Faces of Water Q&A – August 2018

  • by Malea Ortloff
  • Aug 20, 2018
  • Newsletters

Malea Ortloff, Public Affairs Officer, Education, Eastern Municipal Water District

1. Describe your job.

I manage the water education program for grades pre-K–12, for 11 school districts and private schools throughout the Eastern Municipal Water District Service area.

2. What do you like best about your job?

Other than loving every single part of what I do, I find that teaching children about water education is truly rewarding. When I provide a lesson to the students and they share the information with their families, I understand that this knowledge has the power to influence multiple generations. I find that it is essential to deliver the lesson with enthusiasm and passion in order to create an excitement within the students as they discover that learning about science can be a fun and magical experience. Working with students provides me with the unique opportunity to be part of developing young minds, which helps to shape the future.

3. How did you get into the water industry?

In 1985, I applied for a customer service position with Eastern Municipal Water District. I was not hired and after I received the rejection letter, I wrote a letter to the gentlemen who interviewed me and thanked them for the opportunity. Two months later, I was interviewed again and was hired.

4. What is something unique about yourself?

When I was in second grade, I knew I wanted to be a teacher; however, I got married right out of high school and did not go to college. When the position of education specialist was created at Eastern Municipal Water District, I knew this was the job for me, but I also knew the position required a college education. Each time the position was posted I applied and was rejected (five times). During this time, I worked full-time, raised my family, and went to school part-time. In May, 2004, after attending college part-time for fourteen years, I earned my bachelor’s degree. This coincided with the position being offered again, and I was finally hired for my dream job. I went on to earn my master’s degree in 2007.

5. What is your favorite song?

I actually wrote my favorite song in the whole wide world! It is the turn it off song (To the tune of “Row, Row, Row, Your Boat”). 

“Turn, turn, turn it off. Turn the water off. When you do, we’re proud of you. Turn the water off!”


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