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Beloved social studies teacher leaving to pursue new career

May 2, 2022

In ten years, most will have forgotten some of the most formative moments from their high school careers, won’t remember the pressure and anxiety felt before tests, how important first boyfriends or girlfriends are at the time, or the annoyance with some fellow peers. Most current core memories will fade, however for those lucky enough to spend part of their Central careers interacting with Molly McVay, they won’t be forgetting her or the way she made students feel anytime soon. In addition to being a Central alum herself, McVay is a current CHS social studies teacher who has chosen to educate the minds of students for five years as well as empowering Central’s Girl Up Club as the club’s sponsor.

When asked why she has chosen to work as an educator of young minds McVay observed, “There is something really special about this moment in your lives, it’s so formative to who you want to be and what you want to be and it’s all just an experimentation of: Do I like this? Do I like that? Do I like this clothing? Is this person going to be my friend? Getting to observe and participate in that and offer a supportive adult role feels very special. As teenagers are trying to figure out who they are, you naturally all start to move away from your parents but we all still need people rooting for us. The parts of my day that are most fruitful are not spent discussing The Constitution, they’re spent watching you all turn into adult humans as you practice relationships and make hard decisions.”

McVay will be entering a new chapter of her life away from Central next semester, as she has been accepted into UNO’s Masters Program where she will be studying to receive a degree in clinical mental health counseling. After graduating from the program McVay plans to apply her degree to clinical counseling to serve youth with differing economic backgrounds. While she will no longer be physically present in the building, her legacy will live on.

Perhaps those who will remember and cherish McVay the most are those who spent the most time with her. Sophomores Ella Jaksha, Izzy Walocha and Junior Maria Hernandez all ate lunch with McVay most days this school year, attended weekly Girl Up meetings with her and also had the experience of being a student in her AP Human Geography class. The students all offered insight into what makes her so special to the Central community.

“Ms. McVay has been like a mom to me this year, seeing her everyday has made a lot of hard days easier, knowing she won’t be there next year is difficult, but I’m happy that she’ll be doing something that will make her happier, I’ll miss disassembling the patriarchy with her and the rest of fifth hour,” Jaksha said.

“I think what I’m going to miss most of all is Ms. McVay’s listening abilities, no matter how she was feeling, I could walk in her room with a huge smile or close to tears, and she was always ready to hear about my day, it’s not very often you find a teacher who you can truly confide in, I’m going to miss having an adult at school who cared more about my wellbeing than anything else,” Walocha noted.

Hernandez went on to add “I will miss having McVay’s passionate and caring spirit at Central, everything she did as a teacher showed me she truly cared about her students and wanted the best for each of them.”

What current students appreciate from McVay as a teacher will certainly benefit her as she enters a new career field. Listening abilities, empathy, kindness, and advocacy are certainly all skills necessary to be an adequate mental health professional, and all who know McVay know her abilities in such categories are abundant.

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