The Road April 2018

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Welcome to the Autumn edition of The Road for the 2018 school year.

Each new-year heralds a new phase for Damascus College. This year

the College has welcomed 204 Year 7 students to make up our largest

student cohort of 1074 students in the College’s 23 year history. 132

Year 12 students are commencing their final year with 119 students

undertaking the VCE and 13 students completing VCAL.

Each year Damascus College chooses a theme to frame our prayer,

reflections and liturgies. This year we have chosen our theme from

St Paul’s letter to the people of Thessalonica. It is a letter of both

encouragement and challenge – both elements are critical in the educative

process. Our theme is;

“Never become tired of doing good”

This year we are going to work with the young people of the College

to challenge and encourage them to not tire in their efforts to do good;

academically, spiritually and socially.

I have enjoyed reading and listening to an educational psychologist over

the summer by the name of Angela Duckworth. Angela emphasises the

importance of grit or persistence and resilience in education. Learning

new things is challenging. The Greek philosopher Aristotle said that the

roots of education are bitter, but the fruits are sweet. I hope that the roots

of a Damascus education are not bitter at all, but I do hope that from

time to time they will test and unsettle in order to inspire and challenge

students to reach their potential.

On the staff front we farewelled Sr Marie Davey at the conclusion of 2017.

Since then Sr Marie has celebrated 50 Years of Profession as a Sister of

Mercy and we congratulate Marie on this milestone.

We have welcomed Chris Grant to the role of Deputy Principal from the

commencement of 2018. Chris, Rhiannon and their growing family have

already immersed themselves in the Damascus community. Chris grew

up in Skipton and Ballarat, so he knows greater Ballarat intimately. For the

past six years he has been Deputy Principal of Mercy Regional College

in Camperdown and Noorat, so he is well imbued in the spirit of Mercy. I

look forward to introducing Chris at the various school events across

the year.

I congratulate Annette Hallam and Jan Bibby both whom recently retired

from their duties as learning support officers at Damascus. Annette and

Jan have both been wonderful servants of the College assisting countless

students with specific needs. We wish them both well for their exciting

respective futures.

And while Annette and Jan conclude their time with us, we have

welcomed several other staff;

• Ross McQuinn is a former student of the College (Class of 2007)

who has returned to join the Mathematics team following 5 years at

Templestowe College,

• Tim O’Sullivan joins the Mathematics and Science teams this year,

Tim is an early career teacher and completed his final teaching

rounds with us in 2017.

• Karen Hocking has joined the Mathematics, Science and RE teams

from St Mary MacKillop College in Swan Hill and formerly of the

Academy of Mary Immaculate in Fitzroy.

• Rebekah Chadwick joined the English team after 16 years at

Phoenix College.

• Alan Archbold has joined us as Technology Learning Area Leader

and Food Technology Teacher, Alan has had many years’ experience

as a teacher and school leader at Mt Clear Secondary College.

• Lynda Calistro joined us in a new role as Human Resources

Manager, having a lifelong career in this space having worked the

last 4 years at Catholic Education in Melbourne

• Daniel Cook has joined us as Office Manager, with his considerable

management experience in various sectors including education,

emergency services and more recently residential aged care.

• and finally, Nicole Hexter joins us as the Sports Coordinator, and as

a member of the Health and PE team after a career of 16 years at St

Patricks College with various leadership responsibilities.

continued on page 4 •


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