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A Shared Vision Brings the Future into Focus

As the end of the first semester looms, I would like to thank everyone for their support over the first six months. In particular I would like to thank all of the ATC students on their first semester – as usual they are energetic, they are fun loving and they are, in general, engaged learners.

No two days at Ambrose Treacy College are the same and I believe it is the spirit and the energy the boys exude that makes ATC the place it is. I look forward to the second semester and all the opportunities that it will bring and I hope the upcoming holidays provide all families with some quality family time.

Given that we are a relatively new school the most common question that I am asked is how I feel the school is going. I suspect the question behind this question is – am I happy with how the College is going? As a person who usually adopts a positive position in life the easy answer for me is that it is going well, not without its challenges but on the whole really well. Whilst we have challenges I will always ensure that the minority of experiences never outweigh the majority. It is a question of whether you believe that your glass is half full or half empty. Whilst I always believe that my glass is always half full, I also believe that you can always refill your glass.

I have previously quoted Jeff Gottfurcht, the first person to have ever reached the peak of Mt Everest with rheumatoid arthritis. After conquering Mt Everest, Jeff said that there were five important lessons that he learnt that now stands him in good stead to meet life’s challenges.

His 5 lessons are:

When I reflect on the lessons learnt by Jeff, I find myself also reflecting on the lessons that I have learnt on our short journey at ATC:

1. Make sure you see the opportunities rather than just seeing the challenges,
2. Be aware that your next challenge and hence opportunity is just around the corner, be aware and be prepared,
3. Hard work is the key to moving forward,
4. Stick with what you believe in no whether it is people or principles, and
5. Our greatest strength is the community we share including staff, parents and importantly students.

In writing to you today I would like to advise you that I will be away from the College from this Wednesday through to the start of next term. This week, I will be attending a national EREA Principals Conference in Adelaide. Following this conference, I will be taking a few weeks of long service leave to take some time to recharge my batteries for the rest of the year ahead. In my absence David Gardiner will assume responsibility for leadership at the College.

Our School Officers – Thank you

Schools today are complex organisations that rely on many people coming together with a shared vision and understanding to provide an environment and a culture that hopefully brings out the best in all our students. Whilst it is easy to understand and recognise the contributions that teachers make in students’ lives, I am also very aware of the contributions that so many of our other staff make. Here at ATC we have staff who work tirelessly at our front desk, in administration, in classrooms supporting students with their learning, in our libraries, in our tuckshop, in our grounds, in our music and sporting programs – in fact, there are no areas of College life where our non-teaching staff don’t make a very real and a significant contribution to our community.

This Wednesday June 13 is a day to remember the contributions that school officers make in our schools. It certainly is a timely reminder to all teachers to be thankful for the wonderful contribution that our non-teaching staff make both to the students and the staff. I know in my role I am very aware of the support I receive both professionally and personally from the staff who work with me in the College administration office. I know that all our staff both teaching and non-teaching staff understand the important partnership we all share with each other to deliver the kind of education we want and to be the kind of community we aspire to be.

I am confident in saying that I know of no other school who are fortunate to have a staff of the quality of Ambrose Treacy College. I am very fortunate to be in a position where numerous people, both from within our community and outside our community, regularly compliment me on the quality of our staff. The most common thread in these compliments is that we seem to genuinely care either about their sons or meeting their needs when they are seeking help or information. In a very genuine way, I would like to acknowledge the great work of our non-teaching staff. Their contribution is very significant and I assure them that their contribution does not go unnoticed. A quote that I have always remembered is: “they may forget what you said but they will not forget how you made them feel”. I certainly feel confident that this quote is particularly true for our school officers. Our school officers make us all, students and staff, feel special in the way they care for us all. Thank you.

Prayers

I would ask our community to please keep Jamiyah Fewquandie, Year 9 and Keith Narayanan, Year 4, Ellen Bray, Library and their families in your thoughts and prayers following the passing of Jamiyah’s maternal grandmother, Keith’s great grandmother and Ellen’s father-in-law recently. We hope that the passage of time will ease the pain of their passing and that the upcoming days can be a time of celebrating the gift that their lives have brought to their families. Eternal Rest grant unto them O Lord, May perpetual light shine upon them, May they rest in peace. Amen.

With best wishes
Michael Senior