Dear Parents and Carers,
On Friday 5th July, we held our Founders Day. Founders Day is a time to celebrate our founders of the College: John Baptist de La Salle (De La Salle Brothers) and St Angela Merici (Ursuline Sisters) and a very important part of our faith learning. This year, our focus will be on St John Baptist de La Salle as it is the Tercentenary of his death.
St John Baptist de La Salle (1651-1719) is the Patron Saint of Teachers. He was born in France in 1651. His family was from the privileged class but after entering the priesthood, De La Salle committed himself to provide a Christian and human education to young people and especially to the poor and marginalised. In 1680, at 29 years of age, John Baptist de La Salle invited young men to join him in devoting themselves to the Christian education of youth. He was canonised in 1900 and became the universal patron Saint of Teachers in 1950. Inspired by their Founder, the De La Salle Brothers developed into a worldwide Christian education community.
"To touch the hearts of the young and to inspire them with the Christian spirit is the greatest miracle you can perform, and it is the one that God asks of you; it is the purpose of your work with the young." (St John Baptist de la Salle)
We hosted a number of visitors for our Founders Day including Bishop Michael Kennedy who celebrated our whole school Mass, Br David Hawke (Provincial, De La Salle Brothers, District of Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Papua New Guinea), Br John Pill (Principal O’Connor 1975 -1981), Br Raymond Khan, Br Garry Coyte (Principal O’Connor 1984-1988), Br Tim Peter and Br Anthony Cummins (Former Teacher), Sr Fran Millege (Ursuline Sister and Former Teacher) and Mr Chris Smyth (Director Catholic Schools Office, Diocese of Armidale).
We also had 15 students and teachers from St Ursula’s College, Kingsgrove join us. It is a wonderful opportunity to form connections with our Ursuline family. We are looking at a reciprocal visit later in the year to attend their celebration of Angela Merici.
O’Connor Catholic College holds a special place in both the Ursuline and De La Salle history in Australia. St Ursula’s, Armidale and De La Salle College, Armidale were the first schools set up by the orders on arriving in Australia.
Staffing Changes for Term 3
Mr Ian Yensch will leave O’Connor at the end of Term 2 to move closer to his family. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Yensch for all his work at O’Connor, especially in his role as VET Leader of Learning.
Ms Tonya McQuilty will take on the role of VET Leader of Learning and I congratulate Ms McQuilty on her appointment and look forward to working with her in this new role. Mr Glenn Watson and Mr Peter Belson will job-share the TAS/Construction position for Term 3 while we advertise for a replacement.
Mrs Denise Fittler was successful in gaining the position of REC for the remainder of 2019. I congratulate and thank Mrs Fittler for taking on this role, vacated due to Mr Damian Roff’s appointment as Assistant Principal.
Mr David Lush will be returning at the beginning of Term 3 after taking extended leave. We welcome him back to the Science KLA. Mr Bryan Allerton has been relieving in this position for 18 months and I thank Mr Allerton for all his work over this time. Mr Allerton will continue to work at O’Connor three days a week.
Academic Reports for Year 7 - 10 were posted this week. These reports are a good opportunity for you to have a conversation with your daughter/son about how they are going and how they can move their learning forward.
Student conferencing will replace traditional Parent-Teacher Interviews. Student Conferencing will be with your child’s PAC teachers and take the form of a 15 minute conference. This will be a more meaningful experience for everyone. In particular for Year 10, this will provide a great foundation for subject selection into Year 11. Conferencing will occur in Week 2 Term 3 for Stage 5 (Year 9 and 10) and in Week 3 Term 3 for Stage 4 (Year 7 and 8). Parents can contact teachers for subject interviews as required.
Staff Development Day
A Staff Development Day will occur on Monday 22nd July (First Day of Term 3). For students from Year 7 - 10 this will mean a Pupil Free day. The learning hub will be open for senior students to study.
Wishing you a safe and relaxing school holidays.