Pre-K teacher Susan Ann Molloy may be the most over-qualified pre-school teacher in America.
Like the principal who hired her last fall, each has multiple degrees. Susan has a Bachelor of Science in Speech Therapy with a minor in Education from Western Michigan and a Master’s in Speech Therapy from Eastern Michigan University.
And now, she says, she’s found her perfect job: surrounded by three and four-year-old for eight hours a day.
The Michigan native only arrived in Texas a year and a half ago. Her husband was transferred from their home in Virginia, where they’d been happily living for eight years, to the Dallas area. Susan wasn’t thrilled about the move at the time, but landed a job as a Speech therapist and got busy working and making a home in Waxahachie.
She worked in an Arlington school for a year, but said the public-school paperwork made her depressed. She felt like she spent more time filling out forms and explaining her diagnoses than helping the children she worked with. “I might see a student for two hours a week,” she explains, “And then spend twice that on paperwork that documented what we worked on. It was frustrating and disheartening.”
She began looking around at other schools and found an opening in a small Catholic one—St. Elizabeth of Hungary—in Oak Cliff. When she came for a tour she met the principal, Rachel Dzurilla—a graduate of the school, the mother of four children and a former Dallas Police officer--and instantly liked her. “I was ready to come here to work from that moment on.” The two have become each-other’s biggest fans.
Now Susan gets to work with her students every day for seven to eight hours. And even better, these are children learning language and new words each day. Susan is right there to help them with their speech, so can catch problems before they become an issue in their lives.
“I love teaching language and vocabulary. I have the best teacher’s Aid in Miss Virginia, and adore this small school setting,” Susan says.
Her students clearly adore her. But their parents should be even more grateful. Rarely does a pre-K teacher have the pedigree that Ms. Molloy has. She can spot a language or speech delay due to her expertise in that area, and can correct it with one-on-one attention so the student can go on to excel in school—and life.
Many children aren’t diagnosed with a speech issue until Kindergarten or first grade, and in most cases, won’t receive the help they need to correct their issue for another six months to a year. Two hours a week with a speech therapist is the typical path for a public-school child, barely enough to change or correct a child’s poor speech. But eight hours a day with a trained, professional therapist can make a huge difference in that child’s life.
Susan’s love for children began long before her move to St. Elizabeth’s. She met her future husband, Mark, when they were in the 7th grade, and later became high school sweethearts. They married after they both graduated from college. The couple tried for five years to have children and finally decided they should try adoption.
They prayerfully filled out the paperwork and went through the long process and were rewarded with an infant, Mitch, now 25. As he came into their lives they learned they were doubly blessed: Susan was pregnant with Michael, now 24. Matthew came three years later. Susan explains, “It’s the classic story you hear about, a couple trying for years, finally gets an adopted child only to learn they are, at last, pregnant.” All three boys are proud of their parents and successful in their lives. Mitch and Michael work for HEB and Matthew is posed to graduate this spring from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Business and Marketing degree.
This gives her one more thing in common with her principal: both women have three sons in their 20’s.
Susan says simply, “I love this job so much, I can’t imagine working anywhere else. I plan to retire from here.”
In the meantime, she hopes the word will get out that St. Elizabeth’s is a terrific place for young families to begin their children’s education. “This is the most amazing school with a truly terrific, dedicated staff,” Susan says. “We care about every student in the school, and can quickly help any child with speech delays to catch up and excel.”
Spoken like the sensational speech teacher that she is.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
St. Elizabeth of Hungary School is located at 4019 South Hampton Road, Dallas, TX 75224 next door to the Walgreens on the corner of Loop 12 Ledbetter and Hampton. The school offers grades pre-k 3 through 8th grade. For more information see the school’s website: http://saintspride.com/
Real Estate Agents are invited to a brunch and tour Wednesday, February 22nd 8:30 to 9:30.
The public is invited to come tour the school and meet the exceptional faculty and staff. For more information contact Sandy Walkley firstname.lastname@example.org
(214) 331-5139 x21
Or Carolyn Campos, Business Manager, email@example.com
(214) 331-5139 x23
Judy Porter writes about local heroes and businesses. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org