Getting to Know our Boarding Supervisors: Sylvester House


Why did you become a boarding supervisor and how long have you been one?
I became a boarding supervisor about five years ago, as an extension to my knowledge and understanding of working with children of all ages, particularly those with special needs. It is a privilege to be able to assist the girls to develop their talents and to recognise and appreciate the many values of a Christian way of life. Boarding offers a unique opportunity for the girls to grow both personally and academically. To be able to guide and nurture these opportunities gives me a very special role within Boarding and within the lives of the girls that I have the honour to care for.

What are some of the biggest challenges of being a boarding supervisor?
One of the biggest challenges of being a boarding supervisor is having 38 girls from varying backgrounds and 38 different personalities living together. The logistics associated with ensuring all of the girls needs are met and everyone is where they need to be, can be interesting!  We work through any challenges that arise both individually or as a group so we can always ascertain the best outcome for all concerned.

What makes you smile in the boarding house?
What makes me smile in the Boarding Hose is witnessing the girl’s achievements after you have guided and encouraged them towards a goal, whether it be a personal, a sporting or an academic achievement. The humility and respect that they show their fellow boarders never ceases to put a smile on my face.

What is your favourite Movie?
I actually don’t have one favourite movie, but I especially enjoy all the Disney movies and watching these with my grandchildren is most enjoyable. If I had to pick one, it would be the classic of ‘Mary Poppins’, which I have watched several times and it always brings such joy.JACKIE STRANGE

Why did you become a boarding supervisor and how long have you been one?
 I was working for a mining company which was winding down and Santa Maria were advertising for a boarding supervisor. Both my daughters went to the College many moons ago, and I was actively involved with the school having served on the Parent Council for a few years. A past boarder myself in the UK, I thought I would try out some relief work to see how it felt to be back in a boarding community – it felt great! I have now been working as a Boarding Supervisor for three and a half years.

What is one of your favourite memories from your time at boarding?
Attending the final Year 12 girls end of year Mass in the College Chapel, is always very moving and emotional for everyone.

What makes the boarding girls special?
It takes great strength, courage and a huge amount of tolerance to spend six years away from home amongst girls from all walks of life. The outcome is that boarders leave Santa Maria with an understanding that every girl is truly different and that their differences are what makes them special.

What is your Favourite quote?
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.

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