Molly's Garden: Honoring the Legacy of EC teacher Molly Roddey
So many of you who knew Molly Roddey during her many years at Heathwood expressed interest in honoring her legacy on campus. Now, you can be part of establishing a new garden space for outdoor reflection and learning in memory of Molly and recognizing her love of all things Heathwood, especially the natural beauty and teaching opportunities she found outside the traditional classroom walls.
A committee of faculty, staff, parents, and friends have thoughtfully planned this memorial garden that will fill the bed to the right of the walkway from the Averyt Early Childhood Center to the playground, plus enhance the surrounding area.
The current plan includes new crepe myrtle trees, evergreen shrubs, azaleas, camellias, and various other plants to ensure lots of green year-round and bright color blooming in every season. The garden will feature a child-friendly bench that will face the raised bed garden across the walkway. Molly could often be found at the raised bed garden, which she used as a tool for teaching and engaging our youngest learners, or after school volunteering her time and expertise. During spring, the garden will abundantly bloom with bright flowers to symbolize her vibrant personality as we remember the anniversary of her death, February 26, and her birthday, April 2.
Molly’s presence on campus is and will continue to be greatly missed. We look forward to dedicating this garden to honor and recognize her impact on so many students, families, and colleagues during her time here.
Gifts can be made to support Molly’s Garden by visiting https://www.heathwood.org/heathwood-hall-donation-form and using the form to note, In Memory of Molly Roddey, or by mailing a check to Heathwood Hall, 3000 S. Beltline Boulevard, Columbia, SC, 29201, with a note on the for line or enclosed with the gift. Please contact Erin Pope (email@example.com or 803.231.7717) if you need assistance.
Molly joined the Heathwood community in 2004 as a Lead Teacher in the EC4s. Several generations of Heathwood students, including many currently in attendance in every grade from K-12, were taught by Molly as EC4 Smart Sharks. At the beginning of this year, she stepped into an Associate Teacher role with the EC2 Lively Ladybugs. She also taught students in many Heathwood summer camps and in the after-school program, and was one of the original architects of Heathwood’s SEED environmental education initiative. She had a passion for outdoor education, strongly believing that young children benefit from experiencing the natural world in authentic and hands-on ways.
A Columbia native, Molly graduated from Dreher High School and the University of South Carolina, where she earned a BA in Education. Before coming to Heathwood, she taught in local public schools and at Shandon Methodist Preschool. Once here, she quickly became an integral member of the Heathwood community, getting involved in everything from Biology Buddies to the annual Christmas Tree sale, and the Highlander Club Wild Game Dinner. The connections she built with students and their families were strong and lasting – she often kept up with former students for years after they’d been in her classroom. And she frequently showed her Heathwood spirit by wearing a Heathwood football jersey to school.