47 Years of Service: Mallory Continues Printing Legacy


Brady Blaylock

Retired teacher Tommy Mallory works in the print shop. He has worked for the district for 47 years.

Colleen Starkey

Colleen Starkey, Editor-in-Chief

He opens the door and begins to remember the past days when the bustling of students filled his daily life. Now, there are no more students for him to teach, but his work remains. He decides to get up from his desk and prepare the equipment for today’s work. In the print shop, Tommy Mallory spends his days printing posters, fliers, programs and the like to fulfill the needs across the district.

Mallory retired from teaching students seven years ago, mainly due to the swift change in the required technology. However, he still continues to do his life’s work by running the print shop in the vocational shop behind the main building.

“The printing that I do now is for each campus and for all the departments,” Mallory said. “I’m printing the paperwork, and the forms they use on a daily basis. It keeps me busy.”

Mallory graduated from Lindale High School in the sixties. His senior year he worked on the newspaper staff and began learning to use much of the same equipment he uses today.

“I was working for the Lindale News at the time,” Mallory said. “When I graduated and got out of school, I just kept working for the newspaper because I didn’t have any plans.”

After several years of working for various newspaper and publishing companies and establishments, he was asked to teach the print class. He began teaching in the 1972-1973 school year.

“[This] wasn’t something that I planned,” Mallory said. “It just worked out that way. It was a lifestyle change when I started teaching from what I was doing. You have to live on a different plane as a teacher, and so that was good. I needed that very much.”

Mallory drove a bus for 37 years, taught the print class for 40 and has continued to serve the district in the print shop for an additional seven. The print class was done away with mainly because of technological advancements from more manual machines to the more common digital machines of today.

“The offset presses are very old equipment, and you just can’t find anyone else to work on them with the digital generation of presses,” Mallory said. “That’s the new thing coming in, and that’s the only thing people are learning nowadays. No one wants to learn the offset presses because they’re harder to operate in the first place. It’s so much easier to do the digital stuff and program it all from your computer and send it to [the machine] without getting up out of your chair.”

Mallory currently does any printing the district requires, regardless of campus or department. As of late, he has been working on printing the brochures for the athletics camps that will be held for younger students in the district this summer.

“I enjoy the printing now more than ever before because I can be so creative with it,” Mallory said. “I like doing things for the teachers and the departments and for the students. I get a lot of thank yous. I’m not in it for that type of reward necessarily but it always helps. It’s really a blessing, a reward to do all that I’m doing.”

For the future, Mallory believes that the print shop will be reintroduced one day as a fully digital class, once the advancing technology begins to slow. As for himself, Mallory plans to remain in Lindale and continue working for as long as he can.

“I love Lindale,” Mallory said. “I’ve lived in Tyler, I’ve lived in Mineola, but Lindale is home. I had opportunities to move with other superintendents that came through that wanted me to go with them. I had opportunities to move up and live in other places, but Lindale is home. I thought about it and considered everything and stayed here, and I’m glad I did.”