Farewells to outgoing Principals

We were delighted to welcome Trustees, Board Directors, Principals and Leaders of Community Works to the Brigidine Ministry Centre on Friday 31 May for a farewell celebration for several long-standing members of our Network.  A joyous afternoon was spent sharing stories and much laughter as we farewelled Principals Jane Curran (Brigidine St Ives), Margaret Rouggous (Kildare College) and Leanne di Stefano (Killester College), KEM Board Chair Michael Doyle and Stewardship Council Chairs Judith Ratican (Kildare College) and Dr. Wendy Dick (Killester College).  As each one shared heartfelt words of farewell we reflected on how fortunate our ministries have been to have been blessed with their dedicated and creative service given so generously over so many years.  At the same time, we look forward to the future with great hope.

 

Jane Curran

 

At the end of this school year, Jane Curran will conclude her 10 year tenure as Principal of Brigidine College, St. Ives. Brendan Cahill, Prinicipal at Brigidine College Indooroopilly, spoke about the valuable skills and knowledge Jane has imparted onto the students in Brigidine College and thanked Jane on behalf of Kildare Ministiries. Brendan outlined many strengths and qualities that he associates with Jane's Principalship. 

Jane is generous, approachable and has a great sense of humour. Jane is a great public speaker, story-teller and orator to the students and parents.

Jane has an open-door approach – all are welcome and she makes time for people to hear their concerns and responds with empathy and kindness to all staff.

Jane has updated numerous policies and enabled the College to be up to date, compliant, efficient and organised due to her concentration on accuracy. She is a great editor and ‘checker’ of detail for everyone with an eye for best phrasing and punctuation. Jane's hard work in this area has resulted in the dramatic improvement in reporting to parents and the editing of reports – a renewed process for everyone.

Jane is a  real ‘do-er’, undertaking the Anita Murray Centre building project  and the upgrade of McCammon wing in her time. Jane also built a new Hospitality Kitchen and dedicated spaces for Music, Drama and Dance to flourish.

Jane has made excellent staff appointments – employing staff in key roles to create change and build capacity and opportunity for the girls. Jane led a new approach to Professional development ‘Altitude Program’ to create learning and pastoral enhancement in the College.

As a Leader she has always made her home a place of hospitality and welcome. For these reasons and many more, Jane has the respect and support of the staff, students and parents and will be greatly missed.  We wish Jane the very best for her retirement.

 

Leanne Di Stefano

 

At the end of second term Ms Leanne DiStefano concludes an exceptional contribution to education in the Brigidine tradition over thirty-one years, twenty of these as Principal of Killester College, Springvale. Leanne has a deep commitment to Catholic education and has given great service to the former Brigidine Secondary Schools Council and to the dreaming and shaping of Kildare Ministries to ensure the future of our schools.

Killester has been very blessed to have been led by Leanne. She has a breadth of knowledge about all aspects of school life, an amazing gift to be able to look at every issue from many perspectives and has built a dynamic and purposeful learning community of students and teachers. Her core question is “Will this make a difference for students?  Will it enhance their learning?”

Leanne has a great passion for learning, capacity to think outside the square and the ability to bring staff on board. Through collaborative practice Leanne has  formed effective teams, demonstrating distributive leadership that shares responsibility for direction-setting and community building. Under Leanne’s leadership Killester is well-respected in the locality as a safe school which offers great learning opportunities where girls can succeed.

Values such as compassion, justice, hospitality, hope, courage are not just aspirational ideals in Leanne’s leadership. She has demonstrated that living these values and embedding them in the school culture comes from a place of deep personal faith and commitment to a way of being human, of being community and of being Church.  Congruence in ‘walking the talk’, taking practical steps to make these values real in her dealings with every person, especially the most vulnerable, has been really inspirational.

We are deeply grateful for Leanne’s selfless leadership of Killester College. The girls, the staff, the school have always come first and Killester has been gifted by her generosity, wisdom and compassion.

We wish Leanne every blessing and pray that new opportunities and joys come her way as life unfolds.

 

(Excerpt from Louise Cleary’s farewell speech to Marg at the KM Farewell) 

 

Killester College also held a farewell mass for Leanne on the 21st of June.

 

Marg Rouggos

 

At the end of term 2 we farewell Mrs Margaret Rouggos, Principal of Kildare College Holden Hill, SA. Marg has given outstanding service to the students, staff and Kildare College community since 2000, the last eleven years as Principal.  

Community has been at the forefront of Marg’s thinking, a key value that is translated into practical ways of finding ways to include all and into relationship building with her invitational gospel mantra, “Come and See”. The girls and their needs have been central to the way Marg has worked. Marg has a creative and strategic vision for the College and with her leadership Kildare’s enrolment has grown to 581. There has been a wonderful transformation of the school facilities to enable twenty-first century learning – seen in the new Brigidine Centre, Performing Arts facilities and Make a Space areas that promote STEM learning.

The culture of inclusion and working for successful outcomes for all young people at Kildare has grown because of Marg’s hard work and tenacious drive to give the girls the best. A gift that Marg has is her capacity to build a community of continuous learners. Margaret’s leadership has been courageous, creative and supportive. Staff and students know that, whilst being sensitive to each one’s needs, she is able to ask the hard questions and support them to find ways of improving their practice and their learning.

Margaret has been a strong educational and faith leader of Kildare College. Marg is a woman of integrity whose personal values are deeply aligned with the values Kildare Ministries and of those embedded in education in the Brigidine tradition. Marg has an absolute passion for girls’ education and during her leadership of Kildare the college has grown as a strong Catholic school community – a beacon of hope, inclusion and justice in the wider landscape of Catholic education in SA.

We thank Marg for her hard work and courageous leadership and wish her every blessing, and wonderful travels, as she moves into another exciting phase of life.

 

(Excerpt from Louise Cleary’s farewell speech to Marg at the KM Farewell)

 

Kildare College also  held a farewell mass for Marg on Monday 24th of June.