Holy Cross College, Ellenbrook
'I came that they may have life, and have it to the full' John 10:10

A Great Start to the 2020 School Year

The 2020 school year began smoothly with a wonderful spirit among students and families. A special welcome to new staff, students and families who have joined our College for the first time this year.

Each year we give a particular focus to one of our patrons. This year we give a special focus to Sr Irene McCormack, who represents the faith Pillar and the values of justice and service. Sr Irene was truly a woman whose faith grew from reflection and led her to dedicate her life to justice and service especially to the poor of Peru. As a Sister of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart, she represents the enduring legacy of Saint Mary MacKillop who said, we “should never see a need without doing something about it”.

My challenge to all members of our College community this year is to truly live out this saying: “never see a need without doing something about it.” Simple things like:

  • Picking up litter;
  • Helping our new students settle in;
  • Stepping up to help mum and dad without being asked;
  • Building a friendly, safe and harmonious school culture; and
  • Volunteering in the community.

Both Saint Mary MacKillop and Sr Irene McCormack tried hard every day to demonstrate respect for the dignity of every person they met, to help in any way they could, whether a friend or colleague, homeless or poor, aged or infirm. Our challenge is to do the same. Every act of kindness makes the world a better place.

Holy Cross College continues to grow and change each year and in 2020 we have a number of new staff joining our College. We welcome the following new staff to Holy Cross College:

Anne Butler Teacher – English
Olivia Croswell Teacher – Year 1
Larissa Guzzomi Teacher – Art
Christine Hayes Teacher – Learning Enrichment
Calli Hedley Education Assistant
Louis Jago Teacher – H&PE
Dario Jiritano Teacher – Junior School Music
Shiny Joseph Teacher – Mathematics
Amanda Keeling Administration Assistant
Augustin Lobet Teacher – Media
Roseanne Musca Education Assistant
Davina Operchall Education Assistant
Fabiana Padova Teacher – Italian
Lynette Pienaar Administration Assistant
Opal Smith H&PE Trainee Assistant
Liam Smith LAC H&PE
Sarah Turrell-Knight Administration Assistant
Jason Tyrrell Teacher – Year 6
Simone Wiles Teacher – Kindergarten
Jon Williams D&T Technician

The College is pleased to welcome back the following staff from leave :

•           Mrs Rosman

•           Mrs Lowe

•           Mrs Bowden

We congratulate Ms Wallach, who was married over the holidays and will be known as Mrs Parsons. We also congratulate Mr and Mrs Lobet on the birth of Amelie Alex.

A number of staff will be taking on new roles in 2020 :

  • Mrs Kylie Day – Vice Principal
  • Ms Aoife Hickey – Assistant Deputy Principal, Junior School
  • Mrs Christina Davini – Assistant Deputy Principal, Inter-relationships

In an earlier blog post I highlighted some of the achievements of our graduating class of 2019. Some very pleasing results include:

  • Our median ATAR score of 80.55, placing Holy Cross College 53 out of 189 schools. Holy Cross College achieved the highest median ATAR of all schools in the eastern suburbs and hills regions;
  • Holy Cross College being among the top performing schools in Western Australia for English and Religion and Life;
  • 100% of General students achieving a Certificate II or higher, giving them a head start on vocational courses; and
  • 100% of students who applied for one of the public universities received an offer of a place in the main round with 87% receiving their first preference.

At our opening assembly on Wednesday 5 February 2020 we acknowledged the outstanding achievements of a number of students from the graduation class of 2019.

Fourteen students received either Certificates of Merit or Certificates of Distinction from the Schools Standards and Curriculum Authority acknowledging consistent school achievement in their WACE studies.

I particularly congratulate the following students who achieved ATAR scores greater than 90:

Student ATAR Score Certificate Plans for 2020
Marina Guirguis 91.15 Merit Attending UWA – direct entry into master of pharmacy via a bachelor of biomedical science. Majoring in medical sciences. Marina was also awarded The Hackett scholarship by the UWA.
Jayden Sterling 91.35 Merit Attending the University of Notre Dame studying a double degree in Law and Commerce.
Samantha Manzano 93.25 Merit Attending Curtin University undertaking a double degree in Engineering and Accounting.
Courtney Gray 93.60 Distinction Attending Murdoch University studying a degree in Global Security and Counter Terrorism
Tristan Henrisson 93.75 Distinction Attending  Edith Cowan University and will be  studying Psychology
Daniel Docker 95.35 Distinction Unable to attend as he is currently in Disney World in Paris. Daniel intends to take a gap year to travel and then study law at Murdoch University.
Vinuli Perera 97.00 Distinction To be confirmed
Mya Ubalde 97.40 Distinction Attending Curtin University studying  advanced science majoring in computing.

