Dear Parents and Carers
Well, we are finally here – the end of the school year 2020! Well done to you all for your amazing efforts in supporting your child and the school in 2020. I have never experienced a school year like this in my 34 years of teaching and you have probably never experienced a year like this in your workplace or home life. Well done on your parenting this year and the way in which you have supported your family in uncertain times.
I’m not sure what to say except thank you. Things have been turned upside down for teachers and staff this year and they have tried their best to adjust and meet the challenges of education and continue to meet the needs of each and every student.
I want to thank the many parents and carers that have been understanding and grateful and who have taken the time to offer words of encouragement to our staff and teachers throughout the year and in recent days. I can’t say enough about how much this means to the staff.
I offer a special thanks to Necta Gianakis and her wonderful staff at OOSCA who have done it tough with funding issues, reduced places, COVID restrictions and reduced shifts and hours for staff. Your service kept up its high quality care. Well done!
I offer more special thanks to Michelle Woodward and her amazing ELC staff for also working through a tough year with so many uncertainties around funding, remote learning and places for students. The ELC has completed its fourth year of operation in fine style and there have been many messages of gratitude from their parents.
I am pleased to say that the 2020 Yearbook has been published and printed. It arrived this week right on time and a copy will go home with each family this week.
Putting the annual Yearbook together is not an easy task and I would like to thank Miss Beth Lehmensich and Mrs Kelly Mara for organising, editing and formatting the Yearbook for the staff and the community. The annual Yearbook has been a tradition at St Anthony’s for many, many years, I want to say since the 1990’s.
I hope that you enjoy reading the 2020 edition and it is a keepsake to refer to for years to come.
Staff Baby News
If you have not heard, I am pleased to announce that Mrs Tea Austin and her husband James welcomed a beautiful baby girl into their lives, Florence Mary Austin, born on 27 November.
Tea and Florence are doing really well. Mrs Austin can’t wait to visit the school early next year with Florence. We hope they enjoy this special family time together including Christmas.
Good Luck and Farewell to our Leaving Staff
On behalf of our school community, I would like to wish all of our staff either retiring, moving to another school to broaden their experience or taking part in a voluntary transfer with a teacher from another school for 2021, all the very best in their new ventures. Each staff
member has been a huge asset to the school and had an influence on many students and the success of the school.
To be able to say thank you and farewell to your child’s teacher this year, as well as farewell leaving staff, parents and carers are welcome and invited to attend the final school morning assembly, on school grounds, tomorrow at 8.55am. Please ensure that you enter via the school foyer and sign and sanitise your hands. Please maintain social distancing of 2 metres from others and stand to the back or side of the assembly. Also please do not venture to classrooms and other parts of the school. You are required to leave the school after the assembly. In the event of rain, you can farewell leaving staff in the hall.
Leo O’Keeffe is Retiring- (Started 2011). Thank you to Leo for 10 years of outstanding service to St Anthony’s. Leo has been fully immersed in the life of the school in his role as Groundsman and he has been a most valued staff member. Leo did so much for the school and members of our community that went well above his duty statement. I can’t remember Leo missing a school event in his time at the school. Good luck in your retirement Leo, enjoy!!
Janice Spackman - (Started 2013) Thank you Janice for 8 years of dedicated classroom teaching and classroom support teaching work. Janice’s gentle approach and compassionate nature have endeared her to so many students, staff and parents. Janice is taking part in a voluntary exchange for 2021 with a teacher from St John Vianneys Waramanga (see below). Good luck Janice and we hope next year goes well.
Nicole Jenner - (Started 2014). Thank you Nicole for her class teaching over 7 years and for the many extra programs and student experiences she has led in her time at the school i.e. sustainability and gardening initiatives, the Aboriginal Contact Teacher role, the Healthy Tastes and Nutrition initiatives, School Board Representative and many other initiatives. Nicole is taking part in a voluntary exchange for 2021 with a teacher from St Monica’s Evatt. (see below). Good luck Nicole and we hope next year goes well.
