Thursday, September 26, 2013

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,
Well here we are in the final week of the term. Spring weather is upon us and judging by the
number of pupils off school today due to illness the holidays are coming at about the right time.
Due to the exceptional growth that we have experienced in our school roll this year, and indeed
for 2014, we have made some changes to our organization for next term.
Miss Payne’s class will move into Room 6, Some of Mrs Ngatai’s children are moving into Mrs
Steven’s room from the beginning of term 4.
Mrs Stevens’ class will move into Room 5. Mrs O’Neill will teach some of Mrs Stevens’ class in
Room Two in the mornings. After school care will be held in the north end of the learning high-way.
As with all changes there will be a few small challenges along the way, but I know that with the
ability we have at St Mary’s to work as a team, these changes will ensure the best learning
environment is available for all of our pupils.
I hope that everyone is able to enjoy a restful holiday and comes back refreshed ready for the
final run to the post, as it were.
Have a great break
Mike Brosnahan,

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,
Often I ask people, in fact sometimes I plead, to let me know of people who are potentially likely to enrol
at our school. The reason for this is to enable the strategic management of our classes to ensure that
each and every child learns in the best teaching and learning environment available.
We are a school that is blessed with a growing roll; we will have nearly a third more new entrant enrolments at the end of the year than is our average. I have a large number of people on our waiting list for
open enrolments as far down the track as 2016, although some places do exist in certain enrolment windows.
Unfortunately the model by which schools are staffed is one that requires a lot of prediction and
estimation—so the more hard facts that you have access to, the more accurate that your assessments
are. So if you know of any people who are thinking of enrolling at St Mary’s especially for next year
where we already have a large number of enrolments, then please have them contact me as soon as
Sunday was a great day for our school with a lovely Mass during which a number of our pupils received
their first Holy Communion. This was followed by a morning tea to celebrate this occasion.
Congratulations to all of those who made their first communion and a huge thank you to all of those who
helped to make this day a success: the kind parents who supplied food for the morning tea, the great
group of people who organised the morning tea function, the talented choir but especially to Father
Michael and Mrs Mary Dillon, thank you. A day like Sunday highlights the old Irish saying “Ni neartt go cur le cheile”, there’s strength in unity.
Have a great week.
Mike Brosnahan, Principal

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,
Last night I had the privilege of watching our Senior A basketball team win the Year 8 boys
Competition. It was to my mind anyway an emphatic victory based on a team that utilized the
individual strengths of its members and welded these together to form an unbeatable team unit.
I was very impressed with the coaching of John Peita who got the very best out of every player
and ensured that because he valued everybody's contribution, everyone contributed. Well done
Team. This was another first for our school who alongside winning the South Taieri School
Cross Country Cup for the first time, winning the St Joseph’s v St Mary’s interschool for the first
time have now won the Otago Year 8 boys basketball competition.
To some degree when a relatively small group of people beat far large groups of people in a
sporting contest it reminds me of a saying of my father’s—”it’s not the size of the dog in the fight,
it’s the fight in the dog.” But I am especially pleased when teams like ours have success be-cause it rewards all that we stand for but especially loyalty. Do some players like Chistiano
Ronaldo who travel from one top team to another seeking to be a member of a winning unit ever
get as much from team success as a local player like say Paul Grant who has stuck with the one
province through good and bad, thick and then. I think not.
Loyalty is a two edged sword but one that once one side is damaged can only be returned to its
former lustre by sharpening the damaged side not by blunting the sharp side for if this
happens the effectiveness of the relationship ends.
Once again to John and his team of Stars—WELL Done!
Have a great week.
Mike Brosnahan, Principal
Room 3
Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,
As we move into the season of spring it is a good time to reflect on how our year has gone so
far—on where we have come from and where we are now. It was in mid-August last year that
Donald Mitchell and I were told by the Catholic Property Services that we would be moving our
school to the Holy Cross site, and that we would be beginning the new school year in the new
school! The rest as they say is history—while there remains loose ends to tidy up we are on the
new site and in our new school. The effort and energy of a small group of dedicated people has
allowed this to happen.
I think with regards to the opportunity that we have been given, it was best put by the famous
British war time Prime Minister Winston Churchill who said “This is not the end, it is not even the
beginning of the end but rather it is the end of the beginning”. That I think is how we need to
view our new site; a beginning!
The Stars on Stage group perform at the Regent Theatre tonight and I would like to congratulate
the group on all of their effort and to thank Miss Payne for her hard work and determination to put
this high quality performance together.
Have a great week.
Mike Brosnahan
Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,
Yesterday I attended the funeral of an ex-pupil of our school, a young man that I was lucky to
have had the privilege to have taught. Anthony Smith attended St Mary’s for eight years and
during his time at our school he was always one of those pupils that every teacher enjoyed
teaching. His death is a tragedy and one that will affect many people deeply.
We remember, Gina and her family in our prayers and every little act of kindness and support will
I know be welcomed. If you feel that you or your child needs to talk to anyone about this sad
event then please contact me and I will make the necessary arrangements.
We are coming to the end of our winter sports season and many teams are taking part in
playoffs. I wish good luck to all of our teams who are taking part in any of these events, but
please remember all anybody can ask is that you personally and as a member of a team, give
your best.
Have a great week.
Mike Brosnahan