Mrs. Mallory: The Innovation Zone

Posted by

Lyla Laffin, Writer

Mrs. Mallory in her “Innovation Zone”, room 201

Alexis Mallory, an engineering and technology teacher at New Paltz High School, has been teaching at the high school for 17 years.  Due to the specialized classes she teaches, many don’t know her, but one would most likely find her working on something inventive with her engineering class in her ice-cold room of 201. With her height and distinctive voice, she may seem intimidating, but when class starts, her true character comes out. 

When asked when she felt that she could most be herself in school she responded, “All the time.” Mallory continued, “Any time I burst out in song that’s it, those are the times that life is good and I don’t feel the need to go over heat loss or whatever it is one more time.”

When asking around New Paltz High School, multiple students said that they thought she was a relatively patient person and her response to hearing that was a laugh with a shocked look on her face.

 “Sometimes I think I’m not patient enough,” she said, laughing. “Everybody has the ability to learn,” 

So when her students don’t put the effort in or she knows they can try harder, this is likely the only time you will see her get impatient. She firmly believes that if you work hard enough you can do anything.

Don’t let anyone ever tell you you can’t do something.


Prior to teaching, Mallory worked at IBM (International Business Machines) for 12 years. There she did analytical work on the manufacturing process. 

“I would do all their data analysis that they would then present the next morning,” she said. 

While working at IBM, the company sent her to school to learn statistics. She taught what she was learning to the other shifts so that they could understand the charts. This is where her teaching career really took off. Towards the end of her career at IBM, they were starting to lay off lots of people and with no promotions. After a 12-year career, Mallory asked to be laid off from her position. From there she had to make a decision on what her career would be.

She said, “I taught swimming lessons when I was younger and statistical teaching so I decided to go with that.” 

She then got her teaching degree at SUNY New Paltz.  After working at Wallkill part-time she finally found her path. 

“I’m looking at the technology teachers and I’m like, I can do that. I’ve done all that stuff before,” Mallory recalled. 

Mrs. Mallory poses with her students before her 3D printer

With her original major in art with a technology minor, a new teaching certification, and experience using the machines at IBM, she knew the position at New Paltz would be a perfect fit for her. 

“New Paltz picked me,” she said when asked why she chose to come to New Paltz. Her impressive resume made the job application process much easier for her. Living locally as well also made her more inclined to accept the job offer with three kids at home. 

Mallory’s children have now grown up, but she still finds a way to praise them whenever she can. 

“My kids are pretty terrific. They’ve grown up to be pretty amazing children.” Mallory said lovingly.

With two girls and one boy, Mallory’s oldest daughter, Adrianna, works in motion graphics. Her middle daughter, Marrisa, is a nurse. Then her youngest son, Matthew, is a data analyst who studies brain waves.  With all three of her kids playing sports in college, she described her life as “busy.” 

“There were times when they were all doing something and my husband would go one way and I would go the other and someone would get left behind so we had to alternate,” she said. 

As an engineering teacher, Mallory has very few female students in her classes. All of the classes that she teaches have between one and three girls. She is very passionate about how someone’s gender should not interfere with whether or not they can do something, and as long as they are physically capable of doing the job that is all that matters. 

“Girls end up being the best students and somewhere along the line they’ve been told it’s [engineering] not for girls and that needs to change,” Mallory said, “Anybody can do anything they want as long as they are willing to work hard enough at it.”