Tracey Adamson - (Started 2016) Thank you Tracey for her dedicated teaching over 5 years here and for her tireless community work with the school P&F and parents i.e. School Fetes, Walkathons, Walk and Ride to School Days, Pastoral Care for parents and families and many other initiatives. Tracey has picked up a permanent teaching position at St Vincent’s Aranda. Good luck Tracey and we hope you enjoy your new school.
Romy Batista - (Started 2018). Thank you Romy for her teaching at St Anthony’s in the past few years. As an early career teacher, Romy showed commitment to the school from Day One and she has been very dedicated to her teaching. Romy has gained immense experience and has been involved in just about every school event I can remember. Romy has been successful in a position at St Joseph’s Junee and is looking forward to a tree change! Good luck Romy.
Mel Harding - (Started in ELC 2018). Thank you Mel for your wonderful teaching in the Koalas and Possums classes in the past 3 years! Mel has been a great teacher and role model for the students. The students always enjoyed her creativity and the sense of fun and adventure in the class. Mel, we also loved your positive attitude and hard work. Good luck with your family and your future endeavours.
Anit Tomy- (2020). Thank you to Anit for her time at our ELC. Anit has always worked with a smile on your face and been there for every student needing that bit of extra care. Good luck in your new position at Holy Spirit Nicholls ELC.
Jennafer Parsons- (2020). Thank you Jenna for her time at St Anthony’s ELC. Jenna has been there when students need her and she was always close by to lend a hand. You have made the afternoons special times. Good luck next year in your new position at Galilee School.
Alicia McDonald (Term 4 2020). Thank you Alicia for her incredible teaching experiences with Year 2A over two special periods this year. As an early career teacher, we are so pleased we got to know Alicia and have her on staff. Year 2A has enjoyed every moment of her teaching. Alicia, good luck for your position at Holy Family in 2021.
Laura Adams (Terms 3 and 4 2020 - Part-time). Thank you Laura for your time at St Anthony’s. You came along mid-year when we needed someone to help out on Year 6P and the class have really enjoyed your teaching on Wednesdays. Good luck in your substantive role back at St Clare of Assisi Conder.
Special Staff Thank Yous and Appointments
Angie Kisiel. Thank you to Mrs Angie Kisiel who has acted in the role as primary coordinator on the school executive in 2020. Angie has worked very hard in curriculum development and student assessment. She has also initiated many activities and programs in the area of Mathematics. Angie plans to do further study and focus on her family and teaching in 2021. Well done Angie and thank you for your efforts.
Bernadette Whitfield. Miss Bernadette Whitfield has been appointed as acting primary coordinator and will be on the school executive for 2021. One of the prime responsibilities of our coordinators is curriculum. Bernadette brings years of classroom teaching experience to this role. She also has experience in the classroom support teacher role, which she will continue in 2021 as well. Good luck to Bernadette for this new role.
Beth Lehmensich. Miss Beth Lehmensich will continue her Acting Religious Education Coordinator role and as a member of the school executive staff in 2021. Beth works tirelessly to support students in learning religious education, their faith development, celebration of the sacraments and coordinating school events. Beth also works in many ways to support the wellbeing of students and pastoral care for families. Good luck to Beth as she continues in this role.
2021 New Staff and Staff Returning
In 2021 it will be lovely to welcome back:
Mrs Orla Rutledge. Mrs Orla Rutledge is known to most families and will be back next year teaching two days per week. Orla has a lovely young family and it will be great to be able to have her back on staff part-time next year. Welcome back Orla.
Mrs Vanessa Phipps. Mrs Vanessa Phipps is well known to most families and she returns to teaching next year on Year 3, working with Mrs Eastick in a job share position. Vanessa also has a lovely young family and it will be great to have her back teaching with us. Welcome back Vanessa.
Mrs Sasha Daunt. Mrs Sasha Daunt returns to teach next year after time off on maternity leave for part of 2019 and 2020. Many of the students and families know Mrs Daunt and she will be teaching Year 3/4 next year. Welcome back Sasha.
We also warmly welcome new staff to St Anthony’s:
Caitlin Brown. Welcome to Miss Caitlin Brown who joins our teaching staff in 2021. Miss Brown is an experienced teacher who has worked in our system at St Thomas Moore’s at Campbell as well as a short stint in the UK. Miss Brown is very excited about teaching Year 3 next year and we look forward to welcoming her formally in the new year.
