Quinn Dougherty’s connection to Malvern Prep runs deep. The senior defenseman began attending the school when he was in the sixth grade. One of his two older brothers also attended the school and his mother is employed there as a family outreach coordinator.
“Ever since I was in fifth grade, I kind of had the feeling that I’d be going there,” he said.
Dougherty, who resides in West Chester, has had an impressive career at Malvern Prep, academically, and on the ice. He’s earned Distinguished Academic Honors each semester while involving himself in an assortment of extracurricular activities and playing both scholastic and club hockey.
Dougherty credits the faculty at Malvern Prep with preparing the students to meet the school’s vigorous academic standards.
“I think honestly, the teachers do a really good job and the students as well,” he said. “They kind of ease you into it. As the grades go on, the classes obviously get harder, as most schools do, and the teachers do a really good job.
“If they know you’re coming in for your first year, they’re not going to kill you right as you walk in. They’re going to help work with you, make sure you’re doing everything you can.
“The main goal of the teachers is to help you. They’re not there to give you a bad grade on a test, they want you to succeed so as long as you meet them halfway, they’ll probably always be there to help.”
Dougherty has learned to meet his academic responsibilities while also meeting the demands of a vigorous hockey schedule (in addition to playing for Malvern Prep, he also skates for the Junior Flyers 18U AAA team).
“I think the hardest part was probably the travel in the beginning,” he said. “I’ve always heard about the words time management. My dad always preaches that to me but I really didn’t know what that meant. I do now.
“Coming back from the state championship in Pittsburgh last year I was studying for a test I had that Monday.”
Dougherty learned early on that the most effective way to get his work done was to take advantage of whatever time was available, wherever he found himself.
“I had to work at the beginning of my freshman year,” he said and I realized, ‘I’ve got to do it at some time or another.’ So, I started to learn I can do stuff in the car or stuff on the plane when I was going to Detroit or Arizona for my club teams, and then also on the bus when I going to games with Malvern. Me and Pierre (Larocque) and Matty Harris we’ll be doing homework with each other, so it’s all about that time management aspect.”
Even when he’s on the road, Dougherty makes sure not to neglect his academics.
“Every time I go on a trip, whether it’s for club or Malvern, I always bring my school bag,” he said. “Kids will be hanging out and I’ll be up in my room doing homework.
“My dad always preached that grades come first and that’s something I take pride in too with myself. School comes first obviously and if my schoolwork isn’t there, Malvern will hold me accountable and I won’t be able to play hockey.
“It’s kind of second nature at this point. You’ve got to get the stuff done that you can get done if you can’t, talk to your teachers about it.”
The environment at Malvern Prep is structured to allow students to make independent decisions. Dougherty understands the importance of making gooddecisions.
“It’s really important honestly,” he said, “because you see a lot all over the news and social media now about kids making mistakes at this age and costing them scholarships and stuff like that.
“The thing I always think about is how is this going to reflect on my school and my family? Most importantly, because the last thing I want to do is taint my family’s name. There’s always a right and wrong decision whether you know it or not. I always think of my family first; how would my mom react to me making this decision versus how my friends react to it? I always try to keep that in mind.”
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