Term 4, Issue No. 2 - 12 December 2022

From the Principal

Reflections on a wonderful year

By Andrew Balkwill

Hope | Faith | Joy | Peace

Christmas is a time of anticipation, excitement and reflection – much like the academic year. As 2022 draws to a close, it is my hope that all of our students – from our 5 year old Receptions to our 18 year olds now awaiting their Year 12 results – has been challenging, rewarding and fun.

Now in the season of Advent, a time of excitement, hope and waiting before Jesus’ birth, we see lots of different symbols: decorated Christmas trees, angels, and the Advent Wreath. Advent candles are a longstanding Catholic tradition, and important part of the spiritual preparation for Christmas. Representing hope, faith, joy and peace, they provide us opportunity to reflect on our experiences and look forward with optimism.

From an unusual and staged return to school in Term 1, to a campus of happy children ready for the summer holidays, we have navigated the challenges of 2022 together. By being ever adaptive, students have progressed their learning, development and friendships.

Thank you
A huge thank you to our teachers, specialist, support people and the leadership team for the professionalism, energy and guidance provided to the young people in our care. Often going above and beyond, be that working with our Year 12 students in school holidays helping as they prepare for assessments and exams, to the patient teacher who takes the time to calm the nervous or excited child, thank you.

To the Class of 2022, best wishes and may you use your many and varied talents well in the years ahead knowing the learning journey never ends. The South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) results will be released on 19 December, ahead of the IB Diploma results in early January. You can all be very proud of your efforts, and we look forward to hearing about your next achievements.

This year we have attained further and significant improvements in learning, as well as motivation and engagement – as assessed by others – and this is testimony to our forward thinking and ‘best better’ approach. Teaching and learning is an ever evolving process that needs to change in step with social and community wide change, without compromising on core competencies and values.

In keeping with our commitment to enable all at Mercedes College to flourish, we say goodbye to some of our team as they embark on their next professional adventure. This year we also have a number of staff retiring after many years of service with Mercedes College – thank you all, and blessings for happy days ahead.

In 2023 we are set to welcome around 200 new students and 20 new people to our teaching and support team, as well as passionate educator and leader, Narelle Sandercock our Interim Deputy Principal for Semester 1.

Achievements and milestones
As the academic year comes to an end, the culmination of teaching, learning, and growing has culminated with Year level assemblies, masses and celebrations. There have been many wonderful events, achievements and milestones this year, testimony to the commitment of our teachers, determination of our students and collaboration of our families.

In preparing for 2023, we are continuing to invest in our campus with technology and play space upgrades being progressed at pace, thanks in part to your generous donations. Likewise, work on our new high performance Arts and Sports Precinct remains on track – with purpose build spaces were our students will perform, train and compete – as well as celebrate as a community.

At Mercedes College, everyone’s contribution is appreciated, and we are blessed with team of good people doing good things for others. With volunteers contributing where and how they can, our community plays an active role in how children learn, as well as supporting their participation in sport and events that make the learning journey that little bit more special.

Many people contribute to the College through the efforts of the MPFA – our largest fund raiser – that we will continue to support in 2023. Thank you to outgoing Co-Chairs Christine Kenny and Jo Cowain, for your many years of service. Thanks also to our College Council, for their stewardship and support in achievement of milestones for the College this year.

It is a blessing to be part of the Mercedes College community, and I wish you all a Holy and Merry Christmas, and every happiness for the New Year. See you in February for another exciting year as we build figuratively and literally on our successes.

Andrew Balkwill
Principal