As the end of the year quickly approaches we begin a series of events to celebrate a successful and very productive year. Both of our Junior Schools will be farewelling their Year 6 students at Valedictory events and Garnsey will conduct its annual Celebration Evening on Thursday 10 December in Garnsey Hall. Parents will receive a written invitation to this event next week. All of our families are invited to attend this event and also supper which is provided afterwards. Celebration Evening is always entertaining and incredibly satisfying as we celebrate and acknowledge the many and varied achievements of our students.
This event is compulsory for students from Years 7, 10 and 11 (2015). These year levels are required to attend each year and as such all Gippsland Grammar students will attend a minimum of three Celebration Nights during their time at the school. Students from other year levels are welcome to attend, should they desire and all musicians and prize winners will be required to attend.
Whilst I understand that there will be legitimate reasons why students may not be able to attend, it is important for students to attend this event as it provides closure to the year, celebrates the diverse nature of our school community and also provides an opportunity for our students to support each other and recognise the achievements of those who have received awards. I encourage all parents to support their children attending and I also ask those that are unable to attend to write to their child’s Mentor as soon as possible.
Last Friday we held the Valedictory Chapel and Dinner in Garnsey Hall. This was a wonderful evening and provided a fitting end to the School careers of our Year 12 students, some of whom have been at Gippsland Grammar for over 13 years. It is always pleasing and very satisfying to see the depth of character of our students at these events. Our Year 12 students have grown to become outstanding young men and women who are now ready to take their place in society. I am looking forward to celebrating their results in December.
Many of our current Year 12 students will be joining me and some of our senior staff at the SEISA Leadership retreat to be held Raymond Island this weekend. Along with other Year 12 students from our SEISA partnership schools we will be exploring the fundamentals of leadership and motivation, whilst also having some fun.
The Parents and Friends Association conducted its AGM on Tuesday night at the Garnsey Campus. At this meeting all offices are open for nominations and the possibility for change. The offices open for re-election were the President, Treasurer, Secretary and also members of the Executive Committee.
Unfortunately no nominations were received for the following positions and these will remain open until suitable candidates can be found from within our Community. If you feel that you have the skill set suited to these positions and would like to nominate yourself, please contact either myself or Sharee Johnson ASAP.
The following parents were also nominated and voted in as the Executive Committee
Sharee Johnson, Valerie Shaw, Marissa Vallette, Jono Craven, Bridgett Van Rooij and Nicole Reynolds. Thanks must also go to the McColl Club and the Friends of Performing Arts who work alongside the P&F and supported the AGM on Tuesday night.
I would like to thank all those parents who attended and offered their assistance with regard to leading the P&F in 2015. In particular, I would like to thank Jo Wilson and Sharee Johnson for leading the P&F this year.
Next year the P&F will be hosting welcome mornings at both of our Junior Schools on the first day of Term 1 and the annual welcome drinks for all parents on Friday February 12 at the Chapel of St Anne, Garnsey Campus. I look forward to welcoming our many new parents at the start of the year and once again enjoying some good company.
The P&F meet on the 3rd Tuesday of each term in the Meeting Room at the Garnsey Campus. All parents are welcome to attend.
The STAGGFAIR organising Committee will be meeting on Tuesday 24 November at 7.30pm in the Garnsey meeting room. All interested parents are welcome to attend and we still have many jobs waiting for enthusiastic helpers.
It is with great sadness that I announce that Jon Taylor has indicated his desire to return to Geelong at the end of Term 1, next year. As many of you would be aware, Jon and Karen have family in Geelong and have always had a strong calling to move home. Karen and the children will be returning at the beginning of next year whilst Jon will continue to support the School until his replacement is found.
We will have ample opportunities to farewell Jon during the Term 1.
As the year rapidly comes towards an end, I am pleased to announce some of the staffing changes for 2016 across all of our campuses. A school of our size normally has many changes from year to year as people resign, retire and take leave. We have been working on our staffing since September and many of our senior staff have been busy interviewing and vetting potential candidates. We had very strong and large fields of applicants for all positions and I believe we have recruited well. Some of our new staff will be joining us from schools in this area and others will be moving to Gippsland to become part of the School Community.
|PE/Health teacher (Garnsey)||Bec Wells (12 months leave)||Richard Olgivie|
|Maths/ Science (Garnsey)||Claire Walker||Megan Wills|
|Head of Science (Garnsey)||Shannon Nash||Michael Howard|
|Head of ISC (Garnsey)||Marianne Lee- retiring||Jacinta Fleming|
|Humanities teacher (Garnsey)||Peter Ries (6 months leave)||Richard Macaulay|
|English/Humanities teacher (Garnsey)||Jessica Ronaldson (maternity leave)||Julie Cannon|
|Maths/ Science (Garnsey)||Emma Neal/ Nicole Sutton||Andrew Hodges|
|Bairnsdale classroom teacher||Sally Stevens (maternity leave)||Brendan Morgan|
|Bairnsdale classroom teacher||Lisa Hudson (maternity leave)||Robert Loft|
New staff and leaving staff- 2016
I would like to wish the staff who are leaving ‘all the best’ as they venture into new careers or take leave from Gippsland Grammar. I would also like to welcome our new staff to the School. Our rollover program begins at Garnsey on Monday 23 November; however, most of our new staff will begin their tenure at the School in January. Garnsey students will become aware of who their teachers are on the first day of the rollover. Our junior students will be told who their teachers are on their transition day.
