Reilly retires after 16 years at Haverford
June 13, 2015
History and Economics teacher Dr. Stephen Reilly Ph.D. is retiring after 16 years here at Haverford. Reilly’s time here at Haverford saw the full implementation of a successful AP Economics program, sponsorship of numerous clubs, and also a revival of the AP US History course only a few years ago. And during his time, he brought a breadth of knowledge and passion to teaching which in part stemmed from his academic background.
Reilly went to Tulane University for an undergraduate degree in Economics, but later switched interests when he pursued Master’s and Doctoral Degrees in American History at Duke University, saying, “It was hard to leave the college library with all of the conversation and learning that went on.”
Originally wanting to become a Professor, Reilly found it difficult getting positions at Universities, especially with two young children at the time, and landed his first teaching position at a Girl’s Boarding school. After almost 12 years there, he moved on to working at the Haverford School for Boys, where he taught American History and Economics for over a decade, before he came to Haverford High.
Hired to replace a leaving Economics teacher, Reilly inherited a juvenile AP Economics program which he revamped and improved upon with his experience teaching it at the Haverford School. Reilly says at first, the course was so hard, “it was hard to get enough enrollment for the following years”. So the AP Economics classes were small for a few years, but also rebounded over time. Reilly’s experience with the AP program led him to also apply to be an AP Grader for the College Board.
“They feed you extremely well”, Reilly says about the AP test grading process, “and it was a great experience talking to other teachers.” But after a few times, he was satisfied and eventually had to ask the College Board to stop asking him to grade.
Students over the years also asked Reilly to sponsor many clubs and activities that range from the Rainbow Alliance, to the Dance team, saying “I sponsored the Dance team and we practiced right here in the school with a choreographer, but I still can’t dance a lick…”
Reilly leaves teaching with over 36 years of dedicated service to students, with 16 of those at Haverford, and plans to retire to spend more time with his grandkids before they go on and start school themselves. “My wife currently watches them full-time, and we talked it over, and I feel like it’s a perfect time to leave here to go join her.” Even though Reilly has a wealth of knowledge and experience he says he still finds joy, and humor, in learning something new everyday.
The Fordian wishes Dr. Reilly the best of luck in his retirement, and thanks him for his stories and teaching.