Last year I read an article that said if you are in your job longer than 10 years, while you may think that is a sign of loyalty, others might see it as a career liability. In essence, that others would ask the question – why isn’t that person ambitious enough to look for other opportunities? Are they living out their career comfortably without pushing themselves? Why aren’t they bored? Don’t they know that job-hopping is the new black?
I don’t think I’ve read anything that I disagree with so wholeheartedly than that article. Yes, it’s been 21 years, but I think it’s important to share my reasons because I know I’m not the only one who feels this way about The Glennie School. And, for the benefit of those who are new to Glennie, I think it’s important to know a little more about the school you have just joined.
If you stop long enough to listen to the stories and pause to interpret the laugh-lines and battle scars of this school, you will discover that there is a deep sense of purpose, continuity and community here. For 112 years (more if you include the legacy of Archdeacon Benjamin Glennie) the history of this school has been created by the experiences, actions and rites of passage of hundreds of past staff, students and parents – a history built on values of persistence, gentleness, participation, friendship, generosity of spirit and humour. It is a history we all share, as well as a responsibility to ensure that every new girl, parent and staff member who will walk these corridors now and in the future feels this experience.
Glennie is a school identifiable by genuine, warm and respectful relationships. It is a school where words like ‘community’ and ‘belonging’ have always been used with great feeling and authenticity. Staff and students are friendly, sincere and kind-hearted. It is an environment where people actively listen to, care about, value and nurture each other. Importantly, now, as in the past, those relationships must be cultivated carefully and gently, but they must also be punctuated with a sense of merriment and fun. Glennie has always had time for unique personalities and a bit of harmless mischief.
Glennie is also a school that values participation and well-roundedness. Academic rigour and personal achievement are absolutely essential, but life is also about participation, opportunity, balance and happiness. We encourage and celebrate academic success equally with extra-curricular involvement, the development of character, personal leadership and the development of self. Reflecting this are our most important trophies at Speech Day - the House Trophy, the Glennie School Ethos awards, the Best All-Rounder awards for each year level and the Dux of the School.
Finally, we are a school that values continuous improvement – of both self and work. Staff and students are expected to initiate and embrace change. We are required to be tenacious, resilient, resourceful, optimistic and creative, and we all are encouraged to take risks. There is not a day that will go by where we won’t be encouraged to stretch that little bit further – to think outside the box, to be flexible of mindset and to innovate.
When I drive into the Glennie carpark each and every day, I experience a feeling of coming home. I feel such a sense of belonging here – to not only the staff, girls and their families – but also to the culture, history and tradition of the school.
Those are the four reasons why I have stayed at Glennie for 21 years, even when times were tough.
I am honoured to be able to contribute to the growth of this school – a school that has such a deep history and sense of purpose – and to help set its current and future direction. From a career perspective, there is nothing quite as rewarding as a long-term partnership with an organisation you are deeply connected with and have helped to build. I have always loved the school’s deep regard for honesty and openness, the climate of safety regarding opinions and mistakes, and the predilection for humour, spontaneity and fun.
It is this Glennie culture that makes this organisation an incredibly beautiful place. Yes, it is beautiful on the outside, in terms of the graceful landscaped grounds and matching buildings, but more importantly, it is beautiful on the inside. We are a magnificent community - smart, friendly, fun, energetic, generous, hardworking, flexible and on-occasion, playful.
So, 21 years at the same school? Who does that? I do, and I am quite proud to serve this wonderful school and call all who are part of this wonderful community my friends.
Ms Tonia Gloudemans
Deputy Principal - Head of Curriculum