New Faces on Campus

As students come back to campus, they will notice quite a few additions to the faculty and staff.


Credit: @malvernprep instagram

School is back in session at Malvern Prep and with each year comes new students. However, this year brought more changes than just new students. It also brought about new buildings and ideas for how to better Malvern. One of these ideas was welcoming eight new teachers who are ready to make an impact on the community.

Angela Johnson is a new face in the weight room and the classroom this year.

“I’m teaching 6th-grade life skills and 10th-grade advanced life skills,” Johnson said.

Johnson comes to Malvern with a lot of experience in different athletic and health departments.

“Last year I taught at the Western Montgomery Career and Technical Center. It was a technical high school for grades nine through 12. And the year before that, I taught 10th-grade health and PE at Bishop Shanahan,” Johnson said.

Johnson also had the opportunity to work in college athletics.

“I worked at Penn State University, where I was the Director of Athletic Operations for both men’s and women’s rugby. So, I did a little bit of coaching, but mainly my job was to do everything off the field for the rugby teams,” Johnson said.

Not only did she work in college athletics, but she also had the chance to play rugby at the collegiate level.

”I’ve been playing rugby for a very long time. I actually just retired from playing in November and have become a full-time coach. I’ve coached every level except for high school boys, which I’m hoping to do here,” Johnson said.

Teaching at Bishop Shanahan, another Catholic school in the area, Johnson had a great experience.

“I really enjoyed teaching all the boys at Bishop Shanahan. I thought that they actually had a ton of energy. They seem to really enjoy PE, [and] they’re really into the health aspect of things. Everyone I know that sent their kids [to Malvern] and everyone I know that works here or has worked here in the past has had really great things to say about the school, the community, the athletics, and all of the extracurricular activities. So I automatically knew that it was something that I wanted to be a part of, hopefully for a very long time,” Johnson said.

Since coming to Malvern, Johnson has already felt the sense of community.

“So if I have questions, I don’t feel uncomfortable asking students things because everyone’s been more than willing to kind of help me out. That’s been really great. Same thing with the teachers. Everyone has been really welcoming.”


A familiar face has come back to campus, only this time instead of Brother Bill, he goes by Father Bill Gabriel.

“About four years ago, I was here and taught freshman Theology, coached freshman basketball, and then I went and finished what’s required by the Catholic bishops in the United States, which is a master’s in divinity, which is a four-year master’s,” said Gabriel.

After spending 4 years completing his master’s in Chicago, Illinois, Gabriel returned to Villanova as a priest and has since been assigned to come back to Malvern.

“[Now] I teach 11th-grade theology, which is moral theology for one section and social justice for another section,” said Gabriel.

Over the last 4 years Campus has changed a lot and since coming back Gabriel has noticed how the change affected the community.

“I love the quad like it’s so different for me to walk out into this space and see it like flooded with guys. I think that it’s a great visual of the brotherhood. I like the fact that the students and the faculty and staff here actually have an interest in getting to know you and making you feel like you’re part of the community. So it’s an extremely Augustinian spirit, which just feels like home you know,” said Gabriel.

Gabriel loves the beach and outdoors, as well as sports, and has been able to get involved in athletics in numerous ways.

“I’m from New Hampshire the sea coast part, I was about 16 miles and ocean growing up. I played basketball up in New Hampshire and then did intramurals later on. And then I was an assistant with the Villanova women’s soccer program to help with scouting, and recruiting,” said Gabriel.

Being part of the Malvern community again has been amazing so far, and as the year goes on Gabriel is excited to become more and more immersed in the community and add to the Augustinian culture.


Just 4 years ago, Joe Basiura was right here on campus, playing football for the Friars. He then when to the University of Pennsylvania and played left and right tackle there for the Quakers.

Over the past 4 years in college, Basuria was able to explore a variety of professions that he was interested in.

“I did insurance-type stuff. I trained people, like strength training and training for sports. I have worked in like sales and marketing and telecommunications as well,” Basuria said.

But from his experiences at Malvern and in collegiate football, Basuria has found his passion in what he loves to do.

“I really love teaching and coaching people. It’s always kind of been a part of who I am to like help those around me who like just need help in some way. We can all improve. It started with football here. I would like to help the younger guys out and then it like translated to college with football,” Said Basiura.

Returning to Malvern Basiura is teaching academic Algebra II and Honors Algebra I. Coming back as a teacher just 4 years later has brought an unexpected challenge.

“The most difficult thing has probably just been calling teachers by their first name. Mr. McGuire was one of my favorite teachers. In my eighth-grade year, Mr. Swope, and Mr. Duda. They’re all great, and all my teachers were great. I can keep going,” Basiura said.

