Our Newest Dragon: An Interview with Principal Melvin Allen


John Retkovis

Principal Allen prepares to go out for "Bullhorn Friday."

Jack Fitzpatrick

As students are well-aware, Kingsway Regional High School has welcomed a new principal, one Melvin Allen, to the Kingsway community. Interest in this new administrator, a stranger to many of the students at Kingsway, is at an all time high. 

Professionally, Allen  was the principal of Deptford High School for six years prior to arriving at Kingsway, in addition to being a vice principal there for two years and holding a scattering of minor positions before that point. Over the years, he built his administrative career around one key skill: Communication. “It’s 80 percent communication, 20 percent know-how,” he said. “I try to communicate with people as much as possible, by both communicating important information initially, and by apologizing when I make a mistake.”  Allen follows this advice in more ways than one, the most iconic of which being his bullhorn, which he can be seen roaming the hallways with every Friday.

When asked about the origins of this distinctive habit, the principal revealed it to have surprisingly quaint origins. “At my old district, one teacher had [a bullhorn] in their classroom,” he told me, “and one day I asked him, ‘can I borrow this for a moment?’. From that point on, it was a mainstay.” While an entertaining diversion, Allen was privy to the fact that the bullhorn had the potential of getting old fast. “I don’t try to do it every day, because it could become significantly agitating. I try to do it only once a week.” That restraint is important, and is one of the main reasons for the relative success of “bullhorn Friday”.

While the bullhorn is a good way to have fun in school, Allen also has a variety of ways of getting r&r on his off hours. He has multiple hobbies, among them working out and playing video games with his older son, but his principle method of getting downtime are by playing with his two-year-old daughter and his dog. He also has a penchant for singing, hence his adeptness at singing the National Anthem at school football games. When commenting on where he refined this hobby,  Allen said, “I was in a gospel singing group in college. We tried out to sing the anthem at the Eagles game, and we won. From then on, it was one of those things that really caught fire.” Him and his group would go on to sing at a variety of national-level sporting events, from Eagles games, to Flyers games, to even Phantoms games. So, when fans here his  voice at the start of a football game, they should not be surprised.

 As a closing statement, Allen offered this advice to Kingsway students: “There’s definitely a positive energy here; I can feel it whenever I walk down the halls. My advice to the students is simple. Just keep that energy going, and share it wherever it’s needed. That’s the key to our success.”