Dear St Michael’s College Community,
Year 6 Presentation Evening
The Year 6 Presentation Evening was held in Founders Hall at the Primary campus last night. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet as staff, students and families came to acknowledge our Year 6s as they transition from this important part of their schooling life to the next. The format of the evening was affected in some ways by COVID restrictions, though the Liturgy, presentation of students, speeches and recognition of awards and leadership made for a terrific St Michael’s College community event. Thank you to all the staff, students and families involved.
Mr Damian Patton, Deputy Principal – Primary, provided a reflection during the Liturgy and I offer excerpts below as an appropriate way to end the year:
The Gospel reading we have heard tonight has two key words that I would like to spend some time reflecting on. They are ‘salt’ and ‘light’.
The word ‘salt’ has two common traits, one being to influence or add to the flavour of food, and the other is to preserve food. If we look at these qualities in terms of the boys, that is, their influence on others and then their ability to preserve the values of St Michael’s College.
In this difficult year, our students have influenced each other with their tremendous resilience and shown an understanding that things have been very different to what a normal school year would look like. They have accepted and embraced change, instead of going to Canberra by plane they travelled to Aldinga by bus! By accepting situations like this, they have continued to have very different, but wonderful experiences with one another. What have they preserved? They have preserved quality and positive relationships with their teachers, something St John Baptist de La Salle, and in turn St Michael’s College, have built their foundations on. These quality relationships have enabled outstanding teaching, learning and wellbeing to continue throughout the changing environment that has been 2020.
The second word, ‘light’, is very important in the Catholic tradition. Jesus asked his followers to be the light of the world. He wanted his followers to be leaders in spreading his word and forging a pathway into the future. What does the word ‘light’ mean for the young men here tonight?
‘Light’ means opportunity. This group of students embrace the gift of a Lasallian Education, one that inspires students to be the ‘best they can be’. The Primary staff thank all the parents and caregivers tonight for the opportunity to educate the young men in front of us. To the boys, be sure to always show your appreciation to your parents and caregivers for all they provide you. You have been given an opportunity that not all young people are afforded in the world – a quality education. My advice to you tonight is to be aware that you each have a choice on how you forge your own path and make the most of your opportunities. Don’t just choose subjects or co-curricular activities just because your mates are doing them, seek opportunities to follow your passion and explore your curiosities. It is so important to love what you do. In the words of Chin-Ning Chu, “a successful life is lived through understanding and pursuing one’s own path not chasing the dreams of others”.
I would also like to acknowledge Mrs Louise Kometer, who will be leaving St Michael’s College after 27 years. Louise has taken on several roles over her time at the Primary Campus including Key Numeracy Teacher, Curriculum Coordinator and for the past 7 years, Director Teaching & Learning. Louise always maintains a high standard of professionalism and expertise in all that she does. She endeavours to get to know each and every student. Louise has built and maintained relationships with many of our families and she has been a wonderful mentor and support to the staff and young teachers, guiding them expertly. As Mr Foley mentioned recently,
“Louise, is a true model of a Lasallian educator, someone who has touched the hearts of the young people entrusted to her care”.
Thank you and I wish all the Year 6 boys and their families every success.
End of Year
As we conclude the school year, I thank staff, students and families for all you have contributed to St Michael’s College. We all know there have been some new challenges, but there’s also been some new learnings. We have learnt more about ourselves and others in times of change, complexity and sometimes chaos. We have learnt to be agile and flexible dependent on the environment. We have learnt to acknowledge and embrace the chaos, and then to stand back and simplify it. We have learnt to have multiple solutions for multiple scenarios and that a single plan won’t always work! I personally have learnt the importance of slowing down every once in a while and to appreciate what I have. But I think we have mostly learnt the value of relationships, of supporting each other, of being kind and showing care.
I wish each of you and your families a safe and peaceful Christmas.