In this, the final newsletter of 2021, it is the usual practice to reflect, acknowledge and give thanks.
The importance and significance of this practice is not lost on a Principal, and in searching for the best words there is lots of room for questioning – have I missed anything? Have I expressed this in a way that gives the matter its due care?
I’m fortunate, in my role, to have been in the presence of students, staff, parents, and carers whose reflections, acknowledgements and thanks have been perfectly worded for the time, place and situation. I wish I could encapsulate all of these in this last Principal’s Message. One of the voices that has resonated in my memory of this year is that of our Year 12 Level leader and VCE Coordinator, Lizzie Trembath who, in her speech at this year’s Valedictory Dinner said the following:
It is unfortunate that the things that are remembered in history are not the small moments. People don’t always commemorate the acts of friendship and kindness: the birthday cake brought to school, the sweet card you wrote for your teacher, the way you wrapped our office in wrapping paper, the phones you tried to hide, the way you built up your friend when they felt bad, the hoops you shot, the dog that barked through the Google meet, the time your mum dropped into your online class or you forgot to sign off for ten minutes while you checked your phone and made a sandwich.
No one writes down in a history book the cue cards you wrote, essays you sweated over, projects you finished or the calls to work placements that never went answered until finally someone got back to you.
So, if people don’t write this stuff in history books, what do you take away from Year 12?
Well, you take your people- your friendships and your experiences. They have been formative and hopefully, enduring.
You take your education with you for life. We remember that we are privileged to access this in a world where many can’t. You will take and build on this learning into the future.
Finally, you take all that these two years have taught us. WE GET UP. WE GET ON. WE DO IT. Even when we don’t want to and even when the rewards aren’t obvious. I am SO proud of this year level and I can tell that they will continue to learn and thrive. They will take their resilience with them.
Thank you, Ms Trembath, for allowing me to share your inspiring words in my message today.
My thoughts turn now to staff who are leaving us at the end of this year; educators who have inspired their students – whether it was to take the road less travelled or the more familiar pathway – yet always with respect for others and aiming for their personal best. We farewell our inspirational educators: Ben Costello, Jackson Martin, Andrea Egan, Cate Johns, and Ross Cornell. To staff who will be on leave in 2022 we wish you all the very best in your adventures: Cindy Bradford, Barbara Kelly, Harsh Sharma and Kate Sims.
If you haven’t yet seen a copy of our yearbook, the wonderful Columns 2021, then I urge you to seek out that copy that you ordered some time ago (available from the school office) or see if you can borrow one. It is a full and vibrant record of this very interesting year, capturing many funny moments; an enduring record of a resilient and thriving school community.
I am writing this on the day after our Awards ceremony, a celebration which was glowing with pride – recipients, staff, parents and carers joined together in acknowledging the hard work and commitment of students who were recognised for demonstrating our school values of Respect, Diversity, Sustainability and Excellence. The ceremony was very well attended, and what a pleasure to see the old school hall so full of positive energy.
Finally, best wishes to all our students, staff, families, and wider school community. Thank you for all the support and encouragement you have given to each other this year. We are so proud of our students and their achievements in 2021. Have a happy, safe, and relaxing Christmas and New Year.