Monday, November 24, 2014

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,

I was at a function recently where a man told a very insightful story.

"A young man returned to attend his secondary school fair after leaving a few years earlier.

On arriving he saw his old headmaster working on a stall. Immediately he became overwhelmed with guilt. He approached his old teacher and said "Excuse me headmaster, do you remember me?" "Yes I remember you, how are you," was the reply.

"Headmaster I need to talk to you privately for a moment", the young man said. "Can you come over here?" The headmaster followed the young man over to a quiet place and the young man said "headmaster do you remember several years ago when a terrible story was going around about you?" The headmaster said, "Yes that story was proven to be a lie but it still caused a huge amount of pain and hurt to me, my family and the school." The boy said, "Headmaster it was me who made up the story and I am so sorry. I just want you to know that I will never do anything like it again."

The headmaster looked at the young man for a moment and said "Follow me". The young man followed the headmaster and as the headmaster strode past, he grabbed a handful of inflated helium balloons, dropped a handful on money on the counter and strode on. As the young man followed the headmaster they walk across the field, up to the high school bell tower, up the stairs to the platform at the top. When the young man had joined him the headmaster said, "You said that you were sorry and you wanted to make things right. Well O.K. bring these balloons back to me!" On saying this he released the balloons. A wind immediately caught them and they soared up into the air, scattering in all directions. "Headmaster I can never catch up and bring all of those balloons back, it’s impossible" the young man said.

"That’s what happens when you tell lies or gossip," the headmaster said. "Once it’s said you can never undo or bring it back"!

He looked at the young man and said, "I can see that you are sorry and I hope you have learned something. Lies and gossip are like the balloons in the wind, they scatter and go in all directions, and they are impossible to take back!"

Have a great week

—Mike Brosnahan

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,

Well here we are in week five already.

Last week I attended my son’s last ever prize giving. After 13 years of schooling he now has five exams and a leavers dinner and then as they say, he is his own man. Next year he is going to read Law at Otago University and having spent time with a friend who is a lawyer he is sure that this is the field for him.

Sean has always been a single-minded person, if he set his sights on something then he would work hard to achieve it. He has the ability to totally focus on something and produce the results he aspires to. He has already achieved NCEA level three and while some students would now cruise he has set new goals, excellence endorsement. His school has worked for him, but it

didn’t just happen by dropping him off and five years later picking him up. We knew our son, we knew what school would best suit his needs and we were proactive in getting him in there. I would find it hard to list the number of interviews, prize giving's, meetings and seminars that we have attended, we coached sport and worked at the fete and supported each and every co-curricular activity. So yes Sean’s secondary school worked for him, but it worked because we were involved in his life, we supported him and his school and we ensured a positive two way relationship between home and his teachers. To such a degree that after the prize giving I found that I spent most of my time thanking them and reminiscing over the years.

But as they say "time and tide wait for no man", Sean now moves on to tertiary education.

So as our year eights begin their secondary education I would offer these words of advice—be involved in your child’s life—in their school and get to know their teachers. It will not always be easy but if you start as you aim to finish it will work out.

Have a great week


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,

What a great day Sunday was, the weather before the event was doubtful but the weather on the day was as good as the organisation—perfect.

I’d like to thank the PTA as a group and specifically the smaller group who co-ordinated the fair, Kellea Williams, Antoinette O’Brien, Denise Scott, Sharon Wilson, and Sonja O’Brien. You don’t run such a successful fair without a huge amount of hard work. So from the whole school

community thank you.

School fairs, like all curricula activities accomplish a huge amount, yes they bring needed funds into our school but they put school into context. School is a part of a young person and their families life. An important part and like all important things the more you put in the more you get back.

This is a lesson that is learned not by something that happens in the class room but rather by what happens in all areas of our lives. The pupil who is naturally big and fast will only go so far in sport if they don’t work hard at their skills and practice. The pupil who reads from an early age will not become a renowned academic if they don’t apply themselves to their studies.

As Derek Jeter the American baseballer said: "There may be people who have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you".
Mike Brosnahan 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,
It seems to start earlier each year people are preparing for Christmas, end of year functions and prizegivings are booked, secondary pupils have only days of their school year left, senior pupils are preparing for exams and the university is emptying out. Soon we will be seeing ‘Santa’

parades and decorations going up.

The sad thing is that while this time of the year should be the time for good will to all and people should be able to enjoy a relaxed and spiritual time we seem determined to fit as many functions and events in as we can and the result is a very stressful time of the year.

We can try to take the pressure off by picking the functions and events that we attend, by
allowing ourselves and our families some down time. A time to reflect, a time to chill, a time for some spiritual healing.

Over the next few weeks our school has a very busy time with: the fair, athletics, the sacramental programme and senior swimming. Then we begin our beach education programme, and
preparation for our end of year celebrations.

Please enjoy these occasions where you can with us and attempt to make our Christmas term a time enjoyed by all.

Have a great week

—Mike Brosnahan

Room 3 Children are settling