because she’s excellent at taking care of details.” When asked about what it’s like to work with Mallon, Zuehlke says, “I enjoy working with him, because I think we balance each other out. He works on some things, and I work on other things, and I believe we do a great job.”
In addition to all of this, Mallon also teaches math classes in pre-calculus and algebra, and his hard work does not go unnoticed. Colleague Troy Tactay states that Mallon is “very dedicated to his students, especially in preparing the seniors for graduation.” ASB president Abby Walker, who is also a student in one of Mallon’s pre-calculus classes, agrees, as she commends Mallon on his character, saying, “He really cares about his students, and you can tell.”
Other students, too, who either have or had Mallon as a teacher appreciate how caring he is. Senior Lorena Johnson says, “Mr. Mallon is such a nice guy — both inside and outside of the classroom.” Another senior, Emily Mason, also notes that Mallon is “very helpful” when she finds herself struggling to comprehend a lesson.
As time goes by and classes come and go, Mallon continues to display a caring personality and dedication to his occupation. Being Senior Class Adviser is definitely not the easiest job in the world, but he does it for the students. Through school activities, like being a coach and like organizing graduation, Mallon is able to establish stronger connections with students. Throughout his years of teaching, Mallon has continued to show how much he truly does care about those attending Hood River Valley High School.
By Adrianna Vaca, Talon staff reporter