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

An Interview With The New Head Of School

Q & A with New Head of School of Malvern Prep Mr. Talbot

For the next academic school year, Malvern Preparatory School will welcome Mr. Christian M. Talbot as our new Head of School. Prior to coming to Malvern, Mr. Talbot worked as the head of the English department at Regis High School in New York. The majority of students at Malvern have not had the pleasure to meet Mr. Talbot and get to know him so The Friars Lantern conducted an interview with Mr. Talbot containing questions that were developed by the student body.

Where did you go to college/what degrees did you earn?

I attended Georgetown as an undergraduate, where I double majored in English and Art History, and had a minor in Philosophy.  My Master’s degree is from the New York Graduate School of Psychoanalysis.  My MA is in…you guessed it…Psychoanalysis.

Where did you work before coming to Malvern?

During college I worked for a company called “Corporation for Youth Education Services,” a non-profit in Washington DC that provided tutoring and SAT Prep to high school students at Dunbar High School and later Banneker High School.  During summers I ran an enrichment program for inner-city middle school boys who attended a Catholic school in Harlem.  After I graduated from Georgetown, I spent one year teaching English at Chaminade High School in Long Island before making the jump to Regis, where I then taught for fourteen years.

What attracted you/what do you like best about Malvern?

I was attracted by the fact that everyone, from teachers to students to parents to alumni to trustees, is committed to the mission of the school.  I believe deeply in the power of an all-boys Catholic education to make a lasting impact on students.  It helps you to become the person you ought to be.  I think that MECO and the Christian Service opportunity in Senior (now Junior) year are essential to that experience, and I would love to see both of those programs grow.

Beyond that, I am also attracted to the exceptional arts and athletics programs.  Coming from a school with very limited physical resources (Regis is in the middle of a City block), I was floored by the Duffy Center and the various sports facilities.

What changes would you bring to campus?

Over the years I’ve become more and more convinced of the value of student feedback in helping me improve as a teacher and helping a school improve on an institutional level.  The trick is to design feedback systems that elicit the best responses from students.  In other words, it’s not a question of if we should ask for feedback from students, but rather how we should do it, so that we can become better teachers, administrators, etc.

Thoughts on integrating smart phones/iPads/Tablets in class.

We’re on the verge of a deep and sustained conversation about how best to integrate mobile technologies at Malvern Prep.  It absolutely has to happen, again the question is how to make it as effective as possible.

Have you experienced an Augustinian environment before?

No, and it’s one of the things I’m most eager to experience, since the vast majority of my time in education has been in Jesuit schools.

Are you interested in increasing the size of our library?

It’s impossible for me to answer without first observing the library during the course of a regular school year.  However, I can say that the 21st century library is rapidly changing in function, so its form—which includes size—has to be given serious consideration.  Whether that means larger or smaller, it’s too early for me to say.

Our school theme this year is leadership. What advice do you have on becoming leaders in society?

If you want to lead others, you have to be willing to serve them.  That comes right from the Gospels.  To put it another way, leadership is the pursuit of some mission greater than you.  Leadership without that sense of greater meaning devolves into narcissism, and narcissism is a dangerous thing in a leader.

Seniors are interested in keeping the student lounge. What are your thoughts on the student lounge/student hang out hotspots?

Your first sentence makes this a loaded question!  That said, I’m all for a senior lounge and student hang outs, with one very important caveat: strong time management skills are absolutely vital to success in life, both in school and beyond.  So students should recognize that lounges and hang-outs spots are great for decompressing, but they can also distract us from staying on track with our responsibilities.  In other words, students should recognize the need for balance in how they use their free time.  Any executive will tell you that his most valuable resource is time.

What is your favorite sport?


While the Malvern Community is excited to welcome Mr. Talbot as our new Head of School, our own Mr. Stewart will be greatly missed.


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