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

Character Compass

The new Character Compass establishes the expectations and guide line for the entire community of Malvern.

Dr. Rick Poce, Upper School Theology Teacher and Character Development Coordinator and a contributor to the Character Compass and Expectations Chart is a major supporter of implementing Augustinian-inspired values such as empathy and communication into Malvern Prep’s school system.


“So, I guess, expectations are norms, right? Take something like empathy, [and] maybe two students had an interaction that wasn’t so positive. I would hope that they feel the need to reflect [and] to ask, ‘How empathetic was I to my brother?’, ‘Did I listen?’, ‘Did I react in a positive way?’, and if not, ‘Why?’ These are all values that play a level of looking inwards, which we call introspection,… and interiority to kind of grow – to be a better person,” said Poce. 


Poce, who also teaches Sports Psychology courses and runs the Adeodatus team, is an enthusiast of self-reflection and mental training.


“It’s an invitation, [Values] invite us to think and reflect and look inwards to say, ‘If I’m falling short in some of these things, how can I actualize them in a better way?’ They invite us to become the best person who we’re meant to be through God’s eyes,” said Poce. 


Poce believes that Malvern students are invited, rather than enforced, to uphold the values found in the Character Compass and Expectations Chart. However, he still suggests that individuals establish personal objectives for how morally upright they can be throughout the school year.


“It’s [the Character Compass and Expectations Chart] starting to live more in tangible spaces on campus like screens. So the idea is that the more that it’s seen and communicated, then the word becomes linked, so the more it’s discussed and reflected upon, the more it becomes a part of who we are,” Poce said. 


Mr. McDonald, 10th grade Student Academy Leader, shared his expectations for the Character Compass and Expectations Chart. 


“The hope being that, you know, students can look at it, and maybe not read the whole thing, but maybe read a little bit of it at time and say this is I’m expected to act in the chapel. This is how I’m expected to act in Stuart Hall classroom. At a sporting event off campus when I’m representing Malvern Prep,” McDonald said. 


McDonald believes that a student always has room for improvement and growth. Additionally, the Character Compass and Expectations Chart reflects and guides a student’s progress in Malvern’s theme for this year: becoming what you are not yet. 


“The perfect Malvern Prep student has a ton of room for growth, right? Everyone has room for growth. There’s always room for more empathy, more integrity, and more accountability in particular. [Even] take the most perfect person and you can say, well, you can do something better. So this is [about] becoming a person of better character,” McDonald said.

McDonald emphasizes the importance of the Character Compass’s key values and asks for every student to check if they are upholding these values every day. 


“If you see an opportunity where you think you can check your integrity, check your empathy, check your accountability, check your communication. Take the opportunity to look over the chart and make sure that you are being the best version of yourself. Yes, that’d be my request. Keep an open mind and try your best to follow it,” McDonald said. 


Mr. Ron Algeo, Associate Head of School, views the Character Compass as a new and easier way to look at Malvern’s expectations.  


“The thing we always like to do, or is the best that we can, is support and prepare our students to be in the best position possible to be successful. We can’t make you be successful. But, we feel an obligation to make sure you’re in the best possible environment to be successful and to prepare you as best we can. One of the biggest ways to do that is to have clear expectations. [Students] understand the expectations that we have for you, the expectations we have for each other, and the expectations we have for the community, as an Augustinian school. Laying that out in front puts all of us, not just the students, but also the teachers, in the best position to be successful,” Algeo said.


Algeo always mentions how we need to be better as one campus on and off it; I am sure all you have heard that before but he tells me how he was inspired to do the character compass.


“It is that idea of reflection, which we ask students to do, as well. We have to do that professionally. And then we have to do that as a school as I said, and if there are tools that we have, where the intent was right, but it’s not as efficient. It’s not working as well. We have to be honest, reflect on that. So we do have our Student Handbook, which is great, and it’s super, super helpful in terms of detail, but it’s really long as you pointed out, so it’s used more as a reference we were thinking with Mrs. Hall and Mr. McDonald and Dr. Poce as well as the other student account leaders. What can be something that’s a lot more consumable. It’s easier to be able to digest in a more clear way and in a more efficient way. So that was the driver behind it. And I think we’ve landed on something I think pretty good,” Algeo said. 


Malvern’s theme for this year is “Become what you are not yet” and Mr. Ron Algeo and a lot more teachers try to get that across to all the students here at Malvern and even people outside of Malvern. But Algeo has really tried to get this point across to us students and this character or compass has helped. 


“I think in terms of practice, that’s where it really fits right? We certainly want to set expectations for our standards for Malvern. I’m very proud of Malvern. I think we have one of the best schools not only in the area, but in the country. One of the best ways and I think the only way to do that is to set high expectations. We all want to achieve and be the best possible people. We can be the best possible school we can be. In order to do that. You have to have high expectations and there needs to be accountability. Are we reaching those expectations? If we’re not, how do we get people to strive for those? And that’s where this all comes into play. It’s that accountability piece. How can we push each other and hold each other accountable? To be the best school we can be, to be the best student we can be to be the best artists, the best musician, the best friend, the best Christian servant leader, so forth, and so on,” Algeo said.

Culture of Character Chart_R4


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