Welcome to the 2014 academic year. I would like to particularly extend a welcome to those families who are new to St Patrick’s and assure you that we will be seeking to work together to bring about a successful outcome for your son or daughter.
I would also like to welcome new staff members Mrs Rebecca Holiday, Mrs Briony Forster and Mr Bradley Sheridan. It has been an excellent start to the year with the Year 11 students settling into the routine of the College extremely well. There has been an extensive transition program this year and the Year 11’s have been involved in a range of activities that have enabled them to quickly integrate into the College’s routines and structures. These have included team building activities, workplace safety, first aid, white card and leadership programs.
The students and staff are very positive and are looking forward to a successful year. I have been impressed with the new students I have met so far. It is a privilege to share in their hopes and aspirations and to acknowledge the huge step they have made in coming to St Patrick’s to pursue their career goals.
One of the strengths of the College is the College Board. The St Patrick’s Board is unique in that it is composed of both education and industry appointees. We have been very fortunate to have as our Chair, Mrs Tricia Hicks who brings a passion for trade training and vast experience as an employer into the role. Mrs Hicks has been the Chair for the last two years and has been involved in setting the strategic direction of the College in that time. The Board is integral to the good governance of the College and is committed to St Patrick’s being a leader in vocational education in this State.
Unlike most schools, much of our success is measured by apprenticeship outcomes. 2013 was a very successful year in that respect with 81 of our graduates already in full-time apprenticeships. With this year’s school-based apprentices, the College has now passed the 550 apprenticeships in total. This is an outstanding effort and reflects strong industry support. Over 95% of the 2013 Year 12 class achieved their SACE and 75% of the Applied Engineering class received their first preference University entrance to either Engineering or Applied Science courses. I would like to congratulate all those students and thank the teachers and parents who supported them in their achievement.
Congratulations also to staff members Mrs Katie Gloede and Mr Frank Palladino. Mrs Gloede, who is on maternity leave this Semester has recently given birth to a daughter. Mr Palladino has won the prestigious Excellence Award from the Design and Technology Teachers Association for his commitment and contribution to technology teaching.
We look forward to another successful year in 2014. Please work closely with your son or daughter’s pastoral care teacher to support the important work of transitioning these young people into the workforce.