We are excited to start our 2020 school year and have planned for a brilliant year ahead in the life of our College. It was wonderful to greet current students this week as they returned from holidays and also to welcome new families joining us this year.
Our annual community event – ‘Community Connect’ will be held on Tuesday 11 February from 6.00 – 7.30 pm. This is wonderful way to connect with parents and staff while the students enjoy activities like jumping castles and face painting and we all share a meal together. I hope you and your family are able to come along.
At Cedars we are conscious that, because of the terrible bushfires in our country, the term break may not have been a relaxing and refreshing one for many of our families. I am aware that families in our community had holidays disturbed, were evacuated or even stuck in bushfire areas. I know we had people in the Rural Fire Service fighting fires and I know we had people in our community whose families lost homes and knew people that lost their lives.
We are well prepared at Cedars to offer counselling support to students who may need it and we have resources available on C-Hub for parents who may want to read more about grief and loss.
Many of us would have had the opportunity to donate money to support the RFS or other fundraisers over the bushfire season, but I also want our students to know that we are part of a community and in communities we all chip in and help. So, over the break we connected with a school in the bushfire affected area in Bega on the far South Coast. They were in desperate need of resources for their community – including furniture. So, Mr Johnson and I loaded up a truck and headed down with three classroom sets of good quality furniture to support this school.
As we were unloading the furniture we were told of 30 families in their community that lost homes, farms, cattle and other property. Even one of the staff helping unload the truck had lost his home in Cobargo – but he was still at work helping to get the school ready for the students arriving.
We have connected well with the school and will continue to support their families if we can. A fundraiser at the Swimming Carnival this Friday will go towards school resources for their families. I hope you are able to come prepared to make a monetary donation that can be spent in their local businesses.
Last week I was able to meet with a group of Cedars Alumni for lunch and talk about their time at the College and find out what they are doing now. It was so pleasing to hear their stories, their challenges and their success.
Over 2020 you will start to hear more stories from our Alumni through our website and social media. We are also building up our Alumni database in the hope of organising an amazing school re-union in 2021 for our 40-Year Celebration. Keep an eye out for stories this year and, if you are an Alumni that wants to stay connected, please contact Reception with your email address and we will add you to the group.
Speaking of people who have been at the school for some time, this year is my 15th year at Cedars and 8th year as Principal. Over the month of February, I will be taking some Long Service Leave. I have never been more passionate about the College and our mission and vision; however, a timely break before launching into a new decade is a strategic opportunity to rest, reflect and be inspired for what lies ahead in the life of the College. I will be travelling over the next few weeks and will return at the beginning of March. The school will be in the very capable hands of Deputy Principal, Mrs Julie Cochrane, and our College Executive staff who do a wonderful job in managing the school already. I look forward to re-connecting after my break and am excited about what lies ahead.
I hope the start of the 2020 school year is a positive one for you and your family and I look forward to working with you this year as we continue to inspire our student to learn, equip them for what lies ahead, and develop them into leaders that can shape the world around them.