Recognition of Service to St Catherine’s
Thank you to the School community for their generous support
As the School year draws to a close, the St Catherine’s School Council has taken the opportunity, this week, to acknowledge the contribution of Mrs Meg Begg (Christensen ’61), a retiring member of the School Council, Building and Property Sub-Committee and Committee member of St Catherine’s Old Girls’ Association (SCOGA).
Mrs Begg’s involvement in Council spans some 13 years, including two years as Chair of Council (2009–2010), she was also a member of the Building and Property Committee for 11 years and, most recently, has committed her expertise to the Occupational Health & Safety Committee for six years. In addition to this extraordinary commitment to the governance of St Catherine’s School, Mrs Begg has been passionately involved in the Old Girls’ Association for a highly commendable 45 years.
This is a wonderful achievement and, as a School, we are very appreciative, proud and grateful for her support. Mrs Begg’s depth of historical knowledge about St Catherine’s is simply astonishing, with her astute recall of details and facts extending back to her time as a St Catherine’s girl herself. Mrs Begg shared with us this week an amazing story of connection to Heyington Place, recounting her grandparents’ time spent attending dance nights in the Ballroom of Sherren House prior to their marriage and prior to the School acquiring the property!
Congratulations Meg, and on behalf of the School community, I thank you wholeheartedly for your contribution to St Catherine’s; you will remain fondly, a very important member of our School community and I wish you well for your sunny retirement in Queensland.
Thank you to Staff
I wish to also thank our teaching staff for their wisdom, dedication and passion for teaching, and our General staff for their continued support of the School. I believe it is the inspiration, encouragement and energy of all staff that enables our students to flourish. In particular, I acknowledge and farewell French Language teacher, Mrs Jane Torii, Barbreck teacher, Mrs Di Rundle and Mr Paul Cross (Deputy Principal) stepping onto semi-retirement.
After 10 years of service to St Catherine’s, Mr Cross’ commitment to education and to our School is well understood by many students, staff and parents. His calm approach, often described as the ‘voice of reason’, is well appreciated, as is his commitment to working very long hours to ensure the smooth dailyorganisation of the Senior School. His work has been exemplary. Mr Cross’ great passion is, and always has been, teaching. We look forward to his continued contribution to our School as a part-time teacher over
the coming years.
Over the past 26 years, Barbreck girls have treasured memories of their time in Mrs Rundle’s class. For so many girls (past and present), the excitement, joy and recollections of commencing School in Prep is captured along with a great love for their teacher, Mrs Rundle. Every child’s first year of school is filled with many wondrous moments. It is a time of significant emotional, physical and intellectual growth, in addition to the development of good learning habits and positive self-esteem. For this significant start to the educational journey at St Catherine’s, we have Mrs Rundle to thank and for setting so many girls on the path to a lifetime of learning.
On behalf of the School and, in particular, many greatly appreciative parents, I thank Mrs Rundle for her commitment to teaching and her incredible devotion to the girls she has educated at St Catherine’s. We look forward to hosting a ‘Thank You’ event with members of the School community early in Term 1, 2016 to acknowledge Mrs Rundle’s contribution to the life of the School.
As the recipient of the ‘Excellence in Teaching and Learning Award’ at St Catherine’s this year, Mrs Jane Torii is retiring as a French teacher after dedicating 22 years of service to the School. During this time, Mrs Torii has demonstrated much encouragement, understanding and support to all her students and continually endeavoured to achieve excellent student outcomes within the French program. Mrs Torii is held in high regard by her colleagues for her leadership, gentle patience and her willing contribution to the School. She has travelled with students on Language Study Tours numerous times over the past 22 years, and as a School, we wish her all the very best and good health in her retirement.
