Welcome to 2019, the year our girls are encouraged to Be the Reason. Last year’s theme, Be Like a Girl, was embraced by all in the community and continues to be an important focus in our school, as it should. But this year girls are challenged to look outward, rather than inward. The challenge to Be the Reason resonates with the Archbishop’s message of Generous Hospitality. Generous Hospitality requires us to open our hearts to others, particularly the marginalised in our society, much as Jesus did when he dined with those who were regarded as disreputable (but often just did not fit the social norms).
Being the reason builds on this idea, it is about being the reason a new student feels settled; the reason a vulnerable girl feels safe at school; the reason a lonely, elderly person looks forward to the day (students visiting Brodribb House or Glenvale Villas); the reason a refugee child feel confident in class (girls helping out with TRAMS Homework Club) or a homeless person enjoys a warm meal and a chat (when our senior students volunteer with Rosies). Rev Sharon on conjunction with Mrs Blades, Dean of Students, and the Heads of House is creating a program whereby our students can be more involved in Service Learning and Social Justice programs. This is so important, not only for the good that they do, but for their own personal development. Mother Teresa said, “If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one”. It is about doing what we can to make other’s lives a little easier, one at a time. It is about making a difference. I refer once again to the Starfish story that I have shared with our girls on a number of occasions:
Once upon a time, there was an old man who had a habit of walking on the beach every morning before he began his work. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions. Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching.
As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was continually bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea. The boy came closer still and the man called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?” The young boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves and when the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”
The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”
The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!”
The point is that every act of kindness, no matter how small, affects someone or something. Never forget that.
I encourage every member of the Glennie community, particularly our students, as they develop skills and thinking habits, as they strive to be all they can be – to choose to be hard working and ambitious, but also choose to be kind and considerate. Choose to Be the Reason.
I wish all our students, new and returning, a year filled with challenge, reward and contentment. Remembering that every day in every way we all need to live out our values of Respect, Integrity, Compassion and Courage. As we start the new year I urge all members of our community to show respect of, and compassion for others through developing our culture of acceptance and celebration of our diversity. I urge you to engage in a generosity of spirit through generous hospitality. Welcome the newcomers to our community with open arms in the true spirit of Christianity as Jesus would have done.
At this time of the year I would like to introduce our many new staff members to the Glennie Family:
Welcome Back from leave:
Staff on Leave:
Farewell to Recent Staff Leavers:
Some staff have changed roles, or picked up positions of added responsibility:
I would also like to remind parents of the Leadership Structure of the School:
Middle Leadership (Educational)
Heads of House (MSY)
Heads of Departments (MSY)
Director of Sport (Mrs Holley - MSY)
Director of Performance ( Mrs Davidson - MSY)
Junior Years Curriculum Coordinator (Mrs Roper - JY)
Assistant Head of Junior Years (Mrs Suhr - JY) sits on a level between Middle Leaders and ELT
Educational Leadership Team, ELT, (previously Educational Exec Team)
Mrs Cohen (Principal - whole school)
Mrs Matherson (Deputy Principal - whole school)
Mrs Blades (Dean of Students (oversees student wellbeing - MSY))
Mrs Gloudemans (Dean of Teaching and Learning (oversees everything to do with learning and curriculum - whole school))
Mrs Grant (Head of Boarding)
Mrs Harris (Head of Junior Years)
Mr Baldock (Associate Dean of Staff (Works with staff on classroom practices and professional development - mainly MSY))
Senior Leadership Team, SLT, (previously Exec Team)
Includes all members of the ELT plus Mr Hockaday (Director of Finance and Facilities - whole school)
Sometimes parents are unclear as to who you should speak with in regards to certain issues. Bear in mind that most problems, concerns, misunderstandings can be sorted out in conversation with the staff member concerned (we actually do really prefer that students themselves approach the teacher as so often the ‘crisis’ can be averted with a quick chat). These teachers should therefore always be the first port of call. However; if you (or your daughter) still feel that the issue has not been resolved please speak to:
If you still have concerns after having tried to find solutions though the channels mentioned above, then it is time to speak to the Dean of Students (MSY) or Kate Harris (JY) for student wellbeing issues; the Dean of Teaching and Learning (MSY) or Kate Harris (JY) for academic issues; and Donna Grant for boarding issues.
After these avenues have been exhausted (and it would very rarely get to this point) please make an appointment to meet with the Deputy Principal, and ultimately, me.
The reason that we work in this manner is because it saves a lot of time and angst if issues can be dealt with quickly and efficiently at the appropriate level. If parents go directly to ‘the top’, the issue may be exacerbated and as Jo Matherson or I have to refer to all the staff mentioned above to find the solution, the process may be more drawn out than it needs to be.
Wishing you all a wonderful 2019.
Mrs Kim Cohen