Welcome back! I trust you have all had a restful and refreshing break and are ready for the demands that go with the fourth and final term of the year, the absolutely final term for the Class of 2016! I’m sure you will join me in welcoming the nine new students who commenced at the College this term.
With regret I have accepted the resignation of the following members of staff:
Mr David Shapland has been appointed as the IBDP Co-ordinator at Anglican Church Grammar School (Churchie) from 1 January 2017. We thank David for his 10 years of service to Somerset.
Mrs Cecilia Robertson joins other retirees effective 28 October 2016 after 28 years at Somerset. Mrs Robertson has made an enormous contribution to the life of the College and her influence has extended beyond to our wider community, particularly as the public face of the Somerset Celebration of Literature. Mrs Robertson has endeared herself to many people far and wide. We wish God’s richest blessing on Mrs Robertson and her husband as they explore this next phase of their lives.
Mrs Brooke Butson has resigned to move to Stanthorpe with husband and children, Rowan and Kayla. Mrs Butson has made an enormous contribution to Somerset since returning in 2006, teaching Biology and Science, being Head of House – Laver and now as Head of Chaplaincy Services. We wish Mrs Butson and her family every success with their move to Stanthorpe.
Mrs Anna Elgey has resigned to pursue her Event Management career at the Southport RSL and we wish her every success for the future.
I am delighted to announce that
Ms Vicki Goodsell, Grad Dip Psy, B Sc (App Psy), will commence as our inaugural Educational Psychologist heading up Learning Support and ESL throughout the College. Ms Goodsell is currently the School Psychologist/Counsellor for the Toowoomba Catholic Schools Office and previously a Psychologist for Centrelink Toowoomba.
Mrs Kathleen (Katie) Hodge, M Sp Maths, B Ed, has accepted my offer to join the Mathematics Department from 1 January 2017. Mrs Hodge is currently teaching at Hillcrest Christian School and since 2001 has taught Mathematics at Radford College Canberra, Saint Ignatius College Riverview and Winchmore Hill School.
I am sure you will make both Ms Goodsell and Mrs Hodge welcome when they commence next year.
With Mrs Fisher resigning her position, I have taken the opportunity to look at restructuring the Departments of Music and Theatre Arts to have a similar structure to other Departments in the Senior School.
I am delighted that Mrs Sue Roberts has accepted my offer to become the Head of Department – Performing Arts. Mrs Roberts’ experience, success and work ethic makes this appointment both well-deserved and logical. As the Head of Department – Performing Arts, Mrs Roberts will oversee all things previously under the Music and Theatre Arts banners. Mrs Roberts deservedly enjoys the confidence of so many students, parents and staff at the College. I’m sure you’ll join me in congratulating Mrs Roberts on her appointment.
We commenced advertising for the new roles of Assistant Head of Department – Performing Arts and Administrative Assistant – Performing Arts on Saturday.
Sheryl Burns, our Head Coach of Netball, was inducted into the New Zealand Surf Life Saving Hall of Fame last weekend. This honour has only been bestowed upon 34 athletes in the 106 years of the sport in New Zealand and is recognition of outstanding success as a competitor, both nationally and internationally. We congratulate Sheryl on this amazing achievement in recognition of her passion, skill and commitment to this sport.
Most importantly we welcome back those staff and students who ventured away from the College on supervised excursions; State Rowing, Skiing, Thailand and USA. We are indebted to my colleagues who readily give up their own holidays to provide opportunities for our students. In the busyness of a Somerset year, we are entitled to ask why anyone would do this? It is what we do here at Somerset. The improvement of student outcomes in all areas is a focus for our decision making, resourcing, and, yes, even our generosity.
The last term of the year has started with the intensity that we knew was imminent. We are delighted with the renewed commitment of our students as they endeavour to finish as strongly as they can. This perseverance is a hallmark of success. If someone falters we are reassured that someone will be waiting to lend a helping hand.