Students achieving 90 plus ATAR scores will also have their name inscribed on an honour board located in the College Reception.

The following students are also to be commended for outstanding achievement in the 2019 WACE.

Student ATAR Score Certificate Plans for 2020
Emily Sorgiovani   Distinction To be confirmed
John Corner   Merit Attending Edith Cowan University completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Media and Communications
Nathan Eden   Merit Attending the University of Western Australia to study Computer Science
Amelie Ladyman   Merit Studying a Bachelor of Arts (dance) at WAAPA (one of only 18 students chosen from across Australia)
Marnie Maddison   Merit To be confirmed
Kerry McDonnell   Merit Attending Murdoch University to study Law

I congratulate the Class of 2019 for their results and wish them well for the next stage of their journey.

We can finally see that some work is beginning to take place on our new Sports centre. The centre will contain two courts, a climbing wall and an abseiling wall, along with space for a gym. It is anticipated that the building will take around 40-45 weeks to complete. In the meantime we need to make sure we use the designated pathways when using the Westgrove car park.

The Year 12 College Ball was held at Caversham House on the night of Friday 31 January 2020. The cool summer evening was perfect for students to don their finest gowns and tuxedos. The walled garden made of limestone and lush greenery provided a wonderful backdrop for the paparazzi of family members to take their best photos. Mocktails on the terrace added a touch of sophistication. A sumptuous meal, lolly buffet and hours of dancing made for an unforgettable night.

As we begin the 2020 school year, I would like to offer some tips that you can use to help your children succeed:

  1. Talk with your children – talk early and often, provide them with information, feedback, a sympathetic ear, good advice based on Gospel values, support rather than criticism. They will come to you throughout their lives for guidance if their early experiences are positive.
  • Set high but realistic expectations. No-one knows your children’s true abilities better than you. Note their strengths and talents and gently encourage them. Identify where they need assistance and find help for them. Assist them in setting realistic self-expectations.
  • Build your children’s sense of self-worth. As children grow and make choices they will make mistakes. Knowing they have your unconditional love and support whatever happens will help them pick themselves up and start again when things do go wrong.
  • Keep your children healthy. Children who do well at school come to class rested, well-fed and emotionally prepared. Children who are well nourished in every respect have the foundation for success.
  • Support learning at home. Involvement in your child’s learning starts at home. Create the conditions for good learning – books, computer, quiet study area, library membership, time set aside for homework, interest in progress and reports.
  • Communicate with the school. Teachers who never hear from parents can assume they are not interested. Attend meetings. Read notices and newsletters. Offer help; join the Friends of Holy Cross. Send polite notes to your children’s teachers.
  • Encourage a spirit of inquiry. Show your children what a wonderful place the world is; visit parks, museums and art galleries. There’s plenty of free entertainment and exploration available. Curiosity about the world around them is the first step to children’s thirst for knowledge.
  • Build friendships. Children want to fit in and feel they belong. Welcome their friends to your home. Show your children how to be good friends. Teach them the difference between true friendship and popularity.
  • Keep your children safe. Identify risks and hazards and show your children how to avoid them. Children develop a sense of security when they are taught what to do if they are in danger.
  1. Speak well of teachers and the school. Children learn their attitudes from you and will like and respect their teachers if they see you do the same.
  1. Getting involved in the school – some ideas include:
  2. Meet the teacher
  3. Visit the school
  4. Go to parent teacher nights and learning conversations
  5. Be an active member of the Friends of Holy Cross
  6. Read the school blogs
  7. Get to know the Principal and staff
  8. Know the school rules policies
  9. Volunteer your time and talents
  10. Attend school events
  11. Above all – have fun

Finally, I would like to thank all parents and students for the wonderful beginning to the new school year.

Acknowledgement: National Education Association and National PTA