Faculty gets ‘Head of School Holiday’


Mike Droogan

Despite the title, credit for the idea goes to Assistant Head of School Mr. Steve Valyo.

To reward the faculty and staff at the close of the Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools (PAIS) evaluation, Assistant Head of School Mr. Valyo decided to give them a day off.

The faculty and staff have worked hard on a 1000+ page self study in preparation for this year’s PAIS evaluation, so Valyo and Talbot thought it’d be a great idea to declare Friday, Nov. 6 a holiday.

“The idea is that this is a way to reward the faculty and staff for the significant number of hours they put into the self study,” Talbot said. “The whole study is massive and that only works when a bunch of people are working in the same direction.”

Talbot said that Valyo proposed the idea of a day off. He said he accepted the recommendation with a “warm embrace.”

Valyo said that in the past, Malvern has rewarded faculty and staff after PAIS evaluations with watches or gift cards. “I thought since this has been such an exhausting exercise, we’d reward them with a day off, like ‘thank you very much enjoy the day,’” he said.

Faculty and staff were split up into groups to report on where the schools stands on 25 standards set by PAIS, according to Valyo.

“The self study is great because you’re assessing and evaluating what you’re doing,” Valyo said. “You’re looking at your strengths, your challenges, and your plans for the future.”

According to the PAIS website, the evaluation and accreditation process takes place every ten years for independent schools in Pennsylvania. PAIS evaluators visited campus this week, from Nov. 2 – 4.

How will our school leaders spend the holiday of their namesake?

“Thursday, I’m going to drive up to see my grandkids outside of Boston,” Valyo said. “I will stay for the long weekend and come back Sunday.”

Talbot will also be taking a trip up I-95 corridor on his day off.

“I’m going to New York City Thursday night to attend some live TED Talks,” Talbot said. “All this week they have some live Ted Talks in Town Hall and the ones I’m going are themed Science and Wonder. I’ve never been to a Ted Talk, so I’m pretty excited.”