Principal’s Message: Term 4, Week 9, 2019

Principal’s Message: Term 4, Week 9, 2019

To the friends and families of the St Edmund’s community,

Vibrant Spirit.  Strong Character.  Tailored Learning

It was a pleasure to attend our Presentation Ceremonies today – the Junior School ceremony in the morning followed by the Years 7 – 11 ceremony. Our special guest at the Junior School ceremony the was former Head of Middle School and long term member of staff Ms Patricia Doyle – it was an absolute joy to have Ms Doyle back with us again today; she is a significant member of our College community and has shaped much of what St Edmund’s is today.  Ms Doyle presented the inaugural Patria Doyle Award for Outstanding Leadership to a Year 6 student. Congratulations to Koby Bird in Year 6 for being the first ever recipient of this award.  Both ceremonies celebrated the academic success of our students and were a fitting conclusion to a great year.

The end of the year always sees some members of staff move on for various personal and professional reasons.  We thank our temporary staff whose contracts finish at the end of this year: Ms Georgina Clementz (English), Mrs Maryanne Larkin (Junior School Library), Ms Cherie Langley (English), Mr Anthony Pitt (TAS) and Mr Jeff Vayo (Year 6 class teacher). We also bid farewell to staff who are moving on and sincerely thank them for their contributions to the College: Ms Geetanjali Arora (RE & Maths), Ms Emma Bacchetto (Community Development), Mr Ross Bristow (Acting Head of Science), Mrs Maree Ford (Reception), Mrs Arlene Gray (Junior School Reception), Mr Jonathan Hall (Mulrooney Head of House), Ms Rebecca Lee (English, Drama & Visual Arts), Ms Paula Moeller (Food Science & Hospitality), Mrs Juanita Rose (Teaching and Learning Support) and Ms Leigh Southwell (English and Careers).

I would like to make particular mention of two members of staff who are moving on.  Our Assistant Principal Teaching and Learning, Ms Marianne Geoghegan, is moving interstate and has been appointed as Associate Head of Campus at the FAME school in Adelaide. FAME Flexible Learning Centre is a Catholic school steeped in the Edmund Rice tradition and works with students at risk of not completing their education.  Ms Geoghegan has been instrumental in promoting the academic life of the College.  Congratulations and good luck to Ms Geoghegan and we thank her for her service to St Edmund’s College.

Mr Ian Harvey is retiring after 31 years at St Edmund’s College. Mr Harvey came to the College after 20 years of service in training and education in the Australian Army. Mr Harvey has been the Careers Advisor for many, many years alongside a number of other roles – English teacher, Acting Bursar, Assistant Year 11 & 12 Co-ordinator, Senior Studies Advisor, Assistant Coach of the First XI cricket team and more recently, Defence Transition Mentor, where he has been an absolutely invaluable support to our defence students and their families.  Mr Harvey has been a great mentor to many members of staff and students, approaching every day with common sense, a warm sense of humour and a welcoming and open spirit.  We wish Mr Harvey well in his retirement and thank him for his many years of outstanding service to the Eddies community.

I would also like to congratulate the following members of staff on their new appointments within the College for next year: Mr Tim Bibbens – Assistant Principal Teaching and Learning; Ms Rhiannon Gardiner – Teaching & Learning Support; Ms Ashleigh Kerin – Head of English; Ms Rebecca Jarman – Careers Advisor; Ms Klara Manenica – Mulrooney Head of House; Ms Frances Sargeant – Head of Science; Mr Fred Zarb – Acting Head of O’Brien House (Semester 1).

Our scriptural theme for 2019 was “I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me”.

This was the first year in which we had a scriptural theme.  A theme like this reminds us of who we are, where we belong and where we are going.  It reminds us that we are all members of a Catholic school in the Edmund Rice tradition; that we belong to a College community where we try to live by the example that has been modelled to us by Jesus Christ and that we are travelling in a direction where we develop boys into young men of vibrant spirit and strong character, by building a spirit of growth, hope, belonging and service. The scriptural theme gives us a coat-hanger where we can hang what we do and what we say.  As I said at the very beginning of the year, to say that “I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me” doesn’t mean that God, through Christ, can grant all our wishes and we can do all things. It’s not as easy as that.  It means that we find our strength to do things and achieve things through more than just ourselves. Christ found strength in community; through the people around him.  So for us to be able to do all things, we need to source our strength from the people around us; from the members of our community. St Edmund’s College is a community where we look to each other for strength – where we stand alongside each other, support each other and motivate each other.  Last year at a College assembly I used the term “We are brothers within these walls” – this is how we should be – a community of people who, like family, might sometimes disagree and squabble and not see eye to eye on everything, but in the end, like a family, we have each other’s backs.  We are there for each other.  We can do all things by standing alongside each other and raising each other up.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our students for another great year – their energy and enthusiasm make a bold statement about who we are.  The spirit of our students is strongly supported and enriched by our parents, and their active involvement in the life of the College.  There was no better way to end the last day of lessons yesterday than to hand over more than 50 hampers to St Vincent de Paul of Narrabundah. This demonstrated the wonderful spirit and energy of our students and their families in wanting to support those families in our community who are in great need this Christmas.  The fact that we ended the year in service to others makes a very bold statement about what we stand for and who we are.

I wish all of our students and their families a very happy and holy Christmas and a relaxing holiday break.  May the love of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, surround you all the times of your life.  Merry Christmas!

End of Year Prayer

At the end of this school year we give thanks to God:
For all the teaching and learning that has taken place in our College, both in and out of the classroom,
for the talents and gifts that have been shared and the challenges that have been faced,
for the burdens that have been lifted and the hurts that have been healed,
for the respect and care that have been given.
We give thanks for the friendships that have grown and for those that have begun.
For the faith that has been lived in our daily struggles,
for the hope that has lifted our hearts on the dark days,
and for the love that has kept us going.
We give thanks for the community that we are and we ask you Lord:
Bless our students as they commence their break: may your Spirit keep them safe;
Bless our families as we take our holidays, may our time together leave us with memories to cherish.
Pour out your love on us that we may return renewed and refreshed next year to continue our  journey together .
We make this prayer through Christ our Lord.
Blessed Edmund Rice, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.

Christus Lux Mea
Joe Zavone (College Principal)



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