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Principal's Couch

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The Principal's Couch will become a regular part of our college newsletter.  I am very keen to ensure that as a college, we communicate effectively with parents.  However there will always be times when parents or students will be unsure or have questions about our college.  

I have an area outside of my office with five or six couch chairs that is a reasonably comfortable place to chat. I am hoping this online space will provide a comfortable 'virtual' place for me to share some of the thinking behind the things that we do in the college.  I am of course very happy to meet with you to discuss any aspect of our college.  In the mean time please feel free to pull up a couch.

I shared a little about myself in the first assembly to parents and students.  This month's couch discussion is a repeat of this speech:

I have been part of the Swan Christian Education Association for 16 years and have enjoyed teaching in and leading schools.  In thinking about my role at Southern Hills I would suggest I identify myself first and foremost as an a believer and an educationalist.  

Whenever I am talking about education I will often fall back to the topic of purpose and it is here I will start in sharing my future vision for our school.

Rick Warren, author of a purpose driven life, wrote in the opening sentence of his book “Life is not about you’.  This statement is simply built on the idea that God has placed us here to build into the lives of others.  It challenges us to become investors in our world and not simply consumers.  To love others and put them before ourselves.  It has been wonderful to see the school programs here very much centred around the idea of ‘other person centredness’  - To see the responses from our senior students after returning from the Phillipines is a great demonstration that this is already a significant part of our school culture. I wish to continue to build this attitude of other-person centredness within our community and to grow our students into an understanding of God’s purpose for their lives.

For our students:

I wish to make our school an amazing place of learning. I want to challenge you to think differently, to grow up, and know why you are here.  I want to inspire you to do great things, to aim high, to be creators and innovators. Over the past weeks our teachers have been working hard, and have been thinking outside the box.  We hope to try new things, to challenge ourselves… we hope you do to.

When I was very little, you know, when the world seemed so big.  Every day seemed an adventure.  Even bus rides seemed fun.  Looking out the windows enjoying watching lots of other things outside the window. This reminds me a little of our early years at school. But as I got a little older, it perhaps became a little boring. I started to mess about with my friends and not long after, all I wanted to do was drive the bus.

However, as I become older, and hopefully more mature,  I have realised that there is one greater achievement than driving the bus. And that is to build roads.  I wish to inspire you to lead.  For new students, welcome.  I do share your nervousness and excitement.  I have observed that Southern Hills is a different place and you will come to enjoy the very large family you have just become a part of.

For our existing students: The new year brings with it a new start.  Start as you intend to finish.  Care for your colleagues and care for your teachers.  Practise being young adults with them.

To our parents:  We wish to partner with you.  I like to consider our role as ‘the extra parent’.  Unified for the purpose of growing your children.  I wish to ensure we communicate effectively with you. We want to hear from you and we wish you to be involved in our community.  Over the coming weeks I am wishing to build our school committee to support me in building our school. I am seeking to build a club-sport program into our school and develop a music program.

We intend on establishing an excellent communication system.  We recently launched our new website and are working to make communication simple and easy and timely.

As you know we are part of a wider association.  The Swan Christian Education Association provides us with some opportunities to share with our other schools. Over the next years we are hoping to widen the subjects and experiences available for our students.

I would like to acknowledge Mr Scott Puzey.  I have had the privilege of working with Scott over the last eight years and know of his passion and commitment to our college.


Gavin Nancarrow