It has been another interesting year for all of us in the ‘Porties Family’.
Like all families, we have had happy times, sad times, arguments and joyful moments. We have welcomed babies, celebrated weddings and engagements, moved homes and travelled (locally). Again, we have been challenged by situations out of our control, situations that have no set process to follow and that have polarised some members of the community.
Thankfully, the strength of the team, the achievements and successes we have shared, and the genuine care and connections we have made, have seen us through in one piece.
Our students are incredible people who are willing to help each other, push themselves, take on challenges and find new ways to approach all situations. They have made us all proud and are a credit to each and every one of you reading this post. We know that when we work together as a team then our children benefit the most. The school and family connection is one that makes a drastic difference in raising the learning outcomes and lessening behaviour challenges. We see it time and again. I am extremely grateful to those of you who have worked alongside us to make improvements for your child/ren.
There is nothing I love more that walking around the classes and having students bombard me with pieces of learning that they have been working on. They are so willing to share themselves and they are developing a deeper understanding of what they are learning and why it is important. We are all so very lucky to have come together to make our school community what it is today.
We will farewell some of our staff this week. Jan Davoren is retiring after a remarkable career. Vicki McCarthy has shared the following statement:
“Jan commenced teaching in 1975 and has enjoyed a long history with Port Noarlunga Primary School. Her flexibility has been evident with her work across all year levels, classroom teaching and within various specialist subjects. Her compassion and commitment to those students requiring additional support, however, was always evident in her work within the realm of Special Education. She understands the importance of educating the “whole child” and is the epitome of the principles of social justice and wellbeing. Her support of individual students and their families has been greatly appreciated over the years. She has shared her passion for students’ learning through play with an emphasis on oral language as a collaborative member of many teaching teams. Jan has taught at several schools across various partnerships, leaving an indelible mark on many students.”
We also farewell Nicole Zan, Karen Gillespie, and Kim Thomson, who are all moving onto a variety of endeavours in 2022. Kim Gwatking will be on parenting leave for part of 2022 however, she plans on being back at some time during the year. Annie Neilson has been on leave for a part of this term and that will continue in Term 1, 2022.
Some staff have different working arrangements with some changing time and role in 2022. We have not finalised our staffing completely for 2022 as yet and some of your children may receive a class placement letter with the teacher name missing. This is not unusual in schools and I hope to be able to provide more information before we break up on Friday at 2:15pm.
Finally, I’d like to say good luck and thank you to the students and families that are leaving our school at the end of this year. We say goodbye to our final group of Year 7s this year which signals a change in our school and their lives. One of the Year 7 parents, Sarah Spaan, has been the Governing Council Chairperson for the last 4 years and I would like to thank her for her commitment and contribution to the Governing Council and the school. In her time as Chairperson, we have seen a permanent OSHC Director employed and the number of places in OSHC grow dramatically. Our canteen has moved from a business that was struggling to break even to a highly financial enterprise with a second staff member hired this year. Sarah has been an advocate for our school, staff, students and families and I have personally found her to be a remarkable cheer squad when things have been challenging. I wish her every happiness in her life away from our school.
Please stay safe over the holiday break and enjoy some time to relax.