Mary Muldoon (1885-1958), educator – Waverly Junior and Senior High School
Information courtesy of National Park Service
The Waverly School is known for its association with Mary Muldoon, a pioneering educator and administrator who served as the school’s principal for 22 years. The school, typical of educational designs of the period with its use of Tudor Revival style, served as the productive center for much of Muldoon’s work as she provided leadership for the community, teachers, and students. Muldoon encouraged the school system to take an active role in the community and her energy made the school one of Waverly’s foremost civic institutions. She was instrumental in the campaign for teacher’s benefits, establishing a state Teachers Retirement Fund, as well as the Mary Muldoon Teacher Assistance Fund, designed to supplement the pensions of retired teachers who are in need. Muldoon defined the progressive spirit of her era, introducing industrial and domestic sciences into the school’s curriculum while shifting away from classical programs oriented toward the needs of only a small number of students. Her emphasis on industrial education was designed to meet the employment needs of many, and was coupled with an emphasis on the value of individual citizenship. Muldoon also authored respected works on instructional methods and the incorporation of values in the classroom. Mary Muldoon’s lasting legacy reflects her importance to both her community and profession and is a tribute to her positive impact on a generation of Waverly’s children.
The Waverly Junior and Senior High School is located at 443 Pennsylvania Ave. in Waverly, NY. The property is a private residence and not open to the public.