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The Southern Cross : February 2012
February 2012 Page 17 www.thesoutherncross.org.au Back to school feature Mary MacKillop College Kensington Sunday 4 March 1pm - 3pm know more do more be mo ore Bea MacKillop girl... Day Open The staff and students of Mary MacKillop College warmly invite you to attend our 2012 Open Day. Please register your attendance online at www.marymackillop.sa.edu.au or by phoning the Registrar on 8333 6300. 10-14 High Street Kensington 5068 Back to school There is something wonderful about the healthy faces that return to school after the summer. Teachers and students alike have had the chance to catch up with family, take a break and prepare themselves for another year of the fast action of school life. New beginnings are filled with promise and that is the way it should be each year. The rhythm of the Australian summer calls each one of us to slow down, change gears and spend some time with those closest to us. Every new start carries within it the memory of a moment which has closed and gone. The most profound example of such passing of course are the people who are not returning from the holidays. I remember here the school communities who have lost a student, a member of staff or a family member. New starts can be moments where we pause and experience the loss anew of someone who has brought their own unique gifts into our midst. In experiencing this loss, we remember these people and we celebrate the ways in which they have enriched us by their presence. Their felt absence becomes a new presence in this sense. I remember at this time those families or staff in our school communities who are doing it tough. Often these difficulties are hidden from us and we need to continually reach out to each other in ways that are dignified and compassionate. Perhaps we could take a moment to look around at the returning faces as this new school year begins to contemplate who in our midst might need our care and support this year in a special way. The first group of students has now passed through the new SACE and are making their way into the next chapter of their lives. There have been some remarkable stories of success and some stories too of disappointment. Schools are very human places and all that is human finds an expression in them. I want to thank those teachers who worked so hard in 2011 to support students through the new structures of the SACE. Your endeavours were exceptional and led to the success that our students experienced during the year. The First Year Evaluation of the SACE provides us with the opportunity as a community to fine-tune any issues around this credential and to reflect together on the type of education we want our students to experience in their final years of school. A Year of Grace will be proclaimed at Pentecost this year. This year provides each one of us with the opportunity to discern how God's life and action is present in our own lives and action. Why not make a start now by looking around you to see the goodness that is unfolding in your midst? These young Tenison Woods College students are amongst a record 50,000 young people enrolled in Catholic schools across the State this year. First-timers Matilda, Finn, Piper and Kaige weren't daunted by this new phase of their lives and made themselves at home in their classroom at the Mount Gambier Catholic school. In our special five-page Back to School feature, Director of Catholic Education, Dr Paul Sharkey, gives his perspective on the 2012 school year. Photo: Nethanel Sutton