It is clichéd to comment about the impossibly rapid passing of time but I do find it difficult to believe this is our school’s fourth annual conference at the Nan Tien Temple in Wollongong.
The principal’s idea, back in 2009, was that we celebrate and strengthen our resilience with a conference that focuses on staff and student wellbeing. Our school is truly a great place to work and we know that our shared knowledge, of what sustains the individual and supports the collective, assists us to build on our successes and deal with the challenges that a bustling high school inevitably faces on a daily level. I feel proud of my colleagues and the way they ‘do good’ for each other and their students. Dapto High School is a great place to work and learn.
Our 2012 conference has been a particularly memorable event and started well with tai chi, followed by a tea ceremony and a brief talk by Reverend Yo. It was an early start for most staff but by the time we actually walked into the opening presentation everyone already felt good after such a salubrious and sunny morning.
Minstrels, by the names of Shane and Scott, were in the temple early this morning too and led the ‘wellbeing’ choir (I seriously think this should be the name of our ‘welfare’ team in 2013) in singing carols, some especially rewritten for the occasion. The lyrics are available on request.
Rob Edwards‘ keynote, ‘Live Well’, was memorable and most will remember the acronym ‘BEEP’ for a good while, even those delegates receiving massages at the time looked up. This blog has often been a place where posts about wellbeing have appeared but I can safely say that never before has the topic of daily ablutions appeared. Until now. Rob provided simple, but profoundly important advice about staying healthy and building sustainable routines into our lives. His keynote was very well-received.
There were a number of popular workshops – Mindfulness; juggling and circus skills; a followup seminar with Rob Edwards and a tour of the temple – that pursued our conference theme of resilience and wellbeing. I fooled around with my Lytro camera at Cory’s workshop (from Circus Monoxide) and enjoyed the antics of the delegates as they explore juggling and other essential skills for busy professional educators. Just click on the image below to focus and refocus.
The staff awards this year went to some particularly deserving colleagues. These folks have been nominated and voted for by their peers. Meagan Gadd and Rod Cerinich earned ‘Teaching & Learning’ gongs. Rob Capilli was the ‘Welfare’ recipient and Jill Ryan was awarded the ‘Community Service’ prize for the support she unfailingly offers her colleagues. Tracey Anderson was recognised for her ‘Innovation’ during 2012 and I’m certain this award will sustain her through the challenges of next year
The Principal’s Prize went to Jackie Johnson who will proudly hang the shield during 2013. Andrew was clearly very pleased to show his appreciation for the work Ms Johnson does with our students in achieving excellence Maths, dancing and netball. Congratulations Jackie!
Geoff Robson, Helen Clancy and Marg Russell have retired after about 100 years collectively of service to Public Education. They were farewelled with good humour and heartfelt thanks for their work with students at Dapto High School. We wish them well for their future lives. I noted the other night that our federal member of parliament ‘tweeted’ his appreciation to Geoff for his years of service. I am pretty sure Geoff did not see it on Twitter so I post it here as a memento.
I look forward to 2013 and would like to thank all my colleagues for their support, generosity of spirit and professional work this year. Thanks folks!
Here’s a slideshow of images from the conference that I hope you enjoy. Please email if you wish for large files sizes of any of these images.
How did your team end the year on a positive note?