If you’ve ever walked through the Commons during lunch, you’ve probably noticed Ms. Moody: a small, brown-eyed woman with a gentle disposition and a peaceful yet authoritative presence.
At first, her reserved demeanor might lead you to perceive her as quiet and taciturn—but once a topic catches her interest, Ms. Moody’s unusual passion for conversation is one capable of engaging even the most jaded and antisocial of individuals. According to Ms. Moody, this love for interacting with those around her is one of the primary reasons why she looks forward to coming to North High every day. First hired in 1971, Ms. Moody celebrates her 50th year in the Great Neck Public School District this school year.
Ms. Moody’s fifty-year-long-and-counting career began, quite simply, with an ad in a newspaper, which advertised an available position for school monitor at North High. “I like working with young people and thought it would be a great job to have, working in a school,” she said matter-of-factly.” So I applied and they hired me.” Ms. Moody’s duties as a mother also pushed her to apply for jobs with more flexible time frames. “The hours I was offered [by the district] allowed me to spend more time with my daughter, who I was raising at the time,” she explained.
In her time at North High—during which she has worked under the supervision of seven total different principals—Ms. Moody has helped organize special events, proctor SAT exams and prepare for graduation. Apart from her contributions outside of the school day, Ms. Moody’s typical workday routine includes monitoring both the commons and the hallways throughout the school.
For Ms. Moody, it’s not just daily duties that make her job purposeful; it’s the students. “I like to help people,” she explained. Whether it be providing directions or useful advice, Ms. Moody dedicates a significant chunk of her time on the job to helping and supporting students throughout their high school journeys. “I also like to support some of the fundraising events that students do to help the less fortunate,” she added. “Since I’ve been here, many students will sell things to raise money for good causes.”
Ms. Moody’s dedication to helping those within her community is a prevalent part of her personal life as well. “Over the years I really enjoyed volunteering to feed the homeless and raising money for cancer societies because I like helping people,” she said.
But as any educator knows, the most gratifying part of interacting with students happens years after they graduate: watching how students’ high school experiences have helped shape their futures, and oftentimes, propelled them into successful career paths that have influenced their lives and the lives of those around them. A firm believer in this idea, Ms. Moody touched upon the strong sense of fulfillment that she feels as a product of her role within our community.
“I watched thousands of students graduate and become adults who never forgot the times when I helped them or reminded them of the importance of education.”
For almost 50 years, Ms. Moody has observed and assisted students to grow, learn, and become better versions of themselves in the process. Her contributions to the district have shaped both North High as well as the Great Neck community in its entirety, helping to foster a more unified and collaborative environment in which every member plays an indispensable role.