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The Joy of Sharing

Students gather around the St. Vincent de Paul donation tree.

As the second year of Ambrose Treacy College draws to a close I would like to congratulate all our students on an exceptional year. One of the joys of teaching is to sit back at the end of the year and see the growth and changes in boys over the year.

With very few exceptions the changes are very evident and I see boys who have grown in self-confidence and maturity, for some their physical changes are quite dramatic and for others they have achieved personal milestones with their learning in and outside the classroom. Here at ATC we have a strong communityfeel and it’s a feeling that is equally shared by students, staff and parents. In the end it is this strong community basis that adds quality and meaning to our lives. In a community we support others and in turn we are supported by others. This caring for others is the basic story of Christmas and I hope that this Christmas season is one where we can enjoy the company of our families and friends and look for peace and joy in our lives and in the lives of those we love.

There can be a beautiful simplicity about Christmas that is calming to our senses amidst the furious activity of daily life at this time of the year. I would like to share with you something I read recently that sums up the real meaning of Christmas. If we were to put into ordinary terms the meaning of Christmas, perhaps it might look something like this:

“It’s sharing your gifts, not purchasing gifts.
It’s not wrapping presents, it’s being present and wrapping your arms around the ones you love.
It’s not getting Christmas cards out on time, it’s sending any card, anytime, at the right time.
It’s not having the best Christmas light display, it’s displaying the Christ light that comes from your heart.
It’s not Santa coming down the chimney, it’s Jesus coming down from heaven and giving us the gift of Himself.”

The realisation of dreams is a large part of life’s goals and to continue to see our planning of building a new school community come to fruition continues to be uplifting. Throughout the year I believe we have once again met the various challenges that a new school presents and more importantly we have seized the opportunities that have emerged for us. Much of this is due to the incredible commitment everyone has shown to make this a reality. In a very heartfelt way I would like to acknowledge the wonderful support and contribution we continue to have had from our parents. The positive energy I have experienced from our parents has once again been very evident and life giving.

One of the major contributions for our successful year lies in the fact that we have an incredible group of staff at the College. From our teachers, to admin staff, our school officers in the classroom, to music and sport assistants to our ground staff we are very lucky to have such a talented and committed group of people. In the end, the fact that we experienced the year that we have is due to the people on the ground, that make the ‘magic’ happen. I would like to extend a sincere thank you to all our staff for their tireless efforts to provide your sons with the education they experience. I know of very few schools who have the quality of staff who are prepared to go so far beyond normal expectations. I hope that the upcoming break gives them a chance to put their feet up and have a well-earned holiday.

Staffing 2017
Our staffing arrangements for next year have been finalised and I would like to advise parents that the following appointments have been made for junior class teachers in 2017:

On a broader College level in the Middle school several new staff will join us. While some of these appointments have been previously announced, I would like to advise parents of the following new staff joining us in 2017:

The end of the year will see us farewell a number of our staff across the College and I would like to thank them for their commitment and professionalism and wish them well in their new endeavours:
Cathy Geraghty
Alisha McNeven
Luke Donatini
Rebecca Campbell
Erin Geany
Elizabeth Georghiou

Tuckshop 2017
We are very fortunate here at the College to be able to operate two tuckshops – Paddy’s Place in the Junior School and the Bakehouse in the Middle School. Under the leadership of Danielle Milne both of the tuckshops have gone from strength to strength. A big part of the success of this is due to the wonderful support we receive from parents who volunteer to help us run them. As the year draws to an end I would like to extend an invitation to any parent who may be in a position to assist in either of the two tuckshops to please download the Volunteer Form (link below) or please email Danielle Milne with your availability. Your early advice will assist Danielle in her planning for next year.

2017 Working Bee
The start of the school year is a chaotic time and preparing the school for the year ahead is a mammoth undertaking. For our grounds and maintenance staff this is particularly true. Coming off the Christmas summer growing season where everything is growing before our eyes, our staff have a big job to have everything picture perfect for the start of the school year. One of the great traditions over the last couple of years has been a P&F working bee before school starts to assist in this start of year process. With a main aim of mulching most of the College gardens and general tidying up our outdoor spaces, this working bee has been greatly appreciated by our hard working grounds team. I am grateful that Steve Davidson (Father of Tate Year 8 2017) has once again volunteered to head up our team of helpers. Sunday morning January 22 is the designated working bee day and I would ask any parent and /or student who can assist on this day to please keep this date free. More information will be forthcoming via our Facebook and ATC App connections.

Thank you
As the final newsletter for the year I would like to thank the community for your continued support throughout the year. To all our students I would congratulate you all on a fantastic year; a year that realized many dreams and a year that was filled with fun and energy. Your genuine friendship and warmth are memories that I will once again take away from the year. To our teachers and staff, I extend my sincere thanks to you once again for your professionalism and genuine care for the students. The fact that students at ATC experience a ‘boys’ heaven’ is a testament to your commitment and effort. Congratulations on a job well done and I hope you all enjoy a well- earned restful break over Christmas.

In a world craving for a solution to human suffering, the Christmas story shows that joy and hope are the catalyst of what we can become. Jesus’ birth reminds the whole community of the innocence and goodness at the centre of human lives. This Christmas I pray for a spirit of generosity and forgiveness throughout our community. I would pray that the coming of the Christ Child restores our reverence for human life and that it brings true peace to families and communities in these uncertain times.

May the peace of Christ be with us this Christmas and inspire us to work for peace in our lives, in our homes, and in our world in the year that lies ahead.

With best wishes
Michael Senior