Dear Parents, Students, Staff and Friends of the Magdalene Community,
Welcome back to Term 4. I am glad to return from my leave and thank Mr Elliott, Mrs Forner, Mr Zakris and Mrs Eggleton for assuming roles of responsibility in my absence.
Upon my return I was able to be involved in the Year 12 farewells both during the day and in the evening. The events were filled with excitement and a tinge of sadness as students prepare for life beyond Magdalene. At each of the events the students behaved impeccably and were a credit to their parents their year groups and themselves as individuals. During each of the events the students took the time to recognise the wonderful efforts of their parents and families, their peers and their teachers. This fact reminded me that the road to the HSC is a combined effort and I thank all involved for their willingness to work in partnership with each other.
During the Year 12 Graduation Mass the School Captains Caitlin Fitzgerald and Luke Papandrea spoke beautifully of their time at Magdalene. They also emphasised the nature of education at Magdalene being about education for life. They finished their speech with the following, which is a pertinent message for each of us.
“Throughout tonight’s Mass you will be witnesses to our faith in action. The involvement of the graduating class is a clear display of our commitment to discipleship and our willingness to take up these Gospel values as we step out into the wider community. Year 12 as we graduate we pray that you keep in mind the values and lessons that you have learnt through your time here at Magdalene and always hold them in a special place where they will not be lost or forgotten.”
As we farewell our Year 12 leaders we welcome our new school leaders for the 2015/16 school year. This week the new leader induction was conducted at the school and the leaders across the school were presented with their badges. I take this opportunity to publicly congratulate the leaders as they commit to leading the Magdalene community for the coming 12 months. The special guests at the Leadership Induction were Fr Joseph, Mrs Lara Symkowiak (Mayor of Camden) and Camden Citizen of the Year 2015 Mr Ted Gilroy. Mr Gilroy spoke to the students about leadership being a possibility for everyone. Leadership can also be demonstrated in little ways and individuals always have the capacity to make a difference to others through their actions on any scale. Our special guests certainly added to the occasion. The names of the leaders for 2016 are included later in this newsletter.
I remind parents that the Parents and Friends Association and the Parent Consultation Committee will meet on Tuesday 20 October. This meeting is also the Annual General Meeting of the Parents and Friends Association and as such office bearers will be elected. I ask every parent to consider being part of the Parents and Friends Association as a means of supporting your child’s education.
As we begin the final term of 2015, I remind parents of the importance of having high expectations of young people (your children) and making these expectations clear to them. Clear boundaries help young people to understand their limits and your expectations. I reinforced to the staff this week, the importance of having high expectations as well as doing the little things well. As a school we will continue to have high expectations in all areas; respect, academic performance, homework, punctuality, manners, presentation and so on. It is important that we have ongoing parental support in these areas so that students then set high standards for themselves and develop self discipline and grow as positive individuals. I look forward to ongoing parental support in setting high expectations for all students at Magdalene.
Next week the Year 12 students begin their Higher School Certificate Examinations. I ask everyone to keep the students in their thoughts and prayers as they approach such a stressful time in their lives. I include the following prayer from my local parish bulletin. We can all pray this prayer for and with our Year 12 students.
Congratulations to Mr Tim Manns who married his fiancé Jenna over the holidays, we wish the new Mr & Mrs Manns all the best for their future lives together. This week we farewell Mrs Duke and Mrs Tree as they begin their maternity leave. We wish both “mums to be” and their husbands all the best for the birth of their babies. During the period of her leave Mrs Duke will be replaced by Mrs Monger for the remainder of 2015. Mrs Tree will be replaced by Miss Lauren Cusack until she returns in Term 3 2016.
A Student’s HSC Prayer
Lord, you have loved me into life and I thank you.
In this exam period, give me a calm heart and quiet confidence in the knowledge that you hold me in the palm of your hand.
Bless me with keen understanding and a retentive memory.
Give me the ability to grasp things correctly, and express myself clearly.
Help me to look beyond this time of exams and see clearly
whatever you call me to be in life.
Show me my gifts and talents and help me to have the courage to use them to love others, to give you glory and to leave this world a better place.
Mr John Lo Cascio