After devoting eighteen and a half years of her teaching career to the Northside community, Ms. Dianne Malueg (English Department) has announced her retirement. Ms. Malueg taught Humanities, AP English Language and Composition, World Literature, Creative Writing, and was a longtime advisor for The Hoofbeat. Her last school day was Thursday, Jan. 30.
Julia Carlson (Adv. 005) spoke about how Ms. Malueg impacted her. “I was lucky enough to be Ms. Malueg’s student for two and a half years! She always fostered compelling and insightful discussions about the texts we were reading, and not a day would go by in her class without her making us laugh. She’s leaving big shoes to fill and will be missed dearly.”
Greta Keilman (Adv. 005) said, “Ms. Malueg is the funniest teacher and had a way to make every class enjoyable. She made me actually enjoy my English class and a lot of people are going to miss her humor.”
Ms. Malueg began her teaching career as an assistant teacher at an elementary school. She soon made her way to Providence St. Mel, a private school on the west side of Chicago, where she worked as an English and Social Science teacher for a year and a half.
After leaving Providence St. Mel, Ms. Malueg knew she wanted to work at Northside. She devised a clever plan to do so. “I figured out that a way to get my foot in the door was to sub here.” One day, Ms. Malueg arrived at Northside as a Physics substitute and brought in a resume, which she handed to the English department chair. Knowing the summer reading, she struck up a conversation about “All the Pretty Horses,” and the rest is history.
Working at Northside has widened Ms. Malueg’s viewpoint and taught her some valuable lessons. “[At Northside] I’ve been able to experience the multifaceted complexities of students who come from all walks of life around the globe and very different socioeconomic strata than what my personal world is comprised of.” It is clear to her that “while it is important to teach literature and grammar, honoring each person’s individuality is important.”
Aside from wrecking the competition in pickleball tournaments, Ms. Malueg plans to travel. She has a trip to Australia planned and also wants to travel to Europe, St. Petersburg, and Scandinavia.
Between exciting trips, she plans to do some relaxing by making progress on her long reading list. Ms. Malueg wants to finish “The Satanic Verses” by Salman Rushdie, and also plans to read “The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir” by Samantha Power and “The Overstory” by Richard Powers.
Ms. Malueg had a few pieces of valuable advice for Northside students and teachers. She understands that Northside students spend a significant part of their time focused on schoolwork, but reminds them that “Learning is undervalued. Kindness matters.”
Her wisdom and humor will be missed by many, and it is clear that she left a mark on every student she taught. She leaves the Northside community with these parting words: “Go Mustangs. And it’s been a pleasure.”
A Note from the Editors
Kate: On the first day of my junior year, I walked into a room full of seniors– an intimidating start to my journalism career– but Ms. Malueg made me feel comfortable and ensured that everyone in the class had a voice. As the year went on, she allowed us into the mysterious editors’ meetings that took place in the hallway every Monday, and I quickly discovered that these meetings were as entertaining as they were productive. I greatly enjoyed journalism last year; from being gifted with leftover Northwestern swag, to sitting in room 203 just myself and Ms. Malueg during the second-semester final, every moment was memorable. I am very grateful for all of the opportunities that Ms. Malueg opened for me. As the journalism advisor, she taught me a lot about both being a writer and being a leader, and I could not be where I am today without her guidance. Her expertise and humor are already missed in the journalism room and will certainly be missed in the school as a whole. And don’t worry– we always put the punctuation inside of the quotation marks.
Kevin: The beginning of my junior year seemed daunting. I walked into room 203 at 8:00 a.m. on the first day of school and met Ms. Malueg. It was an exciting class, and I was looking forward to the year ahead. Less than three hours later, I walked back into her room for journalism. “Again?” she exclaimed. “We’re either going to be friends or enemies by the end of the year.” Throughout the year there were so many memorable moments, from calculating the number of calories of peanut butter she consumed in a couple of months to breaking down the meaning behind modern rap lyrics. And I had the fortune of working under the guidance of Ms. Malueg as I developed my literary and journalistic skills. But, Ms. Malueg didn’t just teach me how to effectively use a semicolon, the difference between “number” and “amount,” and how to analyze the rhetorical strategies behind a Winston Churchill speech. While she has certainly made me a better thinker and a better writer, her valuable lessons encouraged me to reflect on my own character and identity. She has undoubtedly made me a better person.