The Student News Site of Malvern Preparatory School

Friar's Lantern

The Student News Site of Malvern Preparatory School

Friar's Lantern

The Student News Site of Malvern Preparatory School

Friar's Lantern

Malvern Makes The Motorcade

Malvern’s, Upper school Spanish teacher, Mr. James Kirchner, was not involved with one, but two presidential motorcades over the summer 2023.

One day in June, the current Honors Spanish 4 teacher and Van Transportation Driver, Mr. Kirchner, received an interesting call from a lifelong friend, Micheal Fratangelo.


Kirchner knew that his friend Michael was a teacher at Harcum College and founder of Diverse City, a non-profit organization helping underprivileged intercity children in Philadelphia, but Kirchner learned something new that day. Frantangelo called Kirchner and told him,


“there’s something that you don’t know about me, and that’s that I work for the Biden administration. When he comes to Philadelphia, I’m in charge of his ground transportation. And tomorrow, we need one more driver for his motorcade. I know you like driving the Malvern van so much, and I thought that you might want to do this.”


Kirchner gladly accepted this offer, and in less than 24 hours, Kirchner became part of the presidential motorcade.


“I drove a van very similar to the Delco van I drive now for Malvern,” Kirchner said. “I drove half a dozen journalists from the airport to the convention center for a rally.  Then I drove them back to the airport.”


Kirchner was able to observe how efficient yet protective the motorcade is through the lens of a driver.


“The Philadelphia motorcycle police had blocked off 95 and all the city streets,” Kirchner stated. “It was interesting seeing SWAT, Pennsylvania State Troopers, and the Secret Service. Oh, my goodness! They are efficient. I was in the safest place on the planet that day, I was surrounded by security,” Kirchner said.


After the motorcade, all of the drivers, including Kirchner, were given the opportunity to introduce themselves to the President.


Each driver was given a slip of paper including their name and profession to be read aloud to the president as each introduced themselves.


“The woman said, ‘James Kirchner, Malvern prep teacher.’ Dr. Biden and the First Lady were there; I introduced myself to her first,” Kirchner said. “President Biden heard Malvern prep, he said, ‘Hey Malvern prep! I went to Archmere Academy. Do you know where that is?’ I said, ‘Yes sir, we have private school in common.’ I then thanked him for what he’s trying to do with college loan forgiveness. I told him we have two daughters who qualified so far, so far, so good. He said, ‘Yeah, it’s a good program. We’re trying to try to make it a little more permanent.”


After a successful first experience with being a driver in the motorcade, Kirchner and his wife, Mary, got the opportunity to be drivers again in July.


“In July. My friend Michael calls me back a second time and says, ‘POTUS is coming back. Are you interested?’ I said yes, my wife Mary is also interested if you need two drivers. He said, ‘Okay, I’ll get back to you.’ The next day, he texted me, saying they need Mary.”


After a long day of driving, Kirchner and his wife could speak to the president again, and President Biden recognized Kirchner.


“As I was walking across the stage to shake his hands, he remembered me; he said, ‘Kirchner Hey, I remember you. What do you do to get hooked into this thing again?’ ‘I’m here by choice. Mr. President, let me introduce you to my wife, Mary Kirchner, also a teacher.  He said hello and we began talking, 


President Biden ended up talking to Krichner for a little longer than expected.


“In the meantime, the Secret Service was trying to shoo us off saying ‘You’re not supposed to be talking; you had three seconds to take a picture; you’re taking up too much time.’ All I’m thinking is that the President wants to talk to us, we gotta stay and talk…. but it wasn’t that big of a deal.”


Kirchner reflected on how the background check was surprisingly simple, but he’s sure that the Secret Service’s role was much harder. 


“There are three simple things: passport number, driver’s license number, and social security number. I texted them to the guy in charge,” Kirchner said. “He passed it on to the Secret Service, checked us out, and then said okay, you’re good to join. 


Kirchner could not immediately receive the pictures he took with the president, as there is another background check before they are sent out.


“ There’s a reason for the delay in the pictures; they look at every picture and make sure that here’s the president, here’s the vice president, here’s the first lady posing with a person in power, we can’t have some knucklehead,” Kirchner said. “They need to check on the criminal background of the person posing in the picture. That’s why they can’t they can’t give you a picture right away. And you can’t take your own picture on your phone.”


We anxiously await the next set of adventures to befall Mr. Kirchner. Will it be a seat on NASA’s Artemis rocket in 2024? Will he be part of the Super Bowl LVIII halftime performance of 2024? The future is unknown, and we are excited to see what the future holds for the Malvern community.

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Ryan Todd, Managing Editor for Print and Digital

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  • G

    Gordon SOct 7, 2023 at 1:09 pm

    That’s fantastic Jim.

  • C

    CDursoOct 7, 2023 at 8:35 am

    Great job, Kirschner!

  • B

    Bill TurocyOct 6, 2023 at 12:39 pm

    I think Mr. Kirchner would be successful at any endeavor. He might consider consulting with Steelers coordinator Matt Canada. That jag off needs all the help he can get!!

  • J

    Joseph KirchnerOct 6, 2023 at 10:11 am

    I vote for astronaut as the next role. Good luck fitting Jim into a space ship.