As term 4 draws to a close, and I reach the end of my first year as Principal at Suzanne Cory High School it is an opportunity to reflect on the achievements of the year, and what can be done next. In the words of the American author Meg Wheatley, “without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.” So, what did 2022 teach us and how can we use those lessons to further improve?
First and foremost, we have learnt how strong our community is, both in the good times and the more troubled ones. Since our last ‘normal’ year in 2019 we have had big changes in both the staff and student body, so bringing back the regular events that punctuate the year actually meant relearning and redesigning how things are run. From in-school events such as staff vs student week, to year 12 formal, and culminating in a whole school triumph at Presentation Evening, our staff and students demonstrated commitment and dedication to ensure our vibrant school culture was reborn. The highlight for me was listening to the whole school perform in mass singing at Melbourne Town Hall, and I’ll admit it brought a tear of pride to my eye.
This year has also shown how well our community pulls together in hard times. With isolation rules in place and both staff and students succumbing to a range of winter viruses we faced challenges like never before to keep the school open. Across the state many schools were forced to send year levels home or close for short periods. Throughout this time I was impressed by the capacity of our staff to be flexible and accommodate changing expectations, as well as the ability of the students to be self-directed and understanding when their teachers had to be absent for longer than any of us would like. We also saw the support our students offered each other when one of our Year 11 students sadly passed away after a battle with cancer earlier this year. I would like us all to take a moment to remember the life of Pratham Patel and the joy he brought to all those who knew him.
As we look ahead to next year, I’m excited about the possibilities it brings. With a new Leadership team in place at the school and an enthusiastic group of student leaders. More importantly we have a cohort of students who can trust to the regularity of school and who are committed to engaging in the culture of the school. We will be working together to explore how we might give students greater opportunity to excel in a wide range of fields. We are also looking at how we can better leverage off the diversity of our community and continue to build that mutual understanding and respect of each other within the school.
Students I would encourage you all to take this time this holiday to reflect upon what 2022 has brought you and think about what you might do differently next year. Remember, if plan A didn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters.
Phone: (03) 8734 2800
School Website: www.suzannecoryhs.vic.edu.au