I would like to congratulate all of our senior students who completed their exams today, apart from a small group of Year 12s who will finally finish their exams next week. I would also like to congratulate our St Anne’s students who performed their Spring Concert last night. This was a wonderful event enjoyed by all who attended. Thank-you to Mrs Germaine and the Music staff for preparing our students so well.
As the Principal of a P-12 School it is always interesting to enjoy and reflect upon the educational journeys of our students. In particular, it is during Term 4, that the contrast between those beginning their journey and those departing becomes obvious.
Our Year 12 students have been farewelled by the School and are now enjoying their exams and counting down the days until they are free to begin the life of an adult post school. As they all have different timetables, their final examinations are on different days. The first of the last examinations will begin on Monday and it is great to be there when the final ‘pens down’ is announced and huge smiles beam across the faces of very happy students. The ecstasy of completion is instant and overwhelming for many and is soon to be replaced by the realisation that a new life is yet to be forged and in some cases the boredom of the endless summer.
As a teacher there is a joint sense of accomplishment for those students whom you have known for many years or have had a significant impact upon during their time at the School. As I have only been at Gippsland Grammar for 3 years, my involvement in this journey is not as extensive as some, however, I still find this moment incredibly satisfying.
Last night I was fortunate to welcome and begin the journey with new students in the ELC and Prep classes. The excitement of beginning the School journey is just as exhilarating for students of this age and I am looking forward to joining the class of 2029 for most if not all of their journey. We do have some members of our staff who have known our current Year 12 students since they were in the ELC and have watched closely as these students have grown into wonderful young men and women. They often shed a tear as they watch another group of students graduate and they will often watch from afar with a sense of pride and satisfaction as these students finish their time at the School.
As a Principal, my pride comes from the impact our School has had on the development of these young people. Whilst I know that they all come from great families with loving and supportive parents, the School has still had a significant impact on their lives and development. We have given them the opportunities to grow and develop to the best of their abilities.
This week is always a week of mixed emotions as we farewell the Year 12 students from the School. As a teacher, students move through our lives on an annual basis as you start new classes, welcome new students and farewell those that are leaving, however, it is always with a tinge of sadness that you farewell the Year 12 students at the end of their time at Gippsland Grammar.
Some of our Year 12 students have been at Gippsland Grammar for their entire schooling life, most joined us at some stage during their junior years, a large group joined the School in Year 7 and many have joined the School later in their secondary schooling. The majority have spent a large part of their young lives at our School and it will be sad to see them go.
We wish them well as they embark upon their exams and we will celebrate with them when their results arrive, we will watch proudly from afar as they begin their lives outside of school and make their mark on the world. I hope to see their passions become realities, their dreams come true, their lives filled with happiness and I am sure that each and every one of them will be successful in whatever they decide to do with their lives. It has been a pleasure to be part of their education for the past 3 years and I know that their teachers feel privileged to have contributed to their lives.
I hope that they will always feel part of our school and I know that they will always be Gippsland Grammar students.
I would like to thank Sharee Johnson for stepping in to lead the P&F after the sudden resignation of Jo Wilson. We wish Jo well as the Wilson family embark on a new adventure in Queensland and we thank her for her efforts as President this year. At Tuesday’s Executive meeting, the P&F established some meeting times for the remainder of this year and also finalised the details for functions. It would be great to see some new people becoming involved in the P&F and I invite you to attend the meetings listed below.
STAGGFAIR Meetings Tuesday 27 October and 24 November 7:30 pm
Garnsey meeting room all welcome. STAGGFAIR is on Sunday 20 March 2016
P&F AGM Tuesday 17 November 8pm Garnsey meeting room.
Nominations to Cathryn Brougham, Secretary or Sharee Johnson VP
Details regarding the role of the P&F and the Executive positions in next week’s newsletter and on the portal.
P&F End of Year Function Friday 13 November The Criterion.
RSVP by 6 November with payment of $25 per head to St Anne’s reception. No late comers accepted.
Thank you to St Anne’s P&F members for organising the function this year. Ticket covers canapés. Drinks at bar prices.
Next week the Sale Agricultural Show will be held in the Showgrounds from Friday- Sunday. Please note that access to the School via the Greyhound track will be unavailable during this time.