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This article is a little different. As this will be my final newsletter article at St Peter’s College, I thought I would use it to say thank you. Next week I conclude my time at the School, after serving in different roles over many years. This is my 17th year at Saints and so, as you would imagine, a lot has changed in that time but I am constantly grateful for the opportunity to serve and grow as a part of this community.

In his poem Personal Helicon Irish poet and Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney wrote about finding inspiration in the wells of his rural childhood – their smells, their depth and darkness, and the way they echo, reflecting back what is offered into them. As I conclude my time at St Peter’s College, I reflect on the ways in which Saints has served as my kind of well, too. It is certainly deep and mysterious, with a fascinating history. Much beauty can be found in its echo, a reflection of what I have put into my time here.

When I first arrived at Saints for my interview – with Headmaster Richard Burchnall and Head of English, John Lambert – I felt out of my intellectual depth. After a conversation on over-sized chesterfields in an intimidating office, I had to set about learning all I could about Saints, about Adelaide, and about the art of teaching literature to teenage boys. I can say now how grateful I am for all I have learned – some of which was directly relevant to my role, and much of which was not. AFL dream teams, finish lines for athletics, coaching mooting, the history and idiosyncrasies of buildings at Saints, sailing with Year 8 boys, trying to conduct a roll call during a fire alarm at 4.30am in the Boarding House. It is remarkable how much we learn that has nothing to do with our subject areas when we come to work in a place like Saints. And yet it has everything to do with being a teacher and that’s why many of us love every bit of it.

Thank you to St Peter’s College for the opportunities you’ve given me. Thank you to the many staff who have shared in my journey. I am grateful for friendships, a lot of laughter, and together sharing our vision for excellence. It has been an honour and a joy to work at Saints.

I am leaving to take up a role at Pensiniula Grammar in Victoria and look forward to learning as much there as I have here.

For your information, the following staff changes will be occurring for the Learning & Teaching Centre in the coming weeks:

  • From the beginning of Week 10, Mr Sam Cheesman will be the Acting Director of Learning and Teaching Excellence. Sam has been the Assistant Director for several years now and his knowledge and considerable skills will be welcomed in the role.
  • For Term 2, Mr Paul Hadfield, IB Coordinator will be on long-service leave. Mr Simon Roberts-Thompson will be acting at the IB Coordinator for Term 2.
  • For Terms 2 and 3, SACE Coordinator will be Ms Trudi Duggin and the Timetable Coordinator will be Mr Glyn Roberts.

I congratulate all these staff on their appointments and know that their wisdom and capability will ensure a very smooth remainder of 2018.

Emily FitzSimons, Director of Learning and Teaching Excellence