From the Acting Principal
13 February 2020, 12:55PMBack to all news
Welcome back to College life for 2020. I would like to extend a warm welcome to all of our new students, those in Year 7 and in other grades throughout the College and families who are new to the community. I, too, have experienced a strong welcome from the community.
In this first Marist Star, I would like to share some of my own story and thoughts as we embark on a new year. There are existing staff who have taught me, and those who I’ve played sport against; students who I have mentored and coached, as well as strong connections I’ve made since spending much of my life in the Marist region. Having entered my eighth year as a Principal, there are many students I’ve worked with previously in a primary context.
In 2019, I spent my time at St Brigid’s Catholic School, Wynyard, as Principal. This is a school that is really moving positively with a cohesive staff in pursuit of a compelling vision. I still live in Wynyard with my wife Amanda and two children, Theo (5) and Harriet (3). Theo enters Prep this year with Harriet to commence her Catholic Education journey in 2021.
Pictured here from the weekend is my wife Amanda with Harriet (3) on the far left. Theo (5) and I are located in the centre at the back. Harriet and three of her cousins were all baptised on the weekend.
It’s interesting where our journeys can take us. At times we experience surprise destinations. My current destination was brought about by a terrible circumstance, but I feel a sense of mission and purpose to serve a community that has given much to my family, the north-west region and beyond.
Last Wednesday, we held a Welcoming Assembly for all Year groups. To see the Year 7s applauded as they entered the Harcombe Centre filled me with a strong sense of pride and belonging, both as your Acting Principal and a former student.
I remember my first day as a student here at the College in 1995. The hospitality and welcome from two of my classmates, who are now also principals, is something I’ll never forget. They could have chosen to leave me isolated. However, both reached out to me when it was obvious that a skinny 16-year old from Wynyard needed a mate or two! This spirit lives on 25 years later.
Catholic Education has something special; you can feel it, but also see its spirit in action. On our recent Year 12 Retreat, a staff member shared that a Year 8 student apologised to her half way through a lesson and remarked “I’m probably not being as helpful as I should be right now”.
This is an experienced educator, with a background in diverse educational contexts. She cannot believe this level of maturity, care, compassion and self-awareness that many of our students exhibit. I share the same thoughts.
The culture and atmosphere in this college is a testament to those who have helped create what is here today. This includes our college leadership, staff, student leaders and the broader student body and the partnership exhibited between the home and school.
Partnership is a concept I will refer to frequently. If you, as parents, are finding life at home challenging with your child, please engage a relevant member of staff. We are serious about bringing a “fullness of life” to your child and this extends beyond 8.30am until 3.00pm. We can work with you to help in your role as parents. I understand the challenges as a father of two, but not the teenage challenges – yet!
At the same time, we require your trust and support. An absence of trust can undermine any relationship. Our people are committed and professional, and your support and understanding is needed.
I look forward to working collaboratively in this community with confidence, energy, optimism and creativity.
Earlier this week, staff member Mrs Julie Clousen informed us that her mother, Mrs Claire Hanson, passed away on Saturday. Many of you would know that Claire worked at the College as a cleaner from 1990 to 1999. Claire was given the responsibility of cleaning the Science block, the front offices and boardroom and the Chapel.
After finishing at the College, Claire then started cleaning for the religious including the Sisters based both in Somerset and Burnie. Claire lived out the College values, most evidently that of service.
Laurie and Claire Hanson had seven children who all attended Stella Maris and Marist Regional College. These included Danny, John, Rex (dec), Jill, Julie, Mark (dec) and Peter.
Claire will be sorely missed by her family. We share our sincere sympathy and condolences with staff members, John and Julie Clousen.
Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend the funeral which is appointed to leave the Parklands Chapel, 113 Bass Highway Burnie after a service commencing at 1.30 pm on THURSDAY, February 13, 2020 for the interment at the Wynyard Lawn Cemetery.