Assistant Head of School ending Malvern Prep chapter 50 years from the start.
Assistant Head of School Mr. Steve Valyo, will be wrapping up his last year at Malvern Prep this year. Valyo has taught math for 34 years at Malvern in addition to his administrative roles, and has coached at Malvern for twenty years.
“I’ll miss the people the most – the guys and the faculty and relationships I’ve built,” Mr. Steve Valyo said. “I have so many friends here, and the day to day interaction with them all is what I’m going to miss.”
Valyo, a member of the graduating class of 1970, will be ending the Malvern Prep chapter of his life nearly 50 years from the start.
Valyo started teaching at Malvern Prep in 1982. Former math department chair Mr. Bill Gibson initially reached out to Valyo about an opening in the department with the possibility of administrative work and coaching. At the time, Valyo was Dean of Students at a boarding school just outside of Knoxville, Tennessee. Valyo came to Pennsylvania, spoke with Father Duffy, and then started his teaching tenure at Malvern.
The first role that Valyo played at Malvern was in the math department. He then became Assistant Dean of Students and eventually Dean of Students. Next was a Dean of Studies role before Head of the Upper School. Now, Valyo is in his third year as the Assistant Head of School.
“It’s basically the chief academic officer,” Valyo said of his current role. “[My team and I] oversee the entire academic program. We focus on student life as well, and each member has a specific role to work the day-to-day operations of the school.”
Valyo, who has taught everything from fifth grade math to post-grad AP calculus and even a gender equity class at Widener University, said that relationship building, connection making, problem solving, and interacting are his favorite parts of teaching. “[I love] building the memories, experiences, and friendships,” he said.
“It’s great when guys challenge me,” Valyo said. “One time, during a trig proof in Honors Pre-Calc, a student had a proof that was half the length of mine. I always enjoy asking the guys if they have better ways to do things. I love seeing different perspectives.”
In addition to teaching, Valyo has done his fair share of coaching.
Valyo coached for a total of twenty years at Malvern. He coached varsity, junior varsity, and middle school football, varsity golf, and started the middle school golf program.
“I’ve always been a real proponent that school doesn’t end at 3:30,” Valyo said. “So much more learning goes on at this campus after school. That’s what makes a well rounded student.”
Outside of his work life, Valyo is a very family-oriented man. He and his wife have two daughters and four grandchildren. One daughter lives in Boston with a boy and a girl, and they try to see them once every month. The other daughter lives in Wayne, so many weekends consist of watching the kids’ sports games.
A unique tradition in the Valyo family is that as each grandkid reaches the milestone age of ten, he or she gets to take a trip with Road Scholar. Road Scholar provides the Valyos with an educational trip to a location in the US with grandparents and grandchildren.
The first trip with Road Scholar was a trip to the Grand Canyon. The second trip consisted of a visit to the Grand Tetons in Wyoming.
“The Grand Tetons trip was special because the tour guide was a member of a survival show,” Valyo said. “He actually got lost in an avalanche and had to use survival techniques, which he taught the kids.”
This year, the Valyos will be visiting Steamboat Springs in Colorado.
“I’m not quite sure what to do after leaving,” Valyo said. “I don’t think I’m going to ‘retire.’ I’m going to do something, but I’m not sure what yet. I plan to reach out to contacts and play it by ear, and we’ll see what happens.”
However, before any new work plans, Valyo will first take a two week vacation to Greece with his wife.
“My best memories are really all the friendships and relationships I’ve built with the students, faculty, parents, alumni, and really all the stakeholders here,” Valyo said. “There have been changes as far as the buildings and this and that, but as far as the caring faculty and the relationships with the students, I don’t think that’s changed at all. It’s still as vibrant as it was when I went here.”
“Since I’ve been here, I’ve been a part of a team that has made an impact on over 3,500 guys that have graduated from Malvern,” Valyo said.
“3,500 guys,” he said again. “That is just really special.”