Principal’s Weekly Message

Dear Students, Parents & Carers,

Well what a weekend, I hope you were all able to stay cool!. The heat is a reminder that we are heading into summer and bushfire season.  Please ensure your children always bring their hat to school and have plenty of water to drink.  There are water spouts attached to the bubblers for children to refill their drink bottle through the day.

It seems that the term and 2020 are now racing to an end.  There are still many exciting events to come and even though they will be celebrated very differently to previous years, we will do our very best to ensure they are special and memorable for your children.

Change of Dates for start of school for 2021

The Catholic Schools Office has informed all schools of a change of date for students commencing in 2021.

The following dates are:

Friday 29th January   –    Years 2 – 6

Monday 1st February –    Year 1

Tuesday 2nd February –  Kindergarten

 We apologies for the late notice and any inconvenience this may cause our families.

 Duilio Rufo


 Acting Principal’s Message

Dear Students, Parents & Carers,

This is the final Newsletter for 2020, and what an extraordinary year it has been.  I would like to thank Mr Rufo for the opportunity of stepping into the Acting Principal’s position and all the support and advice he has given me throughout this time.  I would also like to thank all the staff of St Therese’s, especially the leadership team, for all your hard work and support in quite an extraordinary year. Thank you also to the students, for always reminding me of what is important in life – having fun, laughing and working hard, the world through the eyes of a child is truly a remarkable place and sometimes in our busy lives we tend to forget this. Thank all of you parents, who have taken all the changes this year in your stride ,with so many of you sending in words of encouragement and gratitude, which reminds me of how blessed I am to be a part of this beautiful community.

As the 2020 draws to an end, I thought I would take a trip down memory lane to the highlights of the year:

  • January – meeting our kindergarten 2020 students and new students to the school and the launch of Successful Foundations in kindergarten
  • February – birth of Mr Breen’s daughter, harvesting our summer crops & the launch of Clarity across the school to improve student outcomes
  • March – restrictions start and home learning began & NAPLAN 2020 cancelled
  • April – Easter, the building of the Catherine McAuley Centre starts & Autumn holidays
  • May – Daniel Rufo’s son is born, Mother’s Day, transition of students and staff back to school & “Be a Mate” day
  • June – CSO Visual Art competition & PJ Day
  • July – Winter holidays
  • August – Miss Polson gets married, Jeans for Genes Day, Zoom meetings for Parent/Teacher interviews & Ms Sokulsky gets married
  • September – Father’s Day, R U OK Day, Jersey Day & Spring holidays
  • October – return of Mr Rufo & the birth of Mrs Maier’s son
  • November – Mrs Dawson grandson is born, Mr Moore’s daughter is born, Inquisitive Minds, Lotus and Miss Smith’s engagement

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and all the best for 2021.  I hope you have a happy and holy Christmas season with family and friends.

Staffing 2021

Principal – Mr Duilio Rufo

Assistant Principal – Mrs Kaylene Maretich

Religious Education Coordinator – Mr Luke Smith

Primary Coordinators – Mrs Janine Schneider, Ms Therese Jackman & Mrs Debra Petersen

Learning Support Coordinator – Ms Melanie Faehndrich

Learning Technology Coordinator – Mrs Lynette Barker

Clerical Staff – Mrs Vicki McSpadden, Mrs Louise Dawson & Mrs Jenny Hurst

Kindergarten – KN Mrs Julia Briggs, KW Miss Alex Toscano & KL Mrs Kristy Healey/Mrs Bernadette Duffy

Year 1 – 1N Miss Jennifer Curtain, 1W Mrs Naomi Parker/Miss Phoebe Parker & 1L Mrs Janine Schneider/Miss Helena Elias

Year 2 – 2N Ms Carmel Warby/Mrs Marcia Keenan, 2W Miss Elli Smith & 2L Mrs Melinda Helmer

