The term is almost at its mid-point and our senior students will start their final week of classes next week. It is a College tradition that our student leaders address the full school assembly over the final weeks of the year. This week, Richard Cook, spoke to all of the young men about his time at the College and the impact that many of his teachers have had upon him. His statement made me think about the impact that we, as teachers, have on the lives of the many young men that pass through the College. All schools should...
The term is almost at its mid-point and our senior students will start their final week of classes next week. It is a College tradition that our student leaders address the full school assembly over the final weeks of the year. This week, Richard Cook, spoke to all of the young men about his time at the College and the impact that many of his teachers have had upon him. His statement made me think about the impact that we, as teachers, have on the lives of the many young men that pass through the College. All schools should provide environments that offer safety and support to all of the students. St Patrick’s College is a “home” to nearly 1300 students and 165 staff on a daily basis for over seven hours each day. St Patrick’s (and all schools) go much further than simply a place where so many people gather to teach, learn or undertake other positions of employment. We are a community of people. Consequently, we develop our own culture that espouses and articulates the values that make us more unique than other such communities. Our values are include compassion, love and justice.
Richard is a very gifted student and athlete and a very humble young man. His speech did not mention his many achievements reached throughout his schooling or the great academic grades that he will receive at the end of his senior year. Rather, he spoke of the time that others gave to him to assist him as a person. He expressed gratitude to not only the teachers and other staff of the College but also to his fellow students who have supported him throughout his time at St Patrick’s. He particularly thanked his peers for their support and assistance and acknowledged their role in assisting him in his leadership role throughout this year. As a Catholic School in the Edmund Rice Tradition, if we can graduate young men with an understanding that they are able to develop (holistically) because of the assistance of others around them and acknowledge the people who have made a difference to their lives then I believe we have formed young Men of Action. Any school that forms such young men can also be confident that they are indeed offering all of the students an environment that is both safe and supportive and in the context of our own College we can also be confident that the values that we hold dear are also evident in the formation of our Men of Action. The key to this formation is that each of our young men understand the opportunities and support that is available to them take this support and assistance and work to achieve their full potential.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend the AIC Track and Field Championships. I was very impressed with the efforts of our athletes who competed in very difficult warm conditions. Across the two days, there were a number of “personal bests”. I was also very impressed with the comradery displayed amongst the team. The athletes supported each other throughout the day. This year we chose to send our Year 11, 10 and 7 cohorts of students. During the College assembly on Tuesday we named and acknowledged the new leaders of the Paddies Battalion from Year 11 and they led the students who supported from the stands. The cheering and support throughout the day was outstanding. One of the highlights was a combined “Viking Clap” with the Marist Ashgrove students sitting next to us. I would like to particularly recognize Thomas Winsen, Aaron Herrington, Harry Waterman, Samson Slater, William Welsh and Finlay Emery as the new battalion leaders and thank them for their leadership of the student cheering and support yesterday. It was very strong.
My formative review as College Principal was held over Wednesday and Thursday 19-20 October. Within the EREA system, College Principals and Deputy Principals are employed on five year contracts. During this time we have a formative review in the second year and a more thorough summative review in our fourth year of the contract. Frank Torrisi had his formative review earlier this year. The panel members for my review included Michael Horsley (EREA National Manager of Educational Services), Peter Chapman (Regional Manager – North EREA) and Nick Scully (College Principal – St Brendan’s College, Yeppoon). Staff members were selected at random by Michael Horsley and some parents and students were invited to be a part of the interviews. During the next review all of the parent body will be invited to comment through an on-line survey. I would like to thank the members of the community who had input into the review. I have been given an informal feedback session and will receive the written report later this term. The next stage is for me to develop an action plan to address the recommendations from the review. I have always found these reviews to be very useful in assisting my leadership skills and as an indication of whether the community feels that I am leading the College in the right direction.
Our last round of AIC sport finished last Saturday. Overall, our Basketball and Tennis teams have much to celebrate. This year we had a record number of students trialling for our Basketball teams. In our final games against St Edmund’s College Ipswich (SEC), our Tennis teams won 10 out of the 13 age groups and finished as premiers in the Open 2nds, Open 3rds and Year 11A and in Basketball our 11B, 10A, 10B and 8A teams all secured premierships. Overall, our Basketball teams finished third on aggregate, one point behind Marist College, Ashgrove. More importantly than these results, I enjoyed attending each week’s fixtures in both sports and seeing the enjoyment on each young man’s face and the wonderful support of their coaches and parents and friends. Once again I believe that our student support was the best of any AIC school particularly in our away games.
Next Friday evening, we celebrate our annual Night of Excellence. This is an opportunity for our community to recognize the hard work of many of students within their studies throughout this year. It is also an opportunity for our choirs and ensembles to perform and I can confidently state that the evening will indeed be a showcase of talent. Please ensure that your son has checked to see if he will be receiving an award on the evening and if he believes that we have made a mistake, please contact the studies office as soon as possible.