Welcome to 2016! We trust everyone in the community had a refreshing and relaxing Christmas and New Year. The students, both old and new, have arrived with vigour and enthusiasm for the year and are progressing well already. In particular we welcome the new Year 7 students to St John Paul II, all 210 of them, as well as the large number of new students in Years 8 -12! We have seen all the new students settling in well and being supported by their peers and teachers who care for them. As we progress through 2016 we will continue to emphasise to all students the need to do their best, care for one another and concentrate on their learning making the college a place which has a unique and dynamic learning experience.
One way of building upon the past and working towards the future was the High Achievers’ Assembly held recently at Schofields which celebrated the fine results in the 2015 Higher School Certificate. Special mentions must go to the following students who excelled in the Higher School Certificate and were able to join us for the assembly followed by a question and answer session with the current Year 11 and 12 students:
- Monique Borg
- Elline Guerrero
- Ebony Poullos
- Holly Bowden
- Thomas Hall
- Katherine Rull
- Yaroslava Brilli
- Zain Hussain
- Katarina Sepping
- Kiara Buckley
- Lara Jurado
- Joshua Stephens
- Laura Caller
- Kyle Makdesi
- Holly Sullivan
- Jeanette Ceapa
- Amanda Manning
- Laura Sultana
- Clare Cheeseman
- Kwaku Marfo
- Emma Vandermeel
- Keeley Chidgey
- Jayde Mason
- Raghuv Vekaria
- Rochelle de Sousa
- Madelyn McGaughey
- Ashlee Ward
- Alysha McLennan
- Samantha Wood
We take this opportunity to convey the address to the community by last year’s school leaders, Deborah Osei-Adomako and Monique Borg:
Monique: Firstly I would like to say it is a privilege to be here today to talk about the outstanding achievements of the graduating class of 2015 in the HSC. It is with hard work, determination and perseverance that my fellow peers and I are able to stand before you to celebrate our HSC results. Last year was a stressful time for us all, the endless amounts of assignments and exams to prepare for, the multiple drafts to write up and edit and the countless emails sent to teachers during our meltdowns made the success with our results all the more satisfying. I am proud to inform you that across the grade many of us achieved multiple Band 5 and 6’s or E3 and E4’s in extension subjects from the HSC examinations.
Deborah: The past few weeks may have been exciting for some, and daunting for many. For the Year 12 students of 2015 who are present today it is more so because we begin a world of unknown whether it be university, tafe, the workforce or anything else imaginable. It can also be daunting for you all present today and mostly the current Year 11 and 12 students as it finally dawns on you that these are your final years of high school. Year 11 and 12 is a physical, mental and emotional roller coaster and because high school is a rollercoaster, you can imagine that there are many ups and downs, times of happiness and moments where you’ll break down. Your teachers, parents and caregivers are always here to give you the encouragement you need to make it through the stresses of the HSC. However with hard work, determination and perseverance you can achieve amazing results.
Nelson Mandela once said, “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. This is very true! Without an education where would we be? We are so privileged to be able to receive an education, may we not take it for granted. Most importantly use the resources around you, your friends, family and especially your teachers. During the HSC you’ll come to discover how much the teachers really care about you, how they want you to do well. So why not work together for the same goal. I can assure you that those of us here today definitely utilised our resources from the school and our teachers to achieve the very best results imaginable.
Monique: I remember when I was in Year 7 in 2010 and I was present for the high achievers’ assembly. I was amazed at the results those year 12 students had achieved and it was from that very moment that I was inspired and determined to work hard and study relentlessly so that I could be at the high achievers’ assembly with my fellow peers. I hope that for all the students of the St John Paul II community that you have this same goal so that when you have graduated, you can come back to this wonderful community and share your triumphs with the school and teachers which have pushed you towards success.
Deborah: Remember to never throw in the towel because nothing worthwhile comes easy. Disregarding whatever path you want to take in the future, you all have the potential to work for what you dream of.
Monique: Work hard and achieve anything. Aim higher. Dream Bigger. Fear less. Look after yourself. Be grateful and stay blessed. I would like to wish my fellow peers the very best for their futures and never to forget to dream big. To all the students of the St John Paul II community, as you start this school year remember that the world is in your hands. Our parting words to you today are the same as we said at the Year 12 Graduation of 2015, “blaze a path of your own brilliance and illuminate the world.”
As we reflect upon the words from Monique and Deborah and the deeds of students who graduated last year we look to the future in our new Year 7 students. The new students and their parents/caregivers attended the Welcome BBQ on Tuesday February 8th where they had the opportunity to get to know their teachers, classrooms and the Co-operative Learning Centre where they will spend much of their time. There was great feeling of energy and enthusiasm during the evening and we are sure they will continue to work towards their goals in the same way our high achievers did during their six years here.
We continue to build on the past and look to a bright future!
In conclusion we not only review students who leave us, and welcome the new ones, but we do the same for our staff.
Over the Christmas and New Year break we said farewell to the following staff whom we will miss greatly:
- Mr Michael Knight - Learning Community Facilitator, Mathematics.
- Mr Francis Mackay - Leader of Learning for Stage 5, has taken up a 12 month secondment for 2016.
- Ms Carolyn Cairns is the Acting Leader of Learning for Stage 5 this year.
We also welcome the following new teachers who have joined the St John Paul II community:
- Mr Nal Wijesekera Leader of Learning – Religious Education
- Mr Christopher Chapman - LCF - Sport
- Ms Kaytee Johnstone - English, Religious Education
- Ms Sara Borg - HSIE, Religious Education
- Ms Keira-Jaye Turner - HSIE, Religious Education
- Ms Allison Gardiner - PDHPE, HSIE, Religious Education
- Mr Kevin Corke - Mathematics
- Ms Rebecca Goodwin - Mathematics, Science, PDHPE
- Mr Jack Carder - Technical Support Officer
- Mrs Josette Woolley - Administration Support