Welcome Back!

Happy New Year!

There is so much hope in celebrating a new year – the opportunity for each of us to start again, to look forward to a fresh start. The most exciting part of the new year is that we don’t know everything about what lies ahead – there is real excitement in the unknown, in the untried, in the promise of good things to come.

I love the theme that we have for our new year at St Mary’s. As we focus on wellbeing of students, staff and families this year, we do so with HOPE, placing ourselves in God’s hands and setting our sights high for the amazing experiences that are about to happen.

I look forward so much to welcoming our new students and their families, to welcoming back our current students and families, to welcoming all our Year 13 students as leaders in the College. We wish our Student Leadership Team every blessing as they begin their special work in the College. To Head Girl, Elise Natoli, Deputy Head Girl Special Character, Maria Helbano, Deputy Head Girl Cultural, Te Mapihi Tutua-Nathan, Deputy Head Girl Arts, Olivia Paxie, Deputy Head Girl Sports, Sariah Penese and Deputy Head Girl Level Leaders, Penny Peneueta, we offer the support of our whole community. These girls have already been hard at work, organising and planning for the year ahead. I know they will lead the student body with great pride and passion.

There are many activities on offer at the College and I urge every student to consider becoming involved in some extra- curricular activity in 2017. There is immense value in the learning of subjects in the classroom but we should not miss out on the learning opportunities to be found in these extra-curricular opportunities. Being “good” at planning, reflecting, refining, working together, problem solving, having a go, persevering when the going gets tough and coming to understand our personal strengths is critical to being successful in today’s world. Every situation is a learning situation and we want our students to embrace and enjoy an immense variety of learning situations in 2017. Our Mission statement: Centered in God; Learning Together; Embracing the Future; Enabling Young Women, underpins so many of the above attributes. We will continue to be challenged by this vision.

Over the break our students have continued to be busy. I was really honoured to be invited by the Rowing Teams to watch their training at Lake Karapiro in late December. The two hours spent on the water was truly inspiring and gave me some insight into the skills and demands of this amazing sport; members of our College Rugby Team were selected to play in the Wellington Rugby Sevens Tournament Team, qualifying for nationals; Ainsleyana Puleiata travelled to Fiji, playing for the NZ Under 21 Netball Team. These are amazing experiences and the students involved deserve plenty of accolades. We look forward to the challenges that this year will bring for all our students.

Let’s join together as community in 2017 and work together, appreciating all that we each bring to this community as we make this year, this 2017, a truly happy new year – a year of HOPE.


Catherine Ryan