Dear Parents and Guardians,
Welcome back to the start of the 2014 school year! We extend a special welcome to those who are new to Galen: we hope you find our school community to be supportive, challenging and positive as we work together for the best possible future for your children.
I had the pleasure of greeting all the new Year 7 students on Thursday morning in assembly, and then again their classrooms during the day. I was taken with the quick and no-nonsense way they settled into their new surroundings. I look forward to working with them – and you, their parents – over the coming years. Please remember that there will be an Open Afternoon for all parents and guardians of Year 7 students on Wednesday, 12 February straight after school ends.
On the same day, I also had the opportunity to welcome the Senior School students back at their assembly. I made the point to the senior students that at this stage of their learning journey, their best asset is their work ethic, and the their best allies are the teachers. Our expectation is that all will strive to do their best, whatever that best might be for each individual. We will support those who put their best foot forward regardless of whether they are completing the VCE, VCAL, VET or some combination of the above.
Our Years 8, 9 & 10 students returned the following day with similar levels of enthusiasm and energy. I wish them all well for this year as well.
It was very pleasing to see the overwhelming majority of students wearing correct uniform on the first two days. There are some families still awaiting shoes to be delivered to shops and I thank those parents for making contact with the school to explain their predicament.
It was disappointing, however, to discover a number of students who were not fully in correct uniform. These students have been spoken to and are expected to be in proper uniform from now on. I ask parents to get on the front foot and make contact with their child’s homeroom teacher or Year Level Co-ordinator or Mini-School Director if you have any outstanding issues regarding uniform items. The school will be contacting parents of students in incorrect uniform if we have not heard from them first.
Thanks for your co-operation in this: your attention to this matter allows our time at school to be much better utilized on the real issue of learning.
New staff this year
In 2014 we welcome the following new (or in some cases returing) staff:
• Patrick Arcuri, Deputy Principal: Staff & Students. Pat returns to us after two years as Principal in an International School in Brescia, northern Italy
• Shaun Mason, Deputy Principal: Learning & Teaching. Shaun joins us after 10 years at Xavier Catholic High School, Albury.
• Skye Hunter who will be teaching mainly in the Arts. Skye is returning from several years in Melbourne: she has previously worked at Galen.
• Lauren Wilson who will be teaching mainly Italian.
• Matthew Henderson who will be teaching mainly in Mathematics.
• Kate Meehan who will be replacing Therese Rodway in the Wellbeing Centre as a counselor whilst Therese is on maternity leave.
• Luke Ahrens will also be working in the Wellbeing Centre as a psychologist. Luke will be here 5 days a fortnight.
• Travis McKenzie has joined the staff as our new Building & Construction VET teacher.
• Samantha O’Brien has started with us as a new trainee receptionist: she will work alongside Kate Clarke until 14 February when Kate moves on to prepare herself for first year university.
• Tess Rowland, Isaac Smith, Jonathon Panozzo & Cody Schutt have joined as straight from completing their Year 12 last year. They have been employed as Junior School Officers and will assist teachers across a wide range area of activities including sport, swimming programs, Outdoor Education camps and activities, and other year level camps, etc.
• Aurora D’Onorio Di Meo is our newest member of staff having arrived just a week ago from Italy as our new Italian Language Assistant.
Year 11 Presentation Balls
The Year 11 Presentation Balls fall under the auspices of the Parents Association and they have been co-ordinated in he past by the President of the Parents Association.
Unfortunately, that position has not yet been filled so we are looking for two parents to please step up and fill the following positions:
• President of the Galen Parents Association
• Co-ordinator of the Year 11 Presentation Balls (balls are held in May).
If you are interested in either role, or know someone you think might be, please contact the Parents Association via Allison King either in person at the Galen Uniform Shop or by email: Uniform.Shop@galen.vic.edu.au
Changes to Middle School Leadership
Congratulations to Keith Willett, long-serving member of the Galen Catholic College community, on his appointment as Deputy Principal of Cathedral College, Wangaratta from the commencement of second term this year. Keith’s appointment was announced just prior to staff finishing at the end of last year so this news missed the final notifications to parents at the end of the year.
Congratulations to Rob Walker whom we have appointed as the new Director of Middle School. He will serve alongside Keith Willett for first term and then take over in his own right. We are currently looking from among our own ranks to find a replacement for Rob in his role as Careers & Further Education Co-ordinator.
Good luck to everyone as we embark on the exciting journey of 2014 at Galen Catholic College.
Bernard Neal – Principal