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Jack Rooney ’17 finds a new home in Malvern

Rooney arrived at Malvern this year and has taken the senior experience by storm.

Growing up in Wayne, senior Jack Rooney lived right across from St. Katharine of Siena Elementary School. He attended elementary school there until 7th grade, then he transferred to St. Aloysius Academy in Bryn Mawr.

His family moved to Villanova for two years, and then settled in Newtown Square, where they currently live.

When he left Aloysius, he applied for Malvern and could have been a Friar if he wanted to for his freshman year, but he didn’t end up attending then. “I was accepted to Malvern out of 8th grade, but I decided I wanted to go to boarding school to try something different,” Rooney said.

After spending three years at Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, he decided to take a leap and finish his high school career at Malvern.

“I wouldn’t take back any of the three years that I was there,” Rooney said. “But I always wanted to graduate with the guys I grew up with.”

He feels very good about the decision he made, since he has had a great year so far.

“I was like, why not give Malvern a shot, have a normal high school experience in a sense for a year and I’m so happy I made the decision. Senior year has been unbelievable,” Rooney said. “In an academic sense and a social setting, no complaints at all. I’ve probably had the best year of my high school career.”

Rooney has enjoyed Malvern’s academics, especially through his theology teacher Mr. Larry Legner and health teacher Mr. Jay Schiller.

“I knew Mr. Legner early on because I went on a service trip to the Dominican Republic. He’s one of the first guys I met at Malvern. Mr. Legner is my man,” he said. “I did health with Mr. Schiller as a senior, and I was the only senior with a bunch of sophomores. So that was a good time… he’s a good guy.”

One of the things that he likes to occupy himself with is the NFL. Members of Rooney’s family have owned the Pittsburgh Steelers since the team’s inception in 1933, so Jack has always been interested in professional football.

However, he is not currently planning to make the Steelers legacy his own career.

“Although my family is in the business, I have no interest in going near it, only because it’s not what I truly love,” he said. “There is a difference between liking something and loving something.”

Some of Rooney’s other interests include the beach and real estate. His family spends their summers down in Avalon, New Jersey, where he will also be staying this summer with ten other Malvern seniors.

His interest in real estate is something that Rooney considers part of his future. Once he gets to college, he is thinking about minoring in the field.

“Real estate is something I have always had a deep rooted interest in… I think it is so cool how apartments, condos, and houses are where memories are made and you have a chance to be apart of making someone’s dream a reality,” Rooney said.

When he arrived at Malvern, he already knew a good amount of people, including sophomore Matt Irvine.

“I went to grade school with him. He came when I was in 4th grade and he was in 6th, but my dad and his dad actually went to Delaware with each other,” Irvine said.

Irvine describes Rooney as a “very outgoing person” and someone who “can make friends out of nowhere.”

“Sometimes he can get under your skin, but if you are in a bad mood he can make you laugh without a doubt,” he said.

Irvine has had many good memories with Rooney, but his favorite happened at Rooney’s eighth grade graduation party.

“I remember one time, it was his 8th grade graduation party. Since my dad was the football coach and [Rooney] played football, we were invited. I was the only 6th grader there, but he played basketball with me,” Irvine said.

Senior Dan Ford got to know Jack this year through their shared Ceramics I class. According to him, Rooney is a really great guy.

“I feel like whenever he’s in the room, he is usually the center of attention, and people naturally congregate around him just because he’s so entertaining and a fun guy to be around,” Ford said.

About Mike Harrington

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