Head of School Search
On July 8, Fr. Donald Reilly, Malvern's 14th Head of School, announced he would be stepping down at the conclusion of the 2021-22 academic year. The Board of Trustees has announced that a search committee will be formed to assist in developing the search process.
As the Head of School Search progresses, please refer to this page for updated communications and information.
- Communication to the Malvern Community from Fr. Reilly, July 8, 2021
- Message from Mr. Joe Davis '90 P'21, Chair of the Board, July 9, 2021
Dear Malvern Community,
I hope these long-awaited days of summer find you and your family enjoying what we missed last summer-extended family gatherings, travel, ceremonies postponed, and all the things that bind us to one another. Four years ago this month, I began my journey as Head of School of Malvern Prep. Around the time of my installation in the fall of 2017, I wrote that it is a sacred and privileged task to create an environment in which young men learn about the world in which they live, come to know themselves and God in the process, and live a life with and for others. I said then that this labor of love is modeled in our patron, St. Augustine, and it is supported by my brother Augustinians, dedicated colleagues on our Board of Trustees, the Leadership Team, Faculty, Staff, and all of you; and that I was honored to play a part, at the behest of the Board, in elevating and enhancing Malvern’s Independent, Catholic, and Augustinian identity.
Reflecting on these last several years, all of that remains true, even more so. Our mission as an Independent Augustinian School is strongly centered on academics, self-knowing, God’s presence in our lives, service, Brotherhood, and a love of lifelong learning. We have unpacked the words and writings of St. Augustine to guide us through every day. From the opening of the St. Augustine Center for Social Impact and a transformation of our campus to our focus on student-centered, project-based learning supported by an academy model of Faculty and Staff to addressing our communally shared need for diversity, inclusivity, and equity, Malvern has met important challenges to preserve its place as an outstanding academic institution. Managing through a pandemic together was, of course, no small feat, but we’ve done that, keeping our young men safely engaged in the classroom, in their athletic pursuits, and in their service to one another and the community.
For these reasons and the fact that I will be seventy-five on my next birthday, a personal reflection on my current role at Malvern presented itself. As a result of that reflection, and in consultation with the Prior Provincial of the Province of St. Thomas of Villanova and the Board of Trustees of Malvern, I have reached the decision to bring my tenure as Head of School to a close at the conclusion of the 2021-2022 Academic Year. My time at Malvern has been an extraordinary experience thanks to the exceptional people in our community-my fellow Augustinians, our young Friars and their families, Alumni, Benefactors, Faculty, Staff, Board members, and countless others who give of themselves for the betterment of our school. I look forward to the coming academic year with great anticipation. I commit myself to a year of continued growth in all dimensions of our school so that my successor will be able to approach new horizons for our beloved school with courage and confidence. I know our Board will be as thorough and thoughtful in their selection process for the next Head of School as they were nearly five years ago when I was fortunate enough to come to this important work.
At the beginning of my journey at Malvern, I said that I hoped to have a positive impact upon our communal values of character development and faith formation while relentlessly pursuing the best academic experience possible for our students. I was also looking forward to playing a small part in having our Students, Families, Faculty, and Staff enjoy being in the company of one another. I believe we’ve done that, and my thanks go to all of you for making it true. As always, I ask for your prayers and I assure you of mine.
Dear Malvern Prep community:
For those of you I have not yet had the privilege of meeting, my name is Joe Davis and I was recently elected Chair of the Board of Trustees for Malvern Prep. I am a 1990 graduate of Malvern Prep and a proud parent of a recent Class of 2021 graduate. Like yourself, Malvern holds a special place in my heart.
I write today knowing that you, no doubt, have read Father Reilly’s message yesterday regarding his decision to step down as Head of School at the end of this coming academic year. By June 2022, we will have benefitted from five years of his vision and leadership. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I can say wholeheartedly that we are incredibly grateful for Father Reilly’s contributions, which have manifested themselves in myriad ways, physically and spiritually, throughout our school community. It is our commitment as stewards of Malvern Prep to ensure that the process we pursue in our search for the next Head of School builds on his extraordinary legacy and all that we’ve accomplished together as a community.
While this news may come as a surprise, rest assured that Father Reilly and the Board of Trustees have been discussing succession planning as a matter of course at our regular Board of Trustee meetings. In the months ahead, the Board of Trustees will follow a thorough and thoughtful process in identifying the most desired criteria and qualifications for our next Head of School. This process will solicit input from all stakeholders of the Malvern Prep community. You will be able to find pertinent updates to the search process on our dedicated Head of School Search page.
The good news in all of this is that we will be making this year-long transition at a time of considerable strength and vitality, and that is due, in large part, to Father Reilly’s leadership. I believe Saint Augustine was smiling on Malvern Prep nearly five years ago when Father Reilly accepted the position as our Head of School. Malvern has been blessed to have such a strong and empathetic leader during COVID-19, and the extraordinary engagement of Malvern students and the faculty is a reflection of the community and team that Father has helped lead these past four years. It is not a coincidence that, under Father Reilly’s tenure, Malvern is increasingly viewed as the leading Independent, Catholic, and Augustinian school in the country.
As we move forward with this transition in Malvern’s centennial anniversary of our beautiful school and campus, we will look forward to many opportunities to celebrate and thank Father Reilly for his tremendous service and contributions over the coming year.
In the meantime, I wish you a safe and relaxing summer and look forward to seeing you back on our campus this fall.
Joe Davis ’90 P’21
Chair, Malvern Prep Board of Trustees