Welcome back!

I am delighted to welcome both the Cardijn and Marcellin students and staff back for term 2. I hope that the next ten weeks provide a wonderful experience for learning and opportunities to engage in the many co-curricular activities offered. Term 2 brings a number of challenges such as the on-set of winter with wet and inclement weather, a focus on learning and assessment with mid-year exams as well as NAPLAN for Year 9 students, however there are a number of key school events which we all look forward too, such as the annual Athon day, the Tenison Woods College-Cardijn annual exchange with Cardijn hosting this year and the Intercol sports competition with Cabra Dominican College hosted at Cardijn.

Last Tuesday we celebrated the feast day of St Joseph the Worker and connected with this feast day we celebrated the presence of our religious brothers and sisters in our community. For Cardijn and Marcellin that community is the Marist Brothers who reside at Sacred Heart College at Somerton Park. Our school and mission captains along with Joseph Catania and Tahlia Sully joined the Sacred Heart College captains and staff to spend time with the Brothers and thank them for their vocation, presence, leadership and work in our communities.

During the school holidays I had the opportunity to travel to New York and make two presentations at the annual American Educational Research Association conference. This conference is the largest educational conference in the world where each year the latest educational research is presented. More than 17,000 participants attend to hear the latest in educational research. I presented at two sessions, with the first on my research into the validation of a research tool which seeks the opinions of staff on their school climate and the second presentation was on a two-year project which I was privileged to lead in Catholic Education SA, involving 24 schools in implementing the effective schools improvement strategy using a range of research tools and programs. Whilst in New York, a highlight was to visit the United Nations and learn about its charter and work towards peace and prosperity for all nations.

I was delighted to learn of the safe return and highly successful Japan tour. Students and staff have found the experience profound and much was learnt for being immersed into the culture of the Japanese. Notwithstanding the rock star treatment of our school party by our Japanese partner school in Osaka. Thank you to Mr Gauci, Mr Burrows and Mrs Williams for making the trip such a wonderful experience.

Whilst in New York, I was kept up-to-date with the Marist Schools Australia Basketball carnival in Canberra. Congratulations to our students for representing their school and for their commitment and courage in being highly competitive against very strong Basketball schools. Thank you to Ms Emma Knight and Mr Lachlan Abbott for their leadership and commitment to making this a success.

ANZAC day falls during our school holidays and is one of the most important days in our Nation’s calendar each year. A day when we remember the sacrifices of men and women who responded to the challenge of keeping this nation and indeed the World a place of peace and a place where democracy is valued. It is a time where we say “Thank you for your service”. Our senior school student leaders were present at many ANZAC vigils and Dawn services in our region and in the city. Thank you for your efforts in making this a number one priority in our commitment to this important day.

I wish all families, students and staff all the very best for an inspiring and rewarding term 2.

Dr Paul Rijken is principal of Cardijn College, a secondary co-educational school in the southern region of Adelaide with a total of 900 students and 120 staff. Marcellin Technical College is a campus of Cardijn College. It provides students in Years 11 and 12 with SACE, training and apprenticeships. It has an enrolment of over 120 students and 30 staff. Paul has been the principal at Cardijn College since 2005. He has a Ph.D. from Curtin University in Science and Mathematics Education. He is a Fellow of the Australian College of Educational Leaders.

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