Last Saturday evening, I had the privilege to attend our final musical performance for 2020. The show, with energy and out-pouring of emotion, is something that will remain with the cast, support staff and audience for all time. What was on display was a true testament to the skill, creativity, dedication, commitment and resilience by those who made it happen.
Again, thanks to Ms Helenmarie Desmond and Mr Tom Lamb for their leadership. Helenmarie has been so gracious throughout, always paying tribute to Tom, the parent volunteers and staff who freely gave their time, and importantly, the students who helped bring the musical to life.
After the show, conversing with the audience, I spoke about Tom and Helenmarie being champions of the Arts fraternity. We are lucky to have this duo working so closely together to bring life and creative opportunities to our students.
For Helenmarie, her time with us at the College will end in Term Four. The standing ovation she received on Saturday evening was deserved. A champion of MRC Arts which is recognised more broadly in our wider community.
At this time of writing, I sit in a West Hobart hotel, whilst our students sleep in preparation for the SATIS finals tomorrow. Marist Regional College has a strong sporting culture, as evidenced by the highest finals participation by any college in Tasmania. I look forward to watching the boys and girls hockey, and our girls basketball team take on the state’s best. My advice will be to be focused, but relax and enjoy the experience. To Mr Grant Sims, Mr Brady Yates and Mrs Amanda Johnstone, thank you for your time, commitment and coordination, to provide our young people with an experience they will never forget. Amanda and Grant, you are true stalwarts of MRC sport. I’m led to believe it’s Amanda’s twelfth year as hockey coach. Let’s hope they can bring home a state title or two. We will know at the time of publishing!
We have had some of our sporting champions in Year 10 who have been able to juggle their academic responsibilities with exam week and these state finals. It has been our responsibility as a College to promote some agility and choice to best suit the needs of the students in a fair and equitable manner for all. The level of commitment and maturity that these Year 10 students have shown, to balance both their sporting commitments and their education, amazes us. These examples of both our musical and sporting “champions” committing, striving and balancing is a great credit to the partnership between the College and home.
We have little doubt that our Covid experience has added to the weight that our students can carry throughout any year, particularly as evidenced this term as we returned to school. I would like to pay tribute to some of our College “champs” on staff, who have gone about their work to support our students during this time, including our Counsellors, Judy and Carina, with the support of Nicole, our Psychologist. In addition, to our Year Level Coordinators, who have provided additional support, as well as to Mrs Rogers, who supports them in their work. Thank you.
On Thursday and Friday, our College hosts the regional UTAS Science, Technology and Engineering Challenge in the Harcombe Centre. On Thursday, this will see students from other schools attend and engage. On Friday, our students are provided with the same opportunity. Thanks to Mr Darren Cox, our Head of Science, for his leadership, energy and enthusiasm, along with the support of his dedicated team.
This week our Year 9s participated in their annual retreat. Our performances on the stage and on the pitch or court mean nothing if we do not undertake our approach in the right manner. Retreats give us opportunities to grow spiritually, reflecting on who we are and how we want to interact with others. Our gospel values can provide us with a great point of reference for how we are living. These values are made overt at our College, are articulated and every effort is made to live these out. What continues to amaze me is the character of our students, and this has been evidenced with the experiences that our students are undertaking in their day to day interactions. An emphasis on character, over other attributes, is what can define a champion. We will continue to emphasise character at our College.
It is hard to measure the impact the challenges of 2020 have had on all of us. For the next two weeks, our students and staff are encouraged to rest and recuperate for Term 4, after returning to school from learning at home in Term 2. We have had a great fortnight to conclude this term where students have been provided with many opportunities to be challenged, engaged and grow in their journeys.
Mr Gregg Sharman