By Jane Primerano
Scott Malagold thought he wanted to teach college.
Then, he thought he might want to be a lawyer.
But, he enjoyed a temporary job teaching at a public high school in The Bronx and by his second year of law school knew the law wasn’t for him.
So, by a somewhat circuitous route, Malagold is this year’s Morris County Teacher of the Year.
A teacher of social studies and law and public safety at the school, Malagold first taught at Morris County School of Technology as a maternity leave replacement. He then did a maternity leave replacement at Millburn Middle School before getting a full time position at Randolph High School, teaching history and civil law.
“When I got an offer to return to MCST, it was a very difficult decision as I felt like I was thriving at Randolph and didn’t want to keep moving around. However, I knew firsthand how great a school MCST is and decided to take the offer,” Malagold said in an email. He has been there for three years.
This year Malagold assisted with the transition of the Academy for Law and Public Safety from Butler High School back to the main Denville campus. He teaches a freshman course strictly for students in that academy as well as a civil and criminal law course that is an elective as is his contemporary issues in sociology course. In addition, Malagold got a grant from InnovateNJ to develop a course in critical thinking skills. Called philosophy and logic, it will premier next year.
Malagold is one of five teachers from MCST who works as an NJ Achievement Coach. They train other teachers in their own and other schools and also develop content for the training.
A graduate of George Washington University in Washington, DC, Malagold majored in religion and minored in anthropology. He considered going to graduate school, but decided on law school and went to New York University. He was admitted to the New Jersey Bar, but never practiced. He had obtained a certificate of eligibility for teaching, but couldn’t get a job with just those credentials so he worked as a legal researcher. When he lost that job, he received a grant from New Jersey unemployment to go to William Paterson University for 30 credits of graduate work leading to a certificate of eligibility with advanced standing.
Malagold hasn’t stopped learning. He received grants from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and attended seminars at Stanford University during the summers of 2013 and 2015. He also attended seminars in London and New York during the summers of 2012 and 2015 in London and New York. He also tested a new curriculum called “Rock Your World” during the 2013 and 2014 school year.
He worked with the NJ Education Consortium in Newark in 2009 as community outreach coordinator. In that capacity, he collaborated with Rutgers University students to canvass local businesses and coordinated the Charter School Athletic League’s Spring 2009 soccer season. Another outreach was with the Merck Summer Institute for Bioethics as mock trial coordinator in July 2009 and July 2010.
A Randolph native, Malagold now lives in Hopatcong.