Basiura is extremely excited to be able to come back to Malvern and contribute to our ever-changing community and campus once again.


Ashley Deckert joins our middle school this year teaching 6th and 7th grade English, and her journey to Malvern is quite unique compared to the rest of the new faculty.

“I was previously working at an international school in Stuttgart, Germany where I also taught English, but across middle and high school levels,” Ashley said.

Quite a long way away from Malvern, and Deckert’s hometown of Franklinville, New Jersey. When looking to apply to a new school, Deckert saw something special about Malvern.

“The community and the student-centered focus in the classroom is something that inspired me to apply and work at Malvern,” Deckert said.

And since being on campus, she has experienced the community not only from the students but from the teachers as well.

“My favorite part has been the wonderful community that I have access to at Malvern. My coworkers that work adjacent to me in my little middle school hub are so fun, genuine, and have helped make my transition so much easier. So, shout out to them!” Deckert said.

Like many of the other staff on campus, Deckert also was a collegiate athlete.

“In my former collegiate days, I was a competitive middle distance runner in track and field. My best and favorite distance was the 1,500-meter race. I also competed for a German club team the last couple of years too, which was fun! Running is definitely a passion of mine, so it’s likely you will see me running around campus at some point!”


As Malvern Prep welcomes back students new and old to the campus this month, they also welcome new teachers to campus. One of the new teachers recently being welcomed in Malvern is Mrs. Trainor. Mrs. Trainor lived originally from the Poconos and then went to temple where she got her education. Now at Malvern is she helping with the middle school.

“I am the new middle school counselor. So I’m the counselor for grades 6/7 and eighth.”

Before she recently became a middle school counselor she worked with high school students. In the Sydney morning school district. However, she didn’t want to work with high school students anymore and Malvern offered a great opportunity.

“I was really interested in working with middle school students. I want to switch ages and this is one of a couple reasons it’s a better decision. Family. I think it’s a shorter commute for me. And it’s a really, really good academics or it’s just the students in general.”

As the first week of school wraps up the adjustment to middle school students has been very interesting. While she hasn’t spent a lot of time with the students she still finds the community to be one of her favorite things.

“I think just you know, obviously you guys have been here for a few days on campus. I’ve had more time to meet with faculty and staff. Everybody has just been so welcoming and helpful and supportive. And so you know, they really, they do a great job of making you feel welcome here.” She said.

While she enjoys the community, with every new job comes some sort of adjustment and luckily for Mrs. Traynor, it hasn’t been too bad.

“I think just, you know, this campus is very different than what I’m used to. So you know, the all boys and working with middle schoolers is a little different than working in high school. So I wouldn’t say it’s been difficult. It’s just it’s just new.”

To her, the most difficult part about Malvern hasn’t been adjusting to school but rather adjusting from summer mode to school mode. One of the most interesting things about Mrs. Traynor is her adventurous nature.

“I really love to spend a lot of time outside so I love biking, running, hiking, and paddle boarding in the summertime or really in all weather,” she said.


Mr. Wagner is also a new teacher this year who is from around Malvern.

“Philly. So mostly Philly. And so when I was like 10 we moved to North Carolina for a year and then my family and I lived in Phoenixville afterward.”
Since Mr. Wagner is familiar with the area, he is also familiar with the schools around Malvern. One of these schools was where he worked previously before coming to Malvern.

“I actually worked in finance, for a little while. I did that for about five years, and then I switched to teaching. So I’ve been I’ve been teaching for about five years. So I was at the top school last year, which is you know, I taught at St. Joe’s prep school and Villa Maria.”

Even though Mr. Wagner used to work in finance he won’t be teaching economics or finance at Malvern, instead, he will be a math teacher.

“I’m teaching mostly juniors and seniors. I have a couple of sophomores and two freshmen classes. I’m teaching AP Calc BC and Honors Precalc.”

Mr. Wagner has been teaching math for quite a while at a couple of different schools in the area. However, what brought him to Malvern was the small tutoring company he works for.

“I’ve worked for this small little tutoring company for like 10 years now. So I’ve had a lot of guys from Malvern come in like usually, when I get kids before they even tell me they go to Malvern, it’s like I can tell and just the way they carry themselves usually they’re not just like really academically smart, but socially mature like the kind of kids that say thank you when they’re leaving you know, and just little things like that man, these guys are pretty sharp bring together and obviously the campus is gorgeous.”

Other than the campus is gorgeous, one of Mr. Wagner’s favorite things about Malvern is the community.

