By KARINA MATOS
Out of all the teachers at Malden High School, one of the most well known is Paula Valente. Since she manages study hall, every student at MHS has, at the very least, met her once. Valente loves the students at MHS, and said that they are her favorite part about working here. Overall, “MHS [is a] great community and [she] loves to see that sense of community extend beyond senior year. [She] loves when former students stay in touch to let [her] know about their accomplishments after high school.”
Her impression of the students never waiver; they are “ambitious and passionate whether [it is] in academics, athletics, volunteering or the arts.” Because of this, she knows that “she works in a special place.”
Because she has lived in Malden for 24 years, and her kids have grown up and attended Malden public schools, Valente has been in the community for a long time. However, before coming to work at MHS, she attended the University of Maine at Orono, and received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Consumer Economics.
She then worked for Alcan Aluminum, a Research and Development company in Cambridge. Prior to that she was a Field Sales Assistant for Texas Instruments in Waltham. After her children were born, she taught for seven years at Rockland Nursery School in Malden.
Later, she went onto para positions in Kindergarten at the Linden, MHS PACE program, and Salemwood Middle School. She said that she then, “found herself back at MHS in 2009 tutoring.” She has been working at MHS since 2009 and moved from PASS tutoring to study hall.
Outside of school, Valente said that she “loves to travel with her family,” and she hopes that a “cross-country road trip” is somewhere in her future. She also loves going to “broadway plays and musicals, [as well as] Bruins and Red Sox games.” She looks forward to spending time with her daughters when they are home from college.
Valente would describe herself as “loyal because [she] is loyal to her family, friends, and students, and is always there for everyone if they need a hand and [does] not hesitate to offer guidance, advice, or just be someone to listen.”
“Passionate” is another word to describe herself because “[she] is passionate about what she does. Being the  class advisor, [she] puts 110 percent into everything in order to give the class a memorable four years of high school,” which also makes her dependable another word to describe herself.However, while those qualities make her someone to look up to, someone she looks up to, would be, “[her] parents and [her] in-laws.” She said that, “[her] parents grew up during the Great Depression and [her] mom had to raise her two younger sisters when their mother passed away.”
Valente said that her mom then “got her teaching degree and taught elementary school for forty years, after starting her career in a one room school house making eighteen dollars a week.” Her father also worked in the school system as a custodian. Her parents were “hard-working, family oriented, and managed to work full-time, operate and run a farm in Hampden, Maine while raising four kids and giving [them] great childhood memories.”
Valente’s in-laws are also some of the hardest working people she has ever known. “After growing up during the turmoil of World War II, they migrated to the U.S. from Italy and have really lived out the ‘American Dream’ of being self-sustaining individuals and raising a family to do the same.”While the students at MHS grow and eventually leave, some advice Valente believes is important to take with us is “to be kind to one another,” and to, “do the right thing.” She believes that “[helping] people out of the goodness of your heart and [making] a positive difference wherever life takes you” are important things to remember throughout life, no matter where you go.