Malden High has evolved over the decades in so many ways. From the center of the city being given a face-lift and a half, to the population growing and giving Malden the title of the fourth most diverse city in Massachusetts. Yet the one thing that truly makes Malden unique are its educators, to the point that many educators are Malden High alumni.
Jeanne Marquardo, the epitome of a dedicated individual, has spent 50 years and then some exclusively working within Malden High School. Marquardo has worked under five principles which include Mr. Arthur Boyle, who the Boyle house is named after. She has continuously sold tickets at athletic events since 1970 and won't stop anytime soon. She has overseen the senior classes since 1981 and believes “to this day it still affects me to see the excitement and expressions on their faces,” when they win scholarships. She went on to state “my hope for the future generation of teachers is to not have to worry about the safety of their students and themselves in school.” Marquardo Graduated in 1973.
Pat Laidley, who graduated in 1982, fulfills her passion through the love of her students and education. She recalls one of her most heartfelt moments being with a fellow classmate. When that student came back from the hospital, Laidley said “My heart hurts for him and the circumstances surrounding his hospitalization.” She, being one of the more seasoned veterans within Malden High, looked back on the days when Malden High and Malden itself were both inherently busy. She stated, “There were many activities students could decide to participate in. The campus was open, which was great, as we were allowed to move around the square. If you worked in one of the house offices you were often asked to run errands to pick up food for staff and could get something for yourself at the same time.”
Beth Horwitz, a lifelong Maldonian who grew up in the Maplewood side of Malden, expressed the joys of back when Malden had more of a “community feel amongst neighbors” and people didn't just say “hi” and “bye” but had thoughtful conversations. Horwitz currently teaches computer literacy along with business communication, and when asked what her hope for the future generation of teachers was, she replied, “never stop advocating for your students and yourself.” Horwitz graduated in 1987.
Kristy Magras, an alumni whose smile never fades, is proud of her family legacy within Malden High School, as her paternal grandmother and both her sisters have graduated from MHS. She believes the greatest impact in MHS was when “students started to care about the school community.” When asked, “What is a memory that still tugs at your heart?,” she responded, “the care and compassion that my teachers had for me. High school is a challenging time for any adolescent. The city had budget cuts so younger teachers were laid off. The remaining teachers were seasoned teachers preparing to retire and a bit crotchety. Class sizes felt like 50 kids in a class and it felt easy to not get noticed. I appreciated the teachers who did take time to notice me, the middle of the pack student, and helped push me to be a better student.” Magras graduated in 1995.
Gary Christenson is now the Malden mayor. Christenson reflected on being elected as class president and stated, "I was really quiet and [kept]to myself in my first two years of high school, but something clicked in my junior year that prompted me to run and win!” When asked what hope he has for the future generation of teachers, he replied, "My teachers were outstanding, and I believe they helped shape me into the person that I am today, and my hope is that they continue to positively guide and inspire their students." Christenson graduated in 1986.
There are many Maldonians who reminisce in the old Malden yet rejoice in what it has now become, a safer, inclusive, thoughtful city. At the end of the day, these persistent involved educators are proud to be from this city.