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Malvern says farewell to Mr. Stewart

Science teacher at Malvern for 27 years, Mr. Tom Stewart, discusses his future and his Malvern experience.

Mr. Stewart / M. Pichola
Mr. Stewart / M. Pichola

It’s that time of year again where the Malvern community must say goodbye to some of their greatly loved and appreciated faculty and staff. Mr. Tom Stewart, sophomore Chemistry teacher, has decided to retire after his 27 year long teaching career at Malvern. Stewart is a greatly appreciated and favored teacher among students at Malvern. Not only was he the Chemistry teacher at Malvern, but he was also thoroughly involved in Envirothon, Robotics, and Christian Service. Despite his plans to continue to be involved with Robotics and Envirothon after his retirement, he will be greatly missed as a teacher.

What were you doing before deciding to come teach at Malvern?
I was teaching at Monsignor Bonner. I was teaching Biology and General Science for nine years.

How long have you been teaching at Malvern? How did you start working at Malvern?
Mr. Tom Maguire, who was living upstairs from where I was living in East Lansdowne, mentioned that there was an opening at Malvern. So at the time, in 1988, I was teaching at Bonner, [but] I applied, and I was accepted. So, I’ve been here for 27 years.

Is Chemistry the only science you teach or are interested in?
No, I’ve taught Biology and Environmental Science.

What have been your favorite experiences at Malvern since you’ve been here?
The Christian Service projects were dear to my heart. Moderating Envirothon, Robotics, coaching track and wrestling, and teaching in general.

What is your opinion on Malvern’s gradual switch to 21st Century learning?
Well in my opinion, it’s not as gradual as one might think – at least from a teacher’s point of view. From my point of view, I like the idea of the hands-on education. In science we always did that anyways. But for me being a veteran and getting to be an old geezer, the technology change for me was a challenge. I guess that’s why I would say it seems like it’s changing pretty fast, whereas for the young teachers it’s like nothing.

Who are some of your favorite people/influences you’ve met at Malvern?
There’s a ton of people. Bruce Kennett who was the wrestling coach here when I first came was a big influence for me. Jim Stewart being the headmaster, and Father Duffy as far as faculty members. A ton of students influenced me in ways unimaginable, and it’s hard to believe students influenced a teacher.

If this isn’t too personal to ask, do you have any plans after your retirement?
Oh yeah! I have a long list, a bucket list. In particular I like the outdoors so I’ll be doing some hiking, and camping. My wife is retired so we will also be doing some traveling, and we have grandchildren on the way; one on the way and one here already.

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Malvern was a big part of my life for 27 years, and not just in the classroom but everywhere.

About Matt Pichola

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