22 years is a long time to spend anywhere. What is it that has kept me here and, now that I am about to leave, makes this departing moment bittersweet?
Every day of my 22 years, I have driven into the carpark with a feeling of ‘coming home’. I feel such a sense of belonging here – to the staff, girls and families and also the culture, history and tradition of the School.
The Glennie School is indeed a special place. Visually, it is beautiful and welcoming, without being flamboyant or pretentious. Each section of the campus talks to each other, regardless of age, proportion or function. Spiritually, we are guided by the legacy of Archdeacon Benjamin Glennie. This legacy is reflected in our School Reading and Prayer and guides our community to live the way of Christ – being compassionate, kind, humble, gentle, accepting, loving and forgiving. Academically, our foundations have always had at their core real-world, authentic learning experiences, innovative pedagogy, flexible teaching styles and learning that is connected to students’ lives. In this way, teaching excellence has translated into learning excellence, with students being supported to achieve their personal best every semester. And, lastly, relationally, we are a magnificent community. Staff, students, parents, and friends are intelligent, friendly, fun, energetic, generous, hardworking, flexible and, on-occasion, playful.
There is such a deep sense of purpose, continuity and community here. I am honoured to have contributed to the growth of this school – to have helped set and navigate its direction these past 22 years. From a career perspective, there is nothing quite as rewarding as a long-term partnership with an organisation you have helped to build.
So, starting in a new school is a bittersweet moment because it marks the end of my relationship with this one. I will miss the School and the community deeply. However, you can only grow by beginning something new. Thank you for your support, friendship, advice and, of course, laughter. I wish each one of you all the very best.
Ms Tonia Gloudemans
Deputy Principal - Head of Curriculum