This Friday we will take time to congratulate a number of boys who have achieved outstanding results on their semester 1 report and also congratulate students who have shown excellent application to their studies.
One of the words I hope students would hear us talk about at ATC is excellence and in particular we talk about academic excellence. When using the phrase excellence we refer to the notion of a personal excellence whereby all students are encouraged to achieve the best that they possibly can. For many boys excellence might translate into an A or a B, for others an excellent result might be a well-earned C-. Regardless of the actual level achieved the aim is that each individual student achieves their own personal best and one indicator of this is the attitude to learning rating that they receive for each subject. In this way I believe that all students should aspire to receiving as many As as possible in the Approach to Learning mark on their reports. I would encourage parents to help their sons set realistic goals around their academic performance and one safer way to set these goals is around their application to their studies and this is assigned on their reports as Approach to Learning.
The beginning of a term will often realise changes for students and this term we welcome three new students to ATC. I would like to welcome Hamish Grandy (Year 9), Anthony Roma and Kyle Daylight (Year 8) as they begin their journey with us. It has been really pleasing to see all three boys settle in well over the first couple of days and this has been in no small way due to the warm welcome our students have given them.
This term also realises a few changes on the staffing front as well. As announced at the end of last term, Alisha McNeven, Luke Donatini and Shane Hannan will not be with us for semester 2. I would also like to inform the community that sadly I have also accepted the resignation of Ben Lawler our Business Manager, effective from July 22. Whilst this news was somewhat unforeseen, I do understand that Ben has made an important decision for his family to pursue an unexpected opportunity in his former industry area of mining. Whilst Ben has only been with us for 18 months he has made a strong contribution to the financial and operational areas of ATC life. Ben brought an infectious energy to his role and we wish him well in his change ahead.
In announcing Ben’s departure to you, I would also like to announce that Ben will be replaced by Peter Nugent. Peter is a very experienced financial administrator who has worked across a number of industry areas and I am confident that he will continue Ben’s diligent work and continue to help direct both the current and strategic financial direction of the College. Peter will join the College on Monday July 25 in the capacity of Business manager and a member of the College Leadership Team.
I would like to welcome back Melissa Trowell who re-joins the teaching staff after maternity leave; Melissa will be teaching across a number of year levels this term covering staff on leave and release for curriculum writing. Maryanne Costi will take over fulltime responsibility for the 6 Bodkin class in Alisha McNeven’s absence, while Janine McGrath will join the library staff covering Maryanne’s i-Skills classes in the Junior School. We also welcome back former staff member Nick Drew who returns to the College to cover some of Luke Donatini’s Health and PE classes in the Junior School. We welcome Nick Langinan to the music department; Nick will be teaching lower brass replacing Shane Hannan.
Over the July holidays the College conducted two tours, a cultural immersion in Japan and a music tour to Sydney. I would like to thank Paul Ramsey once again for his energy to take a number of our students to Japan for a cultural immersion. The tour was a great experience for the boys with the home stay a highlight for many of the boys. I would like to thank Jill Rau and Darren Cullen for their willingness to give up part of their holidays and family time to make this tour a possibility for the students.
This year saw the College undertake a music tour for the first time when our Concert Band and Jazz Band participated in the 2016 Australian International Music Festival in Sydney. The festival was a fantastic opportunity for our bands to rehearse in workshops with international conductors and perform in a range of exciting venues. The highlight no doubt was the opportunity for the Concert Band to perform at the Sydney Opera House. I was fortunate to be able to join the band for their performance at the Opera House and the band’s performance was excellent matching the remarkable venue that they performed in.
For many musicians the opportunity to play at the Sydney Opera House is very much a bucket list item and to be able to play there at such a young age is the kind of things that dreams are made of. I would like to congratulate all of the boys on the way that they conducted themselves on the tour, they were a credit to the College and their families. In the day that I was able to join them on no less than three occasions members of the public came up to me unsolicited and congratulated the boys on the way that they conducted themselves and in particular their gentlemanly manners. I would like to thank Jonathon Bolt, Catherine Esbensen, Natalie Scalia, Jason Goopy, Darren Skaar, Brijette Tubb, Michael Bannon and Bernard Wong for their willingness to commit to this trip and give up their time to enable the boys to live out this dream.
One of the great things about Ambrose Treacy College that I enjoy so much is the strong community feeling that is so evident at the College. This is felt in so many ways and last Sunday was just one example of this when we conducted a working bee to give the College grounds a little extra boost for the start of semester 2. This realised over 50 families contributing to mulching gardens, planting over 150 plants to existing gardens and generally giving the place a little extra TLC. I would like to thank Steve Davidson for his energy to organise the ‘troops’ for this and to Wayne Green, Ross Earle and Craig Reid from our Ground staff who were on hand to lead this working crew. It was great to see so many boys joining in and logging up a couple of service hours as well.
Opening of the Middle School Precinct
Just a reminder that next Tuesday afternoon we will officially open the new Middle School Precinct. This promises to be a significant occasion and it gives an opportunity to officially recognise the contribution of a number of people for have helped the College realise this wonderful facility.
I would like to ask the community to please keep a couple of members of our community and their families in your thoughts and prayers as they face some serious health challenges. Henry Gardiner, Year 5 Treacy, has sadly had a re-emergence of his leukaemia that he had initially successfully beaten a couple of years ago. Henry, given the aggressive treatment regime required for this, will be away from school for a number of weeks. He is a very strong young man who successfully faced this challenge earlier and I am confident that with the support of family and friends he will once again get through this difficult period. I would also ask you to please keep Grant Parker (Father of Nick, Year 8) in your thoughts as he also undergoes cancer treatment. The journeys of Henry and Grant are sombre reminders to us all about how lucky we can be in living healthy lives and more particularly not to take this for granted. Please keep them and their families in your thoughts and prayers at these challenging times.
I would ask our community to please keep Alexander Bourke 4 Nolan and his family in your thoughts and prayers following the recent passing of his maternal great grandmother and also Mr Tim Walker, Year 8 Coordinator and his family in your thoughts and prayers following the recent passing of Tim’s maternal grandfather, Charles Rice. We hope that the passage of time will help heal the sense of loss that they will no doubt feel and that in the grieving there is also time to celebrate the gift that their life brought to so many. Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord, May perpetual light shine upon them, May they rest in peace Amen.