Mrs Mooney – Sacred Heart Girl's College: 1997

Christina Stewart: Direct Marketing Coordinator/Alumni Development at Wintec.

Lives in: Hamilton.

A Note for: Lorraine Mooney, Seventh Form History at Sacred Heart Girls College (Hamilton), 1997

Before choosing my seventh form subjects, I’d heard rumours that History was THE class to be in. Turns out the rumours were true. History was an amazing class, and this was entirely due to the fantastic teaching of Lorraine Mooney.

Mrs Mooney was passionate about history – and it showed. She brought history to life, challenging us to think about our stance on events and issues such as Israeli/Palestinian relations and Bloody Sunday. Always, we were challenged to think beyond the headlines, and beyond what we’d always believed to be ‘fact’.

And oh how my hand ached that year from handwriting. Part of Mrs Mooney’s method was to write, write, write. More than any other class, history taught by Mrs Mooney hammered into me the importance of grammar and writing well. By the end of seventh form, I could churn out a well-constructed essay in less than an hour, with references!

I’d also like to credit Mrs Mooney for being able to hold my attention through an entire hour of classroom time. If you asked my other teachers, I was more than a little disruptive. Easily bored, I’d quickly turn a lesson into an opportunity to chat, draw pictures or cause mischief. Somehow, and don’t ask me how she did it, I managed to mostly stay focussed in Mrs Mooney’s class.

The critical thinking and essay writing skills I learned from Mrs Mooney proved an excellent grounding for tertiary study the following year. And when I look back on my school years, I honestly think she was the one teacher that really made a difference.

Thanks Mrs Mooney for being interested, setting high standards and generally being a great teacher!