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Linda Maloney, retired longtime Father Andrew White, S.J. School principal and former principal of the year, dies

In this photo from 2015, after learning she had been named as The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington’s principal of the year, Linda Mahoney of Father Andrew White, S.J. School holds a poster she received from first graders expressing why they love her. (CS file photo by Jaclyn Lippelmann)

Linda Jean Maloney, a longtime educator and principal at Father Andrew White, S.J. School in Leonardtown, Maryland who in 2015 was named The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington’s principal of the year, died July 1 at her home in Mechanicsville, Maryland. She was 74.

Maloney began her career at Father Andrew White School in 1986 as a third- and later eighth-grade teacher, when the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Kentucky still staffed the school. In 1993, after the last sister retired, Maloney was named principal of the K-8 St. Mary’s County school. She held that post until her retirement in 2017.

“You could almost call her ‘Sister Linda’ because she had to step into a role that had always belonged to religious sisters, but within a couple of weeks, everyone could see how good she was doing,” said Father John Barry, pastor of Resurrection Parish in Burtonsville, Maryland who served at St. Aloysius Parish in the early 1990s and later served as pastor of Our Lady’s Church at Medley’s Neck.

Father Andrew White School is located on the parish grounds of St. Aloysius Church; and Our Lady’s Church at Medley’s Neck is one of the parishes supporting the school. The other parish supporting the school is St. Francis Xavier in Newtowne. During Father Barry’s time in St. Mary’s County, the priest taught religion at the school from 1991-96 and from 2002 to 2007.

Father Barry said that when Maloney took over as principal at Father Andrew White, “she was already well known by the parents and well known by the faculty. It was a good turn of events for the school. She ran a good school. It was superb. I would give that school high honors. It was a great school every year she was there.”

Under Maloney’s leadership, Father Andrew White School won its first National Blue Ribbon School Award in 2012.

“She was one of the best principals in The (Roman Catholic) Archdiocese of Washington in my lifetime. Linda was just great because she was just right there with the parents, right there with the faculty and right there with the archdiocese,” Father Barry said. “She was a very even-keeled woman. She was always very pleasant (and) always who had a slight smile. She always had a pleasant face about everything, and that just made her so beloved.”

Kelly Branaman, the Secretary for Catholic Schools and Superintendent of Schools for The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, said that Maloney “was not only a leader within the school community, but also amongst principals in The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington.”

“She served on committees and leadership roles in the Elementary Principal Schools Association,” Branaman said. “She also volunteered as a mentor principal for new Catholic school principals.”

Father David Beaubien, the current pastor of St. Aloysius Parish, said Maloney was “a woman of great faith and authentic practice of the Catholic faith.”

“Linda was a devout, holy woman – that is the first and foremost thing to know about her,” he said. “And she really was connected to the Catholic identity of our school.” Noting Maloney’s long tenure at the school, Father Beaubien said that “you could say she taught three generations of K through 8th grade here.”

Father Beaubien said that Maloney had “a commanding presence and a big voice. She exercised authority, but always in a loving and patient way. She loved the children, that goes without saying. Whenever she had a bad day – and she rarely had a bad day – she would visit the kindergarten class and everything would be alright.”

“Mrs. Maloney was the epitome of servant leadership. She made an impact on the lives of those she taught and led sharing the faith and her personal witness to living the Gospel,” Branaman said. “Generations of families knew and loved Mrs. Maloney for her kindness and open loving heart.”

In a 2015 interview with the Catholic Standard when she was named principal of the year, Maloney called the school “my second home.” She said called it “a real joy” to work with “wonderful people all these years, wonderful kids, wonderful families.”

“I wanted to teach but I also wanted to be able to teach children about our faith as well,” she said in that 2015 interview with the Catholic Standard. “Usually on every other day I read something from the Bible and give a short little thing to the kids, a thought for the day to take away. It truly has helped me grow but the important thing to me is that I get to share it with the children.

She was born June 28, 1949 in Steubenville, Ohio, to Doris and William Bertwell, both of whom are now deceased. The family relocated to Weirton, West Virginia, where Linda graduated from Madonna High School in 1967. She graduated in 1971 from Fairmont State University in West Virginia. She later moved to Prince George’s County, Maryland and in 1975 moved to St. Mary’s County.

She is survived by two sons, Shane Maloney and Chad Maloney, both of Waldorf, Maryland, and both of whom attended Father Andrew White School and later graduated from St. Mary’s Ryken High School in Leonardtown; three brothers, Bill Bertwell of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, Albert Bertwell of Clarksburg, West Virginia, and Denny Bertwell of Chapin, South Carolina: and two grandchildren, Teagan Maloney and Lochlan Maloney.

Father Beaubien celebrated a funeral Mass for Maloney on July 8 at St. Aloysius Church. Interment was private.

In lieu of flowers, a donation in memory of Peyton Greer, in honor of Linda Maloney, can be made to the Clements Cuties Foundation, P.O. Box 992, Mechanicsville, Maryland 20659.