Head of Senior School
The first few weeks of Term 4 have been taken up with trial examinations and revision in preparation for the VCE examinations which commenced this week on Wednesday 26 October. At the end of Week 2 it was finally time to celebrate achievements, and for us to thank, bless and farewell our Year 12 Class of 2016.
As a community, we had the opportunity to come together and celebrate their time as students of Oakleigh Grammar. I would like to thank our Year 12 students as they have been a pleasure to be involved with and should be congratulated for the way they finished. It was obvious as we watched on during their celebrations in their last official days, the closeness of their relationships with each other and the affection they felt for many of their teachers. This Year 12 group have set an enviable standard as they departed the School with dignity and full of enjoyment.
Their last school challenge will have begun by the time this newsletter is read. We wish them all good luck and hope they take every opportunity to display their knowledge and understanding during the VCE exams. I would like to thank the teachers that have worked with the students throughout the year to prepare them, not only for the upcoming examinations, but also for their chosen paths after school. In particular, I wish to thank Steve Zafiropoulos, Mary Spiropoulos and Jenny Bean for all their tireless efforts and support as the Year 12 Pastoral team. From the camp in February to the graduation dinner it has been wonderful to work with such professional and caring individuals.
Year 12 students dressed in costumes ranging from Tweedle Dee to their favourite wrestling character. The boys of the year level took full advantage of the jumping castle organised for them, to put on an entertaining show that highlighted their wrestling skills and probably, more importantly, their ability to choreograph action sequences without anyone being hurt. Junior School students, who lined up against the outer yard fence during their recess break, were delighted with the show and shouted for their favourite, encouraged by Louis Panagopoulos who was supervising in that area. A few mischievous rascals managed to fill their Home Group teachers’ office with balloons. Names are withheld to protect those involved! After a BBQ lunch cooked by Steve Zafiropoulos, ably assisted by Nico Giannetakis, students left the school at 12.30pm.
Farewell Assembly and Morning Tea.
The warmth and affection for our Class of 2016 was particularly evident in our final assembly, as was their enjoyment of their time at the School. Students were presented individually to the School Community and received a flower from the members of the 2016 Prep classes, signifying the ending of one era and the beginning of another. It has become a tradition that is beautiful to watch and one that brings more than one tear to the eyes of those parents present. The VCE teachers were also recognised and thanked by the students for their part in their final year. The assembly was followed by Morning Tea in the Year 12 common room for the students and their parents.
On Thursday 20 October, members of the school community gathered to bless and farewell our Year 12 Class of 2016. This evening celebrated the culmination of education for our students in Year 12, most of whom have been on a learning journey at Oakleigh Grammar since Prep. Fittingly, the celebrations commenced in our church where each student received a blessing imparted by our School Chaplain, the Reverend Father George, and an icon of the School’s patron saints, Sts Anagiri.
Graduation Dinner was held at Merrimu Receptions after the blessing. Students were introduced individually to those present and were given a commemorative graduation certificate by the School Principal. Mr Chris Damatopoulos, Vice President of the Board of Management, formally welcomed everyone to the evening and was followed by the School Principal, Mr Mark Robertson, who told tales about each of the members of the student leadership team.
The School Captains, Michaela Takos and Nick Limnios reflected on their time at the Oakleigh Grammar and acknowledged the closeness of the year level. They also thanked those that had helped them throughout this journey, their teachers and their parents.
As the Head of Senior School, I observed that as individuals and as a group, the Class of 2016 had grown immensely. They were no longer the boys and girls that entered Senior School in Year 10 but instead had developed into articulate, informed and capable men and women, ready to face whatever challenges lay ahead. The evening was completed with lots of dancing.
Goodbye and good luck to all our graduating students in the Class of 2016 in all their future endeavours.
Solo Drama Performances
I was fortunate to able to view the individual performances of members of the 3/4 Drama class before their performance exam last Friday. To say we have talented and charismatic actors is an understatement. Each performance was unique; some were filled with passion, whilst others were comical, yet all delivered strong messages. Congratulations to John Christou, Eirini Souli, Christina Katatrioti, Lukas Smyrnis, Nicole Papazois and to their teacher, Elise Zijai.