Lisa Taylor: Appointed Dean of Students, Year 9.

Lisa Taylor (middle), with Year 9 student leaders (left to right), Eva Longstaff, Ruby Mastaglia, Gemma Smart and Eden-Lee Thompson.

We would like to congratulate Lisa Taylor, a Humanities teacher here at the College, on being appointed as the new Dean of Students, Year 9.

We sat down with Lisa, to gain a deeper understanding of what this role means to her, and what she hopes to achieve with our Year 9 cohort.

What inspired you to apply for the role?

Teaching is a highly rewarding profession that allows me to work with a diverse group of staff and students. As a passionate Humanities teacher, I have always been interested in supporting students academically, challenging them to think, question, and apply their knowledge in the context of the wider world.  As a pastoral leader, I enjoy being able to support students to achieve their best and pursue the many opportunities available to them. The Dean’s role at Santa Maria College allows me to combine both passions whilst working with an incredible group of young women and their dedicated Homeroom teachers. The opportunity to work with such a talented Year 9 cohort was my big driving force in applying for the Dean’s role. I am very excited to be in this role and am looking forward to getting to know them all over the coming months.

Could you briefly describe what being a Dean of Students entails?

The Dean of Students wears many hats, but I see our main role as one of support. Support to build strong, independent women who are not afraid to advocate for themselves. Support for our teachers so they can help our students reach their full potential and support for our parents in being an advocate for their daughters.  On a day-to-day basis, I spend my time teaching, visiting our Year 9s in classes, tracking their progress, and talking to teachers and parents about their academic achievements, whilst working closely with our wonderful pastoral team to make sure our students are healthy and happy.

What do you believe are the qualities a Dean of Students needs to be effective?

There are many ways to be an effective Dean; however, some of the key qualities we all share are:
  • We are driven by the mantra-what is best for the student.
  • We want our students to be the best version of themselves.
  • We are good listeners and communicators.
  • We model and live by the Mercy values.
Lisa addressing students at the most recent Year 9 Assembly

What is your vision for our Year 9 students? Do you have any goals or long-term objectives set in place?

Year 9 is a transitional time as our girls start to become more independent women. We see them start to take on more responsibilities and think about what they might want to do in the future. It can also be a challenging time as friendships begin to change, and their sense of identity and confidence can be tested.

My vision for our Year 9s is that they challenge themselves and grow through their experiences with the Strive9 program and the Year 9 Camp; that they take up the many opportunities offered to them through the College’s co-curricular program; that they strive to do their best in class, and work on developing their study skills. I’d like to see them have fun along the way as they continue to grow during this period. My long-term goal is that these young women will grow to be confident in taking responsibility for their learning and happiness and continue to work on improving both simultaneously.

What would your biggest piece of advice be to students, in ensuring they get the most out of their Santa Maria College experience?

I want the experience of every Year 9 student to be one filled with success and happiness; however, improving our happiness is something we all have to work on. While at Santa Maria, you can do this by saying yes when opportunities come your way and getting involved by building our sense of community, getting active and participating in college events. We are blessed with so many opportunities, be brave and grab them.

On behalf of the College, we would like to wish Lisa the best of luck in her new role. 

We are confident she will bring value to our Year 9s, inspiring them to be Women of Mercy. 

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