Diane Mandy, 56, taught math in area schools

September 24, 2004|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Diane Mandy, head of the middle school mathematics program at Krieger Schechter Day School in Pikesville and formerly a teacher in the Baltimore County public school system, died of cancer Saturday at Stella Maris Hospice in Timonium. The Pikesville resident was 56.

Born Diane Sandler in Baltimore and raised on Green Meadow Parkway, she was a 1966 graduate of Western High School and earned her undergraduate degree in education from the University of Maryland, College Park.

She began her teaching career at Bear Creek Elementary School near Sparrows Point in the early 1970s and later taught for five years at Winans Elementary in Randallstown.

After several years off to raise her two children, Mrs. Mandy resumed teaching in 1988 at Krieger Schechter, operated by Chizuk Amuno Congregation, and became its head of middle school mathematics. She taught there for 15 years.

"She was a bright person who loved math and wanted to convey that to her students," said Paul D. Schneider, the school's headmaster.

He said he counted more than 70 of her former students who left their classes at area high schools and colleges to attend her funeral Tuesday in Pikesville.

"Her goal was always to enable the child to work through the problem and reach a new understanding for the complexities of the subject," said her husband of nearly 35 years, Richard Mandy, an owner of Maryland Office Interiors in Woodlawn. "She had the ability to bring confidence to a confused child."

"Growing up, I remember sitting in the doctor's office, waiting for my annual shots, when my mom would not want me to be scared," said her daughter, Elizabeth Mandy, a Baltimore attorney. "She had a way. She quizzed me endlessly with math problems. I knew my square roots backwards and forwards. It worked. I remember the shots. I remember the math. I don't remember being afraid."

"She would get you to see the positive aspects of life. She was able to lift you at your absolute lowest point. She could make you understand the essence of the human spirit in a single smile," said her son, Gregory A. Mandy of Hoboken, N.J., a sales manager for a swimwear company. "Her goal in life was that you be the best you can be."

After receiving a diagnosis of cancer more than two years ago, Mrs. Mandy continued to teach and later tutor her students. While bedridden six weeks ago, she took her students' telephone calls and helped prepare them for tests.

"Her patience and desire to help were always present," her husband said.

Mrs. Mandy enjoyed traveling to Alaska and across the Pacific with her family.

She was a member of Baltimore Hebrew Congregation.

Additional survivors include her father, Amnon Sandler of Houston; her mother, Claire Garmer of Baltimore; a brother, Michael Sandler of Owings Mills; and nieces and nephews.

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