I am pleased to announce the staff for 2024. As with many schools in the Catholic sector, there are growing teacher shortages as educators move schools, move into retirement, or look at exploring other opportunities. Be assured that we are currently looking at finding teachers who are the best fit for St Paul’s. When teachers have been appointed, families of those year levels will be informed.
Staff for 2024
Prep B: Natalie Birthisel & Prep W: Jessica Walker
1M: Sheridan McAuliffe & 1O: Stephanie Ovakimyan
2C: Alexandra Carlson & 2MD: Merryn Morrissey and Julie Dolman
3A: Laura Allars & 3MA: Helen McFarlane and Eve Asmar
4LH: Cathy Lawrence and Liz Heath; 4: teacher to be confirmed
5K: Thalia Kurzel & 5: teacher to be confirmed
6BG: Gabrielle Berends & Katrina Gardiner & 6WG: Kassy Wira (nee Dowling) & Katrina Gardiner
Physical Education: Danny Maher
Visual Arts: to be confirmed
Japanese: Sensei Tracey Maile
Performing Arts: Connie Antenucci
Digital Technologies: Cath Knights
Learning Support Officers
Anne Don Paul
School Leadership Team
Principal: Freda Tahtouh
Deputy Principal: Margy D’Rozario
Religious Education: to be confirmed
Learning & Teaching: Margy D’Rozario
Learning Diversity: Margaret Mitchell
Wellbeing: Kassy Wira (nee Dowling)
Digital Technologies: Cath Knights
Literacy: Danni Molino
Numeracy: Gabrielle Berends
Support Staff and Coordinators
Community Coordinator: Danny Maher
Sustainability Coordinator: Stephanie Ovakimyan
Literacy & Numeracy Intervention: Angela Harkin
Reading Discovery (Year 1&2): Danni Molino
Junior Transition Coordinator: Sheridan McAuliffe
Office Manager: Louise James
Business Manager: Petina Thomas
Library: Despina Alexopoulos
Groundsman: Tony Reiche
2024 Staff on Leave
Margaret Smith and Rebecca Nolan continue their leave into 2024.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff who are leaving St Paul’s at the end of 2023. These staff members have all shown such amazing dedication and a sensational work ethic during their time here at St Paul’s - they are all truly exceptional people and I wish them all the best for their future endeavours.
Kate requested leave for 2023 to move to Sydney for family reasons and has since made the decision to live in Sydney permanently. Kate’s patience, dedication, optimism and commitment to ensuring the success of students in Prep has been outstanding and we are truly going to miss having Kate here at St Paul’s.
Caroline is retiring after 5 years at St Paul’s and many years teaching across different schools. She has made a significant contribution to our school providing rich opportunities for students during this time. Now it’s time for Caroline to enjoy time with family and friends, and an enviable amount of travel! Caroline is known for her warmth, friendly nature and sense of humour. We wish her well in her retirement.
Melina has accepted a new position as a Learning Support Officer. Melina has always wanted to work with secondary school students and has the wonderful opportunity to do so at St Leonard's in 2024. Melina has been a much loved staff member at St Paul’s for the past three years and we will miss her kind and generous spirit.
Amanda spent much of 2023 traveling around the world. Throughout her travels, she has reflected on her future and has made the decision to explore things outside of teaching. Amanda has had such a positive impact on the lives of many children, families and staff members here at St Paul’s. Our best wishes go with Amanda for her exciting new adventures.
Kate has only been with us a short time in 2023 after replacing Leeroy Zamudio part way through this year. Kate currently travels over an hour to get to school and has accepted a new position outside of teaching in 2024. In the short time she has been at St Paul’s, Kate has shown great care and dedication with the Year 2’s. Her kind and nurturing approach has been so appreciated by all who have had the good fortune to cross paths with Kate. It has been a joy to have Kate on staff and we wish her all the best in the future.
Rebecca has taken up the exciting opportunity of being Head of Arts at Haileybury College. After working at St Paul’s for 2 years, Rebecca has made many extremely positive contributions to St Paul’s and will always be famous for coordinating a spectacular Arts Festival that included an Alice in Wonderland blackout room! Rebecca, we wish you all the best in your new position at Haileybury - you will be greatly missed at St Paul’s.
Meet the Teacher
Next Wednesday 13 December, your child will find out their class groupings and teacher for next year. As you can imagine many hours of work have gone into allocating classes, ensuring that every student is in the best learning space possible for a successful year ahead. Lists have been triple-checked by past, present and future teachers. I know there may be some children who might be disappointed that they are not with a best friend. I ask you to support your child’s learning, resilience and optimism by having a growth mindset about the wonderful possibilities that lie ahead next year for new friendships and learning.
Donations and hamper collection
Thank you so much for all the contributions we have received so far for the St Vincent de Paul and Westernport Community Christmas hampers, as well as the specified families in need. We have seen some extremely generous gifts being donated. The closing date for collection is this Friday 8 December and I have no doubt the incredible generosity of St Paul’s families will be so gratefully received and appreciated by the recipients. Your thoughtful gifts will bring so much joy to those in need!
Lost property continues to mount up. Next week we will have all items on tables outside the Hall and urge all parents to check for missing items before they are disposed of or donated to the second hand uniform shop.
2023 House Sports Day
Today we held our 2023 Fun House Sports Day. It was a beautiful sunny day and the children and teachers were tested in the hot conditions. In the morning the children in Grades Prep – 2 rotated through 6 fun activities and were brilliantly assisted by some of our Grade 6 Leaders. The results of the juniors were:
Jacaranda (Blue) – 136 points
Wattle (Yellow) – 133 points
Eucalyptus (Green) – 129 points
Waratah (Red) – 127 points
In the afternoon the children in Grades 3 – 6 rotated through 8 fun activities with the following results:
Jacaranda (Blue) – 263 points
Eucalyptus (Green) – 234 points
Waratah (Red) – 221 points
Wattle (Yellow) – 211 points
Thanks to Danny Maher who did such a brilliant job of organising the activities for the students. Thanks to all the parents and friends who came and cheered on the children and to all the teachers who helped make the day a fun experience for all involved. Well done to the children for demonstrating great team spirit and outstanding sportsmanship.
Our overall winner of the day was Jacaranda - Blue House who won Sports House of the Year for 2023. Well done Jacaranda!
I look forward to sharing more photos with you next week in our final newsletter for 2023.
Today was our final assembly for 2023. We look forward to seeing you at the end of year Mass next Tuesday 12 December at 10am if you are able to make it.