Welcome Back! – Jennifer Oaten
Welcome to the 2020 academic year and what a start we have had!
These are a few of the highlights from my week!
Our new boarders from all over Western Australia were welcomed into boarding. 17 Year 7s showed great courage saying goodbye to Mum and Dad and spending their first night as a boarder.
217 new students joined our community for the first time, 96 Year 5 students, 93 new Year 7 students and several in other year groups. Our Year 12 leaders played a key role on this day, as mentors, helping to settle the nerves and ensuring the girls felt welcomed.
We experienced the hottest day in five years and the hottest February day in 23 years, temperatures peaked at 42.7 degrees Celsius to welcome all our students back to school! There was much joy and laughter in the grounds as friends reconnected.
First House meetings for the year were held with House Coordinators introducing new students and presenting House badges. Then they practised their chants to build House spirit in preparation for the upcoming Swimming Carnival. Who will be the Champion House in 2020?
We congratulated all our high achievers from the class of 2019 and heard the inspiring career story of past student, Nicole Lockwood. We also celebrated the successes and future pathways of our Santa Maria graduates. Our 2020 leaders played a key role at our first College Assembly for the year. Our Academic Captain encouraged all students to work collaboratively to support each other in their studies this year.
Forgiving others, just as Nelson Mandella did when he was released from prison after 27 years behind bars was the key message from Monsignor Keating at our first student Mass to commence the year as a faith community. Monsignor Keating encouraged the O’Reilly girls to consider the difference we can make in others’ lives. This links so closely to our Mercy Value for 2020, Compassion.
All students met many of their teachers for the first time and settled back into learning after the long summer break.
A wonderful quote from Catherine McAuley offers us wisdom as we commence the new year.
The simplest and most practical lesson I know…is to resolve to be good today, but better tomorrow. Let us take one day only in hands, at a time, merely making a resolve for tomorrow; thus, we may hope to get on taking short, careful steps, not great strides.
I hope all students will be committed to being the best they can be in 2020, prepared to work hard, to believe in themselves and to show perseverance, and to make the most of all opportunities they have, both in and outside the classroom!