Head of Campus Update – 7 December 2017

It is indeed with great sadness that we say goodbye to Mr Chris Wyatt at the end of this year. Mr Wyatt has made significant contributions to the school during his 8 years on staff. He came to SMS to teach Year 6 students, moving to Senior School in 2013 to take on the role of Head of Digital Technologies. An avid gardener and beekeeper, Chris has also taught both students and staff important lessons in creating and managing a vegetable garden and bee hives. Chris was instrumental in the creation of the school’s greenhouse using recycled windows from refurbished classrooms. As the sun shone on the greenhouse last week, we moved assembly to the vegetable patch and took great pleasure in officially naming the greenhouse in Mr Wyatt’s honour.

Other staff who are moving on this year include;

Mrs Merrin Keir (Physics and Maths). Mrs Keir has been an inspirational teacher for our girls. Having come from an engineering background, Merrin often draws on her experiences ‘in the field’ to make her lessons more interesting and accessible to the students. She is moving interstate with her family and we wish her all the best in the future.

Ms Brielle Shiels (AFL Trainee). Brielle has extraordinary skills in organisation and communication which means all activities she has planned this year have been well-prepared and perfectly executed. She plans to resume her teacher training next year, an occupation to which she is very well suited. We will miss her.

Dr Grace Kamuyu (Learning Support teacher). During her 3 years at St Margaret’s Dr Kamuyu has developed a very close and special relationship with the students in her classes. They are very sorry to be saying goodbye to her. Dr Kamuyu has taken on a teaching position at MLC.

Ms Michelle Roberts (English and Humanities). Ms Roberts has been a teacher at SMS for the past 9 years. In that time she has held a number of responsibilities in addition to teaching English and Humanities classes. She has been a Year Level Coordinator, Debating coach and Debating Coordinator, Magazine Coordinator, VCE Examination Assessor and Senior School OHS representative. During her time at St Margaret’s Michelle also completed her Master of Education (Gifted and Talented Education). Her contributions have been significant and varied. We wish her all the best at her new school.

Mrs Val Murphy (Lunchbox). Val has been a part of the St Margaret’s School community for the past 32 years. In that time she has prepared thousands of lunches, coffees and cakes for the staff and students of the school. Val was a key advisor when the plans for the new canteen (The Lunch Box) were being drawn up. She played a role in ensuring The Lunch Box fulfilled the needs of both the staff and the students. She controversially decided that the new canteen would not have a deep fryer – much to the dismay of the students at the time. But there is no doubt Val’s meals are tasty and healthy. She was right – we don’t need a fryer! We wish Val all the best as she moves onto expand her fledgling millinery business.

Mrs Karen Fisers currently Deputy Head of Senior School (Teaching and Learning) has decided to step down from this responsibility. Next year will find Karen back in the classroom doing what she loves most – teaching. Mrs Judy Taylor will take on the role of Deputy Head of Campus.

Ms Natalie Petruccelli has decided to relinquish the responsibility of Social Service, having dedicated herself to the role for the past 3 years. She has been an inspirational leader to the social service team and has organised many memorable social service events. Mrs Sarah Pay has kindly offered to take over this responsibility

Mrs Diana Bright is currently concluding her duties as Cunningham House Convenor. Her final House event will be TAD on Thursday night. She has loved being involved in house events for the past 3 years and following her Cunningham CARE group of girls through years 10, 11 and 12. But the time has come for her to concentrate on her other responsibilities. She will be replaced by Mrs Jacqueline Atkins who will move into Cunningham House, while Ms Whitney Stiles will take on the Campbell House Convenor responsibility.

During the Senior School examination period, Middle School girls enjoyed the Queen Margaret Day Assembly. They learned more about the life of Queen Margaret of Scotland (later St Margaret) and enjoyed listening to the bagpipes, Scottish dancing by Year 9 student Cyan McLeod and a song written by Scottish poet Robbie Burns and performed by Ngaio Inksip of Year 8. Special congratulations go to the group of Year 7 and 8 students who volunteered to create and perform a short re-enactment of the life of Queen Margaret.

During the holiday period we farewell our intrepid exchange students. Ruby Graziano and Keely Stickley are heading off to St Margaret’s School for Girls in Aberdeen, while Jessica Elfick, Naomi Drego, Clare McCurdy, Hannah Ramsden and Yebin Yang are off to Queen Margaret School in York. We wish them all the best and look forward to hearing about their overseas adventures upon their return to school.

A reminder that your daughter’s school report will be emailed to you at the end of the academic year. If your email address has changed, please inform the school as soon as possible.

On behalf of all the staff, we wish you and your family a very merry Christmas and a relaxing and safe holiday.

Mrs Fiona Williams
Head of St Margaret’s Senior School