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Farewell to Ms. Nicole Wilkinson

Ms. Nicole Wilkinson has served Malvern as an English teacher for the past twelve and a half years, and has now decided to move on to a new aspect of her career.

Widely known as one of the nicest people you’ll meet on Malvern’s campus, Ms. Nicole Wilkinson will not be returning to Malvern next year. She has decided to pursue some writing projects that she has been working on, get her certification to teach yoga, and spend time with her teenage daughter.

Wilkinson is an avid reader and writer, and throughout the past few years she has been working on some writing projects during her time outside of Malvern. This is one of the main reasons why she has decided to leave Malvern.

“I finished my Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in creative nonfiction last year, and I have a manuscript that I have been working on, kind of doing it here and there,” Wilkinson said. “I have the opportunity to step away from full time teaching to work on some projects I’ve had on the backburner for awhile now.”

Wilkinson has a passion for yoga and now has the opportunity to earn her teaching certification to spread this passion to others.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” Wilkinson said. “Yoga is a really big part of my life.”

Wilkinson also has a teenage daughter, Sabine, who is a freshman at Upper Darby High School in Drexel Hill.

“I think this is a good opportunity for me to be able to spend more time at home with her at this point,” Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson’s twelve and a half year tenure has brought her many memories that she said will stay with her for the rest of her life, including having the opportunity to teach and influence many students. Some of the best things that she looks back to are all of the friends and colleagues she has made.

“Most of the fun and happy times involve other teachers at Malvern, on campus and off campus,” Wilkinson said. “We do hang out together outside of school.”

Wilkinson also loves the annual traditions that Malvern celebrates.

“Obviously the Talent Show is a favorite, the Brotherhood Ceremony, and some of the events where we bring everyone on campus together,” Wilkinson said. “Those are some of the things I will remember and cherish.”

Besides teaching, Ms. Wilkinson has been an active participant in Malvern’s Christian Service program. She has been a proctor on eight of the international service trips for rising seniors, including trips to the Dominican Republic and Peru. This year, she will be going to the Philippines for the first time.

Wilkinson has also gone on the local service locations that Malvern visits every year. She stated that the Christian Service program has been one of the most important parts of her Malvern experience.

“I love the Christian Service experiences. I think that it’s a great opportunity to learn outside the classroom and work alongside the students to give back to the community,” Wilkinson said. “It definitely encapsulates our values so much, and I love to be a part of that.”

As Wilkinson leaves Malvern, she will leave behind the multiple classes she has taught, including American Literature, British Literature, Creative Nonfiction, and Creative Writing. As of May 2017, it is undetermined who will be taking her place in each of these classes, according to Wilkinson.

“I think right now a lot of the classes have been in flux as to who will be teaching what,” Wilkinson said. “It’s about this time every year that people decide who’s going to be teaching each class. I don’t think anybody knows what exactly they’re teaching next year.”

Wilkinson said that she will miss Malvern wholeheartedly, as she has had some of her best days here. She loves the fact that she can come and do what she loves, read, and write.

“The best thing about my job is that I had the opportunity to read books and talk about them every day with really intelligent students,” Wilkinson said. “We got to do some really fun things and try new things. I’m definitely going to miss the excitement of the learning environment, and I think Malvern is at a really neat place in terms of education.”

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English teacher Mr. John Bohannon holds Wilkinson in high regard and wishes her nothing but the best for the future. He believes that she has had a huge impact on the students she has taught.

“I have greatly enjoyed teaching with Ms. Wilkinson because she brings a spirit and a joy and a freshness that Malvern students need to see. She also gives her students the opportunity and the desire to grow,” Bohannon said. “She is alive, she is clever, she is brilliant, and it is very good for male students to see such an accomplished woman.”

Sophomore Greg Gaasche has thoroughly enjoyed his experience in Wilkinson’s Honors American Literature class this year, and likes her as a person in general.

“To be honest, I think she’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. She always seems to have a smile on her face,” Gaasche said. “It’s great to be in class with her, and she really allows students to go off of their bases and learn how they want from their own aspect.”

Teaching will remain a large part of her life, albeit in a different way.

“I don’t see myself doing anything that would not involve teaching in some capacity, whether it’s teaching writing workshops, teaching at the college level, teaching yoga, or creative writing and yoga together,” Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson has not ruled out a return to Malvern, and still considers herself part of the community.

“I would definitely consider returning to Malvern because it’s my home and has been my home for the past twelve and a half years. Even though I won’t be working here, I feel like I will always be a part of the community,” Wilkinson said.

 

About Kyle Leonard

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Kyle is a sophomore at Malvern, and has been involved with the Blackfriar Chronicle for two years. A resident of Malvern, PA, he is the Co-Friar Life Editor along with Mike Harrington. Outside of the paper, Kyle is a part of the winter track and baseball teams, MTS, and the Diversity Awareness Club. Kyle also plays piano, trumpet, and some guitar.

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