Principal's Blog - 7 September 2017
Dear members of the Marcellin College family,
Marcellin Champagnat was a man of boundless love and faith. From the earliest days of his ministry he possessed great clarity of mission and vision. That mission was to make Jesus known and loved to the young people of post-revolutionary France, particularly those in greatest need. His educational philosophy was also clear. To educate young people we must love them and love them all equally. This educational mantra is what guides, motivates and sustains us here at Marcellin 200 years after Saint Marcellin formed his fledging group of Marists. It is a philosophy that is at the centre of every program, every policy, every decision and every interaction which takes place in our community.
It is the equally part of his mantra which is paid particular attention to in our school community. At Marcellin we are highly conscious that each of the young men who enter our gates comes to us with a variety of needs, abilities and aspirations. From an educational perspective we know that to cater for this diverse range of needs we need to provide a broad set of pathways and programs to support our boys to reach their full potential as learners. There are many ways that we measure the success of those these programs. Of particular significance is the measure of student retention. In the last ninr years at Marcellin our retention rates have increased from 86% to 96%. The reasons for this substantial escalation are many. One of the most significant is the increase in diversity and number of subjects and pathways offered across our College particularly in the Senior school. The Colleges VCAL program has developed greatly under the leadership and direction of Peter Baldwin, VCAL Coordinator and supported by the Colleges dedicated Pathways Team. Offerings in VET have also been substantially augmented under the direction of Kevin Kelly, VET Coordinator. We all know too the valuable work of Dora Karas, Careers Practitioner, who has dedicated herself to supporting our students to discern there future pathways and vocations. I am excited to say that following a recent review next year will see an increase in resource and programs in Careers Education to further enhance the offerings in this essential and valuable part of the Colleges offering. All of this is being expertly supported by other members of the pathways team – Andrew Bryson, AP (Learning), Clive Haese, Head of Senior School and Kalli Koniaras, Head of Learning (10-12).
There are other needs of equal importance which our boys bring to Marcellin. Learning needs, social/emotional needs and physical needs are all catered for in myriad ways by the dedicated staff of our College. There is one need which is not often spoken about but which I see as equally legitimate and one which the College supports in just the same way as it supports other needs. That is the financial needs of families. It is the firm belief of our Catholic, Marist school that financial issues should never be an impediment to enrolment at Marcellin College. Just as we provide other programs and policies to support the various needs of students, so too do we present a variety of support structures to assist the financial circumstances of families.
Many of you will be aware of the Marcellin Bursary Program (click to link to our Website and access the application form) which for many years has supported families in a variety of financial circumstances to access our College. As parents when we decide to send our children to a Catholic Secondary College we know that this comes with financial sacrifice. However, when that sacrifice becomes financial distress, this becomes a need like any other, which our school will support. I understand that it is often difficult to ask for help in this area of need. I can reassure our community that I have unwavering faith in the members of our Finance Department, led by Phil Tankey, Business Manager and supported in the area of fees by Merryn Newell to ensure that the utmost discretion, sensitivity and understanding is brought to all interactions in this area.
Speaking about loving them all equally Saint Marcellin did not place a higher value on one need over another and neither do we at Marcellin College. I strongly encourage and invite you to consider the support services provided by our College particularly in terms of financial support as together we assist our boys to grow to become fine young men in our great school.