“I mean, that’s pretty early so far, but like, you guys honestly like, I’m just getting to know my first term classes but they seem pretty awesome. Like I’m looking forward I can already tell like we’re gonna have a lot of fun in these classes.”

However, transitioning to a new school is never easy and Mr. Wagner has found a few things difficult to adjust to at first.

“ I was at Phelps last year helps it’s kind of weird because their classes were super small, like my biggest class was five kids. super small. You know, this is obviously much more like all the other schools like the like the prep or like villa but just adjusting as back to that you know.”

While he is still adjusting to the new classes and campus he wanted to share something interesting to let the community know him better.

“Ya know, one thing that some of my classes have already kind of found out about me is I have a tattoo with Jim Morrison.”

The Jim Morrison tattoo sits on his arm and is quite the tattoo. Jim Morrison is the lead singer for the doors, a band popular in the sixties. Mr. Wagner is one of the many new teachers Malvern welcomes this year and the community is very excited to have him.


Mr. Edwards, who is originally from Haverford, isn’t a new face to Malvern. Instead, Mr. Edwards is just returning in different shoes.

“ I was a graduate of 2010 here and now I teach economics to 11th and 12th graders.”

Before returning to Malven Mr. Edwards explored other school districts and jobs before realizing this was the place

“ I taught him three different schools in the Philly school district and I’ve been a swim coach since I graduated college.”

Mr. Edwards also swam at Malvern and may consider coaching here as well. After swimming here and working these other jobs he realized that he wanted to come back.

“Just the beautiful campus, the motivated students, the great faculty that you get to work to work with I mean, being here it’s like, unlike any other school.”

On top of returning to the environment at Malvern he has seen all the changes Malvern has made to the campus and it was one of his favorite things. He loves the free coffee the café provides and the newer look of the campus. However, returning hasn’t been as easy as he thought and he has found a few difficulties while returning.

“I was teaching such a different type of student in Philadelphia, that I definitely had to adjust my teaching styles a little bit to reach the students here better.”

Although adjusting to the curriculum changes has been different he still wants the campus to know something important about him.

“Yeah, I’m just now that like, I’m very approachable. If you ever had problems with me, I’m always willing to talk it out and, you know, come to a solution.”


Another one of the new teachers is Mr. Woo who makes quite the drive to school every day. Mr. Woo is from Doylestown and spends a lot of time driving to school each day. However, Mr. Woo isn’t too new to Malvern.

“This is my first job. I was a student teacher. I was an intern here but in terms of the actual job, this is my first one. It’s awesome.”

Mr. Woo was an intern here last year and is returning to teach a foreign language.

“I teach Spanish and I’m teaching freshmen sophomores. And there’s a senior in my class but mainly freshmen which is really cool.”

Mr. Woo last year was shadowing in a couple of the Spanish classes and now has opted to return for many reasons.

“Okay, so everyone here was so kind and welcoming. Malvern was actually the first place to reach out to me for an interview. And when I came in, I was treated to lunch and I didn’t expect that in any interview. Everybody was so kind and as cliche, as it might sound, but the community here is really awesome. And I was really looking for, you know, peace, as a first-year teacher. I was looking for a place that would support me really well that will look out for my mental health and I have been provided pretty much all of that.”

The reason he came back is also his favorite thing about Malvern.

“So a lot of people here come from such diverse backgrounds. I played lacrosse. I played a little bit at Nova and Mr. Haus here he’s a pro player and I watched him on TV. So it was really crazy to know that we’re coworkers and just the other backgrounds of all the teachers as well. So the fact that I can work with such accomplished people. And we all have the same goal of teaching.”

Mr. Woo and all of the teachers at Malvern have goals for teaching. Mr. Woo’s goals are inspired by his subject.

“Obviously, my goal is to set my students on the road towards fluency, but I guess as well, I just want to be I want to be a teacher that is approachable, tangible, and I’m sure you have experiences with this too, but in Spanish, or in language, learning that there can be a lot of drills and it can be repetitive and boring. I don’t want to do that. I want to bring a fresh perspective on Spanish.”

However it isn’t just his goals that are unique, Mr. Woo also has many interesting hobbies.

“I was a boxer when I was a kid. Awesome. I loved it. It was my first love my favorite sport of all time. And, and I got back into it now I hit up my old coach and I train in Philly. He’s the best coach in the area, in my opinion. And you know, people from Philly can box you know. So I love doing that but I love seeing active so you know, I also do judo now I picked that up. I tried a bunch of different sports. I played rugby in college. I also played lacrosse. So staying active is a big goal of mine and even though my glory days are probably behind me, I’m past my athletic prime. I still like to train.”