Year 3 – 3N Mr John Rouse, 3W Mrs Leanne Kepreotes & 3L Ms Teresa Sokulsky

Year 4 – 4N Ms Therese Jackman/Mrs Patricia McNeil, 4W Miss Carly Mortimer & 4L Mrs Alexandra Wilson

Year 5 – 5N Mrs Debra Petersen/Mrs Trish Aumuller, 5W Mr Tim Breen & 5L Mrs Anne Sturt/Mrs Naomi Venables

Year 6 – 6N Mr Luke Smith, 6W Mr Anthony Moore & 6L Ms Shazmey Murray/Mrs Monica Griffiths

Teacher Librarians – Mrs Lynette Barker & Mrs Brigitta Gleeson

Specialist Teachers – Mrs Alina Brymora (Music) & Mr Joel Hartcher (PE)

Learning Support Teachers – Mrs Melanie Faehndrich & Mrs Angela Schneider

Gifted Education Mentor – Mrs Patricia McNeil

EALD – Mrs Maree Adams

School Counsellor – Mrs Tamara Burns

Farewell to Staff

At the end of the year we will farewell the following staff:

  • Miss Olivia D’Accione who has been given a position at St John’s in Maitland for 2021
  • Mrs Teagan Newson who has been given a position at St Patrick’s in Lochinvar for 2021
  • Mrs Sandra Breton who is taking long service leave, then retiring.  Mrs Breton has been a learning support assistant for 20 years at St Therese’s and has worked with so many children, especially in the infant classes.  Mrs Breton’s kind, patient and nurturing demeanour will be missed by all at St Therese’s.
  • Mrs Angela Hall who has assisted students in the sick bay, as well as parents and staff in her role in the office.  Mrs Hall is always ready to help anyone and is also a beautiful artist.

We wish these wonderful ladies all the very best, you will be missed.

Year 6 Graduation

On Monday we held our Year 6 Graduation Prayer Service and Awards via Live Stream.  Thank you to the Year 6 teachers; Mr Smith, Ms Polson, Mrs Anthony & Mr Moore for organising these beautiful events.  The Year 6 children had a special and memorable end to their time with us at St Therese’s.  They then had lunch and cupcakes together to celebrate this occasion, as well as finishing early to spend the afternoon with their families.  Thank you to all the parents, family, friends and other classes at St Therese’s for joining us for the live stream, I am told there were 260 different “logins” to the live stream.  So while the graduation was done in a very different way, we were all able to include family and friends who would not be able to join us from around Australia.  Thank you to Mrs Barker and Mr Newman, from the CSO, who live streamed these events so professionally.

Year 6 and their teachers are now looking forward to camp at The Collaroy Centre this Wednesday to Friday.

K-5 Awards

Our award ceremonies for students in years K-5 will be held next Wednesday 16 December as follows:

  • 9:30 – Kindergarten
  • 10:00 – Year 1
  • 10:30 – Year 2
  • 11:00 – Year 3
  • 12:15 – Year 4
  • 12:45 – Year 5
  • 1:15 – Year 6 Presentation of Year Book and final farewell

This is the link to our ‘Live Event’ broadcast for our end of year awards on Wednesday 16th December. You can view the event on any computer by simply clicking the link. If you are using a phone for the broadcast you will need to download the Microsoft Teams app and login with a Microsoft email to view the broadcast.

Last week Kindergarten recorded the Nativity, which will we played at the beginning of each award ceremony.

Christmas Day

Next Tuesday 15 December all staff and students are invited to wear festive Christmas clothing and/or accessories.  Please ensure your child is wearing closed in shoes, a hat and tops that cover their shoulders to ensure sun safety.  There is no donation for being out of uniform, it is just a fun day to spread some Christmas cheer.

Year 6 “Clap Out” – Wednesday 16 December

We have a custom of “clapping out” our Year 6 students on their last day at St Therese’s, a tradition that will continue in a modified form this year.  We ask that parents in Years K-5 do not come early to pick up their child on the last day, so that we can farewell our Year 6 students in the manner they deserve.

Kaylene Maretich

Acting Principal