When I started my teaching career 42 years ago, I could not have imagined that I would have the privilege of finishing my career through enjoying 12 years as the Principal of this great school. In this, my last contribution to Concordia Connect (and previously, Concordia Communio), I want to offer my sincere gratitude to the many people who help to sustain this wonderful community.
We are a school with a strong ‘soul’ and we are a school where many of our parents, staff and students not only identify with our culture, but also help to develop it. I write more about the soul of Concordia in the annual school magazine, the Concordia Review, but in the meantime, as we approach the end of the year, I encourage you to also reflect on the things that contribute to the 'spirit' of Concordia College. I encourage you to talk to your children about this as well.
The Concordia Campus has experienced many changes since 2000 when I arrived at Concordia as the Director of Studies. The physical infrastructure has been significantly upgraded during this time, but so too has the academic curriculum of the school and the approach to pastoral care. Year 7s have been integrated into the secondary campus for over a decade and we have now combined with St John's into a dual-campus College, offering a seamless education from the Early Years program all the way through to Year 12.
However, there are also many things that have been consistent throughout that time. At the core of this is the central focus we have on communicating the Christian gospel message to students and having Christian values drive our decision-making. Connected to this is the way that our motto, Firm in Principle, Gentle in Manner, infiltrates our culture. This cannot occur without a commitment from our staff to place student learning at the heart of their actions. I deeply appreciate the way that Concordia College staff support our students in their learning and their emotional development.
As we reflect on our time of connection with Concordia, Bev (my wife) and I want to publicly communicate our deep gratitude to the Concordia community for their acceptance, friendship, support and encouragement. Although our connection will continue, it will be different and we will miss the strong bonds we currently experience both on a personal and a collective level.
Finally, I want to acknowledge the support I have received from the Concordia Board who oversee the governance of both campuses. Sylvia Andersons, as Board Chair, and her wider team, is dedicated to the continual improvement of our College while holding true to the Vision, Mission and Values of Concordia, while my co-Principal, Michael Paech, is the epitome of collegiality. I thank God that He has blessed the College with the wisdom of this group.
In many ways, what we attempt to do is summed up in the words of St Paul in his letter to the Galatians (chapter 5 verses 22, 23 and 25):
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
Wishing each of you a blessed Christmas and a fulfilling future.
Principal - Concordia Campus
The Concordia Board values the committed contributions of the various auxiliary groups connected with the College and each year it invites the groups to the November Board meeting, both to learn of their activities and to assure these groups of the support of the Board.
The final Board meeting for 2017 took place on Wednesday 22 November, with the following groups represented for the first part of the meeting:
- Community Development Committee
- St John’s Campus Parents and Friends
- Concordia Campus Parents and Friends
- Concordia Old Collegians Association
- Concordia Foundation
- Friends of Music
Board member Tim Geue was also farewelled at the meeting. Tim has been a Board member since 2010 and was on the Property Committee prior to joining the Board. As Chair of the Property Committee, Tim has significantly contributed to governance decisions relating to the development of the physical infrastructure of the College. In all areas of Board work, Tim’s attention to detail, ability to ask deep questions and concern for the ongoing wellbeing of the College has been greatly appreciated. He will be replaced by Ray Soekov, who was also present at the meeting.
Other Board business included:
- Endorsement of the Parent Grievance Policy, Assessment Policy, Interschool Sports Policy and Language Acquisition Policy
- Analysis of the 2017 Board review
- Update on the installation of incoming Principal (Paul Weinert), and incoming College Pastor (Rev Dale Gosden) on Tuesday 30 January at 9.00am
- Reflection on what constitutes the ‘soul’ of Concordia College
Principal - Concordia Campus
Principal - St John’s Campus