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Living the Dream at ATC

I have a friend that whenever I ask him how he is going he will always tell me ”living the dream”. Living the dream is a great catch phrase and I hope it is something that all our students can say. Dreams are important and dreams are often the start of what reality can be. If there is one thing I hope a good education would give a child it is the ability to dream; dream what is possible for them and dream what is possible in our world. This week has been a week full of surprises for me where I have had the chance to see our students in a range of contexts in a range of situations.

Last Saturday I had the opportunity to see our cross country squad compete in the QCIS Championships in Warwick. The determination on the runners’ faces was very evident and the way in which many of them tackled the race was to believe that this was the most important thing that they had ever done. Not everyone can win a race but everyone can be a winner in the effort they put in.

Later in the day I was able to get to Suncorp Stadium to see our taiko drummers perform in the forecourt. As interested spectators were drawn in by the deep beat of the drums, the boys’ grew ten feet tall as the crowd acknowledged the unique sound. I was particularly touched by a young boy I was standing beside and he said to his dad that he heard about this school, Ambrose Treacy College. He told his dad that he wanted to go to the school because his friend had told him that they do lots of cool things at this school. Whilst his Dad didn’t answer him I felt that his dad could see that his son was energised by the possibilities or the dreams that this brief encounter generated.

Later that afternoon I journeyed over and had the pleasure to watch our Big Band perform at the Brisbane Jazz Club. The Brisbane Jazz Club is a quaint little club with a breath taking back drop on the Kangaroo Point reach of the Brisbane River and it is the hub of the jazz music world in Brisbane. This fact was not missed by the boys and they were very much in awe of the opportunity they were given. As always their performance was first class in my eyes (I am always in awe of the musical talents of our students!!) but it was a step forward for them for where their dreams were being realised. To have someone like John Morrison speak glowingly of their performance and give them a few tips to take their performance to an even higher level was priceless.

In a change of pace Sunday morning brought about the chance to see boys in a totally different context – our fishing club outing at Deep Water Bend at Dohles Rocks on Brisbane’s north side. As I moved along the rock wall taking the odd photo, a couple of older women ventured up to me and asked if I knew who this group was. When I pointed out that they were a part of a school fishing club, they immediately spoke of how impressed they were that this opportunity was given to the students – they said the boys were so lucky to be able do this because theycertainly looked so excited. As every fisherman knows with every cast you are always one step closer to your biggest ever fish!

This evening as I sit down to write this piece for the newsletter, I have just come home from watching our Junior Choir perform at the Queensland Youth Music Awards at Kurwongbah State School. Albeit coming from a biased school Principal, the boys performed with energy and more than anything else, showed a pride that seemed to be evident because they wanted to be a part of the choir and proud of their school. I would like to congratulate the boys on winning a Bronze in their chosen category. As the only all boys’ choir in the competition, it was great to see boys who love their singing, singing. I am sure that there are many boys who would love the world to be more accepting of boys singing but sadly our stereotyping often inhibits this. But at ATC it is great to see our young men have no barriers to living out their dreams with regards to their music.

Whilst this is only a short snapshot of what goes on at the College, to me it certainly captures an essence of what is one of the great things about our school – staff, students and parents working together and making many of the boys dreams a reality. Seeing boys full of fun and laughter is always uplifting; I often think that I have one of the best jobs going. The opportunity to see boys dreaming and growing is the main gift that teaching affords us. Teaching is a demanding job, and I am so grateful that our teachers are believers in the power of dreams for the young, otherwise all these sort of opportunities just stay dreams and never become a reality. Like my good friend will tell me often, I am sure many of our students would probably say that they are living the dream.

EREA School Renewal
As I mentioned in last week’s ATConnect, we have just completed our EREA School Renewal process to validate our authenticity as a Catholic school in the Edmund Rice tradition. Whilst it will take a few weeks to receive our formal written report, the visiting panel did give the College Leadership Team a verbal overview of their report at the end of their visit. It was great to receive a very positive and complimentary overview of their impression from their visit. For me the strongest affirmation that I heard was their belief that our greatest achievement was the buy in from our whole community. In particular from their perspective they reported that staff, students and parents shared a common understanding of what the College stood for particularly from a values point of view, and the direction it was aspiring to move in. The word authentic is something that we want to be known for and in particular authentic to living out the charism of Edmund Rice. I would like to thank the community for their involvement in this process. It is a process that will provide valuable feedback for our continued growth. It is always nice to receive commendations on the work that we are doing. Whilst we will take time to celebrate these achievements the recommendations will hold the key to our continued growth. I look forward to sharing more on this report when it is finalised.

I would ask you to please keep Riley Montagnino (6 Nolan) and his family in your thoughts and prayers following the recent passing of his grandfather. We hope that time will help heal the pain they will feel in his absence. Eternal rest grant unto him our Lord, May perpetual light shine upon him, May he rest in peace. Amen.

With best wishes,
Michael Senior