Troy Malone, Knoxville High School Class of 2001, was recently named the new Elementary School Principal in Bridgeport, Neb. He was inspired to enter the field by several Knoxville educators who touched his life.
Malone, son of Mike and Janet of Knoxville, parlayed his basketball talent to a full-ride scholarship to Wayne State College. There, he met his wife, Kimberly, who received a similar scholarship. They met in a study group and just “clicked.” When their respective teams would travel to games, the couple would sit together on the bus.
Malone was asked which one of them was truly a better basketball player.
“Absolutely me,” Malone said with a laugh. He said Kimberly would claim that she once beat him in a game of HORSE, which he will deny. The couple has two children, Quentin, age 4, and Lola, nine months.
Physical activity remains important to Malone, but family is very important. They often come together to watch movies, when he’s not trying to improve education or working out.
Kimberly is originally from Gillette, Wy., which is near Bridgeport. The family returns to Knoxville when they can, though trips may become less frequent, as the new job takes them further away. As for whether or not the job was the right move for Malone, he has no doubts.
“I just think that it’s the perfect opportunity for students to find their passion,” Malone said. He already holds a Master’s in Administration - this will be his first job as an administrator — Malone is working on a second for reading specialists.
Malone’s educational path to this career began his sophomore year in college. He was trying to find ways he could help people and change lives.
“I thought about it because I had some good teachers in Knoxville,” Malone said. His undergraduate degree is in K-12 Health and Physical Education. He was inspired to begin his educational career on that path by Randy WIlson.
“Kids looked up to him so much,” Malone said of Wilson. He remembers Wilson as a fun-loving man who has had a “huge” impact on many Knoxville children. Malone also credits Greg Stults for inspiring his career.
“He gave me confidence,” Malone said of Stults. Other major influences from Knoxville is “the whole Cunningham family,” Malone added.
His first job as an educator was in a school with a great deal of diversity. He was given the opportunity to become a role model.
Malone wanted to inspire those students who were reluctant to become involved in physical activity. He relished the opportunity he had, and the time he spent inspiring kids to be more active and better people overall.
Malone spent three years as an assistant basketball coach at Millard West. In his earlier experience, he saw how administrators can sometimes lose touch with students.
Malone’s plan, as an administrator, is to be in every classroom, every single day. He wants to continue to interact with children and spend their recess and lunch times with them when he can. Malone wants to establish the kind of relationship with his students in which he can sit down with them and discuss whatever is on the kids’ minds.
“Kids are first and foremost,” Malone said. “That’s why we’re there.”
Malone begins his duties as the Bridgeport Principal in the fall of 2013.