Dear Parents, Students, Staff and Friends of the Magdalene Community,
Last night I had the good fortune of attending the Catholic Education Office’s Welcome Dinner for staff new to the Diocese.
A large number of our new staff attended the function (Miss Boulatsakos, Miss Cupillari, Mrs Doepel, Mr Fordyce, Ms Gavin, Mr Quinn, Ms Loka and Mrs Sharma) to have a communal dinner and to also hear a number of important messages about beginning and utilising their time in our Diocese.
Having attended Mater Dei’s Opening Mass earlier in the week with Mrs Ivana Forner and two of our excellent Year 10s (Madyson Kenny and Shaun Rafferty), I had already been struck by just how much joy was exhibited by Mater Dei students. Indeed, it is great to know that we have strong connections with Year 7 & 8 Mater Dei students who attend Magdalene each Tuesday. During the course of the Evening, however, Mater Dei’s Principal Mr Tony Fitzgerald (and former parent of three Magdalene students) was the Guest Speaker and he only furthered my belief about how providing opportunity to young people - no matter their personal circumstances - is vital.
In his speech Mr Fitzgerald commented on the range of opportunities which need to be made available to young people. I believe this is something which Magdalene provides, however, I also believe that there is still room for students to open up to even more opportunities and self-belief – especially in terms of their academic and spiritual outlooks. To have over 120 Magdalene students recently volunteer to be part of Social Justice initiatives, says much – and thus I would suggest a large number of our students ‘get it’ that we need to give back to the world in which we live. Yet, I also ponder as to whether our students realise just how special they are – and just how many talents they have?
It is very easy to doubt one’s self in today’s society but with the support of our fine staff at Magdalene I would like to think that there is even more scope for self-assurance and confidence, so that they can reach the very highest of their aspirations and goals.
A second thing which struck me in Mr Fitzgerald’s speech is the wonderful chance our teachers have to be present to young people, inspire and make a difference. In one of his numerous anecdotes, Mr Fitzgerald spoke about how various staff members had made a real difference in the lives of his own sons and daughters. He then spoke of how Mr Joe Trimarchi, our amazing groundsperson and yes, the one responsible for our beautiful roses, had been the one staff member who had inspired his daughter Caitlin the most. Examples of Joe’s impact included: concern for young people, positivity and being prepared to help others at the ‘drop of a hat’. To me, this is where our staff are very special and points to who we are as a school. It doesn’t matter what role a staff member may have, all have a chance to inspire and make the lives and futures of our young people all the better.
Next week, students will have a Staff Development Day on Friday. During this day, staff will explore and reengage with who we are as a School and look at our Vision and Mission. I suspect that the incredible role staff to comment on proposals to sharpen our formal statement about our School values and “who we are as a school”.
The following prayer (shared by Mrs Jodie Hort) was said at staff’s Monday briefing and at Wednesday’s Professional Learning Team meeting. It is quite lovely and shows how teachers can make an incredible difference in the lives of young people.
A PRAYER FOR TEACHERS
Giver of all Wisdom and Greatest teacher of all, look upon our teachers with love.
Grant teachers the resolve to nurture student’s eager minds and to never give up on students who fall behind.
Bless teacher hearts; for they rejoice when students succeed and encourage students when they fail.
Endow teachers with gentle patience; for the path of learning is never easy.
Kindle the spirit of passion in teachers - it is the flame that ignites the love of learning in students.
Help teachers to see the potential in each student; their belief in a student means more than the grades they allocate.
Instil in teachers a commitment to keep on learning - it shows students not to fear new knowledge and experiences.
Inspire teachers to touch the future; they influence how big a dream the student dreams for
Bless our teachers who have come before, for their work endures to this day.
Let the light of your example shine upon all teachers:
To build up with their words, to love with their mind and to share with their heart.
FRIDAY 10 March 2017
7.30am - 12.30pm
The School Office will be closed on Friday 10 March whilst staff participate in mandatory training sessions.
Congratulations to Mrs Blair Colella and her husband Luke on the birth of their daughter Evelyn Grace Jacqualyn Colella.
I am sure everyone will join with me in wishing Evelyn Grace Jacqualyn a blessed and long life.
Mr Matthew McMahon