Welcome to a historic year at Cardijn!

I am delighted to welcome all families and staff to our 2019 school year. It is a historic moment as Year 7 students officially begin their education as high school students in Catholic Education in South Australia. This year we welcome 216 Year 7 students and 204 Year 8 students for their first year of high school.

Around this time 35 years ago, Cardijn College officially opened with 102 Year 8 students, I remember the day well as students and staff gathered in the library, very nervous but full of expectation with tremendous excitement and hope as to what the journey ahead would bring. That feeling is no different today as the new school year begins. We also welcome 155 Year 12 students who begin their final year of high school.

At our Marcellin campus, we welcomed 26 new Year 10 students who begin their journey in a trade and vocational pathway. Cardijn College has grown today to a school with just under 1300 students on two campuses and provides an outstanding Catholic education for young people in the greater Southern Vales.

Each year I make a New Years’ resolution and this year is no different. I try again to eat healthy foods and do more exercise, to make quality time to be with family and friends, to not be consumed by the use of technology and to ensure that all-important balance in life.

From a school perspective it is no different, get around more to see students in class, be around to speak to parents and staff, take time to listen to the stories of people and to be present and not be too busy for the things that matter.

Another way to look at a New Years’ resolution is to consider this. What can work much better as a New Years’ resolution is having a guiding word for the year? Last year the word was OPTIMISM and this year I’d like to suggest OPPORTUNITY.

In a world with all kinds of worries, we can often dwell on the negative experiences and thoughts in our life. The first principal of Cardijn College, Br Walter Smith FMS AM said: “As one door closes another one opens”.

What do we mean by opportunity? It means being brave even when things look too hard and to seize opportunities and explore these as potential pathways or solutions. It is looking at the glass half full rather than the glass half empty. At Cardijn we are constantly looking for new opportunities to do what we do better.

I became a teacher many years ago because I believe education makes life better, makes people better, and makes the world better. It is about connecting people with opportunity so that they can thrive and be at their best.

Staff matters
I am delighted to welcome new staff to Cardijn College and Marcellin Campus. Teaching staff joining Cardijn College are Meredith Smith, Amanda Taverna, Natalie Emberton, Tracey Turvey, Chris Weber, Kym Barrett, Monica Tolcvay, Leah Bellifemini, Carlie Sherwood, Kim Calderbank, Cathy Contala and Brenna Andrews. Education support staff at the Cardijn campus are Kelly Sardelis (Human Resources),  Liam Brown (Special Education), Michael Balas (Maintenance), Hayden Keough (ICT) and Jane Painter (Canteen). At our Marcellin Campus we welcome the following teaching staff: Daniel Smith and Lauren Simons. We also welcome Clay Berryman (Automotive Trainer).

Congratulations also to staff who begin new leadership roles: Patrick Harmer – Deputy Principal for Semester 1 2019, Eleni Takianos – Coordinator Of English and Literacy, Steve Rhodes – Coordinator of Mathematics (senior years), Meredith Smith – Coordinator of Mathematics (middle years), Belinda Hurcombe – Coordinator of Humanities and Social Sciences, Mel Alexander – Coordinator of the Studies in Asia, Eve Lovett – Coordinator of LOTE, Kristen Altmann – Coordinator of PE and Health and Cathy Contala – Coordinator of Careers Education.

I extend my best wishes to all families and look forward to meeting you at the information evenings in the next couple of weeks.

Dr Paul Rijken is principal of Cardijn College, a Catholic secondary co-educational school (7-12) in the southern region of Adelaide with a total of 1120 students and 140 staff. Marcellin Technical is a campus of Cardijn College. It provides students in Years 10 to 12 with SACE, training and apprenticeships. It has an enrolment of over 155 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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