At this time, we also thank and farewell Mr Matthew Bolzonello (Head of Humanities), Mrs Julia West (Media teacher) and Mrs Andrea Machin (Junior School Extension and Learning Support teacher) and wish them well for their forthcoming teaching appointments in Melbourne Schools; Miss Dani Carroll (Mathematics teacher) with her relocation to Perth and Miss Shelley Moskowitz (English and Humanities teacher) travelling to South America. I also extend my appreciation to Ms Samantha Harris and Miss Georgia Hartman-Smith, for so capably fulfilling their acting Health and Physical Education teaching roles.
We also wish Miss Sally Wilkinson (VCE Coordinator), Mrs Jessica Halpagoda (Year 3 teacher) and Mrs Megan Towers (PA to the Director of Business) good health and happiness for the safe arrival of their new babies in the coming weeks. We also wish Miss Skye Stansfield, a most joyous and happy occasion at her wedding this weekend.
A number of Senior School teachers over the course of Term 4 have been extensively involved in the Examination Marking of VCE assessments. Selected from teachers across the State for the Examination Marking, the process enables an outstanding professional learning opportunity for VCE teachers and provides intimate knowledge and considerable depth in understanding the course requirements at this level.
Ms Loretta Carter – Further Maths
Mrs Janette Matt – Specialist Maths
Miss Jeanette Gunn – Math Methods
Mr Matthew Bolzonello – History: Revolutions
Ms Fiona Ganino-Day – Psychology
Mr Brad Hicks – Physical Education
Mrs Tracey McCallum – Accounting
Mrs Amanda Ladbury-Webb – Maths Methods
Miss Kristy Forrest – English
Ms Vanessa Jackson-McRae – Chemistry
Ms Lee Brandt – Physics
Ms Asuko Okumura (Japanese) and Corinne Buzza (French) – Language oral exams.
Years 7 and 8 Awards Assembly
Congratulations to our Years 7 and 8 students this week who were presented with Academic and Co-curricular Awards during a special Music Assembly. In particular, to the following four students who received St Catherine’s School Excellence and Citizenship Awards:
• Serena Sitch –Year 7 School Excellence Award
• Millie Fraser-Smith –Year 7 Warburton Citizenship Award
• Kavina Kalaichelvam –Year 8 School Excellence Award
• Harriette Dryden –Year 8 Warburton Citizenship Award
It was also with much pleasure and a great delight to audience members that I presented a St Catherine’s School Spirit Award to Year 8 student, Athena Alexiadis. Athena’s recovery this Term, following a vehicle accident in October, has been nothing short of amazing. Her sheer determination, perseverance and strength has been demonstrated throughout her rehabilitation. The Year 9 cohort of 2016 look forward to welcoming Athena’s return to School next year and in the words of Athena’s Dad, Tom, at the Awards Assembly, “it was an awesome day.”
Junior School Fencing Prowess
Congratulations to Year 6 student Mayuri Muralidharan who has been selected for the Talented Fencing Program, a nationally recognised program providing specialised training for Australia’s most talented fencers. Mayuri is the only foil fencer from Victoria to be selected.
Mayuri is currently ranked number one in Australia in the Under 13 category, a remarkable achievement considering she is only 11 years old. This year Mayuri has won both the Under 13 state titles in Victorian and NSW as well as defeating Japan in a competition final, something I am told by her Coach, has eluded many fencers over the years.
Merry Christmas and Thank You
This year, it has been a privilege to witness the growth and development of every St Catherine’s student. All students have experienced the opportunity to discover their individual passions, interests and talents in the classroom and in their co-curricular pursuits.
In my role, I am acutely aware of providing every student with a network of support and care as they navigate their way through their childhood, tween and adolescent years. The significance of establishing a strong community to support our students can never be underestimated and with our careful guidance and nurturing of over 740 students, our School remains enduringly steady and strong to its vision of empowering women of the future.
I wish to thank the School community for their generous support of St Catherine’s School this year, and I look forward to 2016, and the celebration of 120 years, with much enthusiasm and eagerness. I wish everyone in our St Catherine’s School community a relaxing and joyous Christmas celebration, a time when friends and family spend some precious, valuable time just being together.