Katherine Eastick. Welcome to Mrs Katherine Eastick who joins our teaching staff in 2021. Mrs Eastick is an experienced teacher in our system who has taught at St Thomas the Apostle Kambah and St John Vianneys Waramanga. Mrs Eastick is on a voluntary exchange to St Anthony’s in the arrangement with Mrs Spackman mentioned above. Mrs Eastick is very excited about teaching Year 3 with Mrs Phipps next year and we look forward to welcoming her formally in the new year.
Amanda Winne. Welcome to Miss Amanda Winne who joins our teaching staff in 2021. Miss Winne is an experienced teacher in our system who has taught at St Thomas Aquinas West Belconnen and St Monica’s Evatt. Miss Winne is on a voluntary exchange for 2021 in the arrangement with Mrs Jenner. Miss Winne is very excited about teaching Year 2 next year and we look forward to formally welcoming her in the new year.
Sally Gibson. Welcome to Mrs Sally Gibson who has recently been appointed the teacher for 2021 in the ELC Possums class. Sally comes to us with many, many years of experience in education where she has held teaching and leadership positions. She also owned and operated her business – Kidstart. She is a vibrant and enthusiastic teacher who builds strong relationships with her families and colleagues. Sally and I both held Deputy positions at Burgmann. Sally is currently working at St Joseph’s ELC. I’m thrilled Sally will be a part of our team and I’m sure you will all make her feel very welcome.
Rod Smith. Welcome to Mr Rod Smith to our staff in 2021. Mr Smith has been appointed to the School Groundsman role next year. Rod has done casual work at the school when Leo has been away and he does our ELC maintenance. Rod knows the school and the job well. Rod also runs his own maintenance business and comes with lots of experience and skill in this field. Welcome Rod.
Our ELC still has to appoint staff to assist in the afternoon program for 2021. These staff will be announced in the new year.
School Board Thanks
Thank you to our School Board Chairperson Clare McNamara and all of the members of the 2021 Board. In a year with lots of challenges around meetings, you have all done a sterling job in being flexible and available to support the school in its administration this year. Thank you. In particular, thank you to outgoing parent member Emilio Park, whose daughter graduated from Year 6 this year. Thank you for your valued contribution.
Parents and Friends Association Thanks
Thank you to our P&F President Selina Walker and all members of our wonderful P&F. You faced the same challenges around meeting virtually but we had good numbers at meetings all year. We all missed the opportunity for social events and interactions but the committee kept all of the vital functions and services of the school running. In particular, thank you to
two long standing P&F members. Thank you to Monika Renda, who has stepped down from coordinating the school clothing pool for next year. Monika has done a superb job volunteering in this capacity over many years, providing a valuable service to our families. Thank you to Louise Patton who has been involved in many school initiatives over the years including our netball club, fetes and the annual walkathon. It may be the walkathons that Lou will be remembered for most after many great themed events, prize draws, music and assemblies. Money raised from the clothing pool and the walkathons have provided funds to really improve our school. Well done to the P&F in 2020.
Week 9 Thanks - a Super Week!
Thank you to our amazing staff who produced a huge effort last week - a SUPER WEEK of events! We had a huge week at school with the Meet the Teacher Session #2 with new families, students and staff, Kinder Nativity performances, Year 6 Graduation Liturgy, Year 6 Graduation Dinner at the Southern Cross Club, Student transitions for 2021 and Semester Two Reports going home - among many other things. Each event was truly outstanding given the circumstances and the time pressure staff were under with COVID restrictions only just recently being eased.
2021 Key Dates
· First Day of Term 1 2021 for all students is Monday 1 February. Kindergarten students start at 9.30am, all other students start at 8.55am.
If you have not checked the calendar yet, there are some interesting term lengths next year in the ACT system. Prepare yourself for a 9 week first term, 10 week Term 2, 10 week Term 3 and an 11 week Term 4!!
Congratulations on completing a school year we will never forget and talk about for years to come. May 2021 bring many more positive events and circumstances for each of you.
Thank you all again. Wishing you and your families a Christmas full of happiness and joy and a peaceful New Year. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!