By ANYSSA BOHANAN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
Friends and colleagues described Valerie Mallory as a wonderful human being and an amazing educator, having spent 13 years with kids at several schools in Redmond and Warm Springs.
“Val was somebody who absolutely believed that every child could learn and that every student could succeed,” said Lynn Evans, Human Resources Director for the Jefferson County School District.
Evans met Valerie Mallory more than a decade ago when the two worked in the Redmond school district.
Bambi Van Dyke was Mallory’s principal at Warm Springs K-8 Academy this year.
Both describe her as an amazing educator.
“She cared about the kids, she cared about the staff,” Van Dyke said.
“She could build relationships with students that not everyone could,” Evans said. “So she was a very special person to have on a school team.”
They also describe her as a fantastic person.
“I always thought Val was a ton of fun,” said Evans. “She had a positive energy.”
Mallory, 44, died Sunday after a Mother’s Day trip to Scout Lake.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department received a call about a possible drowning that afternoon after Mallory fell off of her paddleboard.
Though her husband swam out to help her, he got tired and also had to call for help.
When Mallory was pulled out of the water, she was unconscious.
Several people helped perform CPR. They were too late.
“I think we’re still in shock,” said Evans. “I’m kind of dreading going home tonight and being by myself and having time to process.”
Though she is gone, the memory of her upbeat personality and willingness to help others, will live on.
“She was someone that had a lot of life in her and she cared about people,” Van Dyke said.
“That definitely will be her legacy, is being the person who never gave up on a kid,” Evans said.
She leaves behind a child and her husband.