Administrative Assistant praised for her calmness and organization looks forward to babysitting.
According to Head of Upper School Mr. Ron Algeo, Mrs. Pat Nicotera is “the glue that holds Malvern together.”
Mrs. Pat Nicotera will retire from her busy role as Administrative Assistant to the Assistant Head of School and Head of Upper School at the end of this academic year.
Nicotera worked for Assistant Head of School Mr. Steve Valyo for 17 years, including when Mr. Algeo took the position as the Head of the Upper School in 2013.
“She basically took on added duties, and she did that graciously.” Algeo said.
Algeo said that Nicotera oversees the schedules of more than 60 faculty members and about 490 Upper School students. She also keeps track of honors certificates and reports.
The first time Mrs. Nicotera ever saw Malvern Prep was when her husband was showing her the Malvern Retreat House, where he had attended retreat programs. She was driving around campus when she realized how beautiful it is here.
“I was really impressed at the time,” Nicotera said. “ And I said to my husband that if we ever had a boy, that we should send him here.”
Years later she saw an ad in the newspaper, applied, and got a position as a receptionist. After working as a receptionist for a year, she became Mr. Valyo’s assistant in 1999.
“She was very calm,” Valyo said. “I could tell from the interview process and through my questions that she would work well with the faculty and the staff and that she was a team player.”
Valyo not only liked her interview, but he also liked her writing sample. He had Nicotera write a sample about a sensitive issue regarding a student, and Valyo thought she did a great job. He also liked Nicotera’s prior corporate experience.
Nicotera ended up working as Valyo’s assistant for 14 years. Then, when Algeo started as Head of Upper School in 2013, she took up more work.
“She did an excellent job of keeping me in check,” Algeo said. “Reminding me of things that need to be done and in a timely manner. She got me to where I am supposed to be going in terms of my own schedule and I thought she did a super super job of keeping myself, the faculty, and the students really well organized.”
Nicotera believes that one of her greatest accomplishments at Malvern was arranging for online scheduling of parent-teacher conferences. When parents couldn’t come at the designated time to Malvern for conferences, they would call to reschedule over the phone. It got to the point where Mrs. Nicotera would take hours of work home with her.
“I was advocating for [internet scheduling] for a couple of years,” said Nicotera. “And finally my voice was heard, and it has been a huge success.”
In retirement, Mrs. Nicotera will help babysit her grandchildren. One of her two daughters just had a new baby in March. It is something she said she will love to do.
“Even though at times we may get frustrated about things, working here for 18 years has been a pleasure, and I am grateful for the opportunity,” she said. “We always have to look at the other side of things. It could be worse on the outside. Be happy with what we have here.”