High Notes, Vol 16 No 30, September 18 2015

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From the Principal

High Talent
In the International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS), Fayed Morshedi (Year 11) won a UNSW Medal for the highest score in NSW/ACT in English. James Ye (Year 11) also won a medal for the Science Assessment test. Congratulations to both boys for their great results. Kabir Agrawal (Year 11) has qualified for the prestigious National Mathematics Summer School which trains and selects candidates for the Mathematics Olympiad – an impressive achievement. At the NSW Schools Fencing Championships High won a bronze medal in the Senior Team Foil. Congratulations to John Tian, Julian Tu, David Zhou and George Ge. It was great to see that our GPS Chess team defeated SGS to bring the trophy back home to where it belongs. Our team was: Manil Abeysekera, Johnson Lin, James Snow, Andrew Wu, Peter Boylan, Edgar He, Wesley Yu, Sean Zhang and William Weber. Congratulations, boys! Kazi Hasan (Year 7) and Benjamin Nguyen (Year 8) represented Combined GPS at the Combined Independent Schools Athletics Carnival. Great job, boys!

Term 3 Ends
Thank you so much to all our staff, parents Old Boys and friends of High who have contributed so much to the success of the educational and co-curricular programs delivered at High this term. Just in debating alone, I counted 35 individuals who gave of their time to make the program run smoothly and really give our boys a quality experience. Parents don’t forget to have your voice heard. Complete the Tell Them From Me survey. The survey is really easy to use and doesn’t take long to complete. I encourage all parents to have their say about things that matter to them concerning our school. It is easy to get involved. Just go to http://sbhs.co/pil15 There is no need to log on. Just commence the survey. The site will be open until mid-October.

ALTRAC Light Rail Notice
ALTRAC Light Rail is continuing to carry out surveys, geotechnical investigations and potholing in Surry Hills/Moore Park in preparation for main construction commencing in early 2016. The ongoing investigation works will take place in the Surry Hills/Moore Park area from 18 September to 20 November 2015. Should you have any questions regarding this work, please call 1800 684 490 for project enquiries. If you have any urgent concerns or complaints while the works are being undertaken, please contact the Transport for NSW 24-hour Construction Response Line on 1800 775 465.

Year 12 Farewell Assembly 2015
Our Year 12 students had their last official days at school this week. The cohort is to be congratulated on their demeanour during this time.  They put their time to good use raising $15,400 for OASIS – a wonderful effort! My speech to the assembly is reprinted below:

"Good afternoon Year 12, parents, students and staff. Welcome to our Farewell Assembly. It is with great pleasure that the staff and I can host your visit to the school today to participate in our annual rite of passage - your sons’ graduation from high school. The Class of 2015 is unique in its experience of life at our school as I outlined in your program.

"It has been a cohort that should be proud of its undoubted achievements in a range of co-curricular activities. I have listed the most significant of these in my ‘Principal’s Message’. Nonetheless, you will always be able to say that in your final year the school earned five GPS Premierships as well as cross country U16 – a first in its history. Missing is the undefeated run by our first grade GPS debaters as Champions, bringing back home the Louat Shield; our open basketball team’s 2nd place at the NSW Schools Championship and the Senior Team Foil bronze at the NSW Schools Fencing Championships.  High also retained the Kippax Cup as the champion CHS School in Athletics for the 3rd consecutive year.  High also won back the GPS Chess Cup.

"We have as one of our marketing slogans “You can’t buy spirit”. The implied strength of our culture is in its resilience and generosity – our students participate in the co-curricular life of the school because they want to. They know it is good for their personal balance in life and good for the strength of the reputation of the school. Whether in sports, community service, music, chess, social justice, debating or public speaking, participation is our key cultural message. Thank you to the eighteen students in Year 12 who had a perfect attendance record. I customarily take this opportunity to thank the senior leadership group for their support: Luke Hoad has had a very challenging year with injury so it’s great to see him back at school. Niyaz Mostafa and Bosco Tran were called upon to fill in on several occasions and did so to their credit, particularly Bosco. I want to thank all the Year 12 parents who are coming to the school for an event for the last time for any help they have given to our programs over the years. We value your contributions highly.

"To ‘walk the talk’ of our scholar-sportsmen culture we need boys prepared to compete in two sports in their final two years at High. Thirty-five boys competed in two GPS sports each year for six years. Sam and Luke did three every year but Leonard achieved the rare feat of four sports each year for six years. I want to thank the 68 Year 12 boys who showed pride in their school and represented High in two sports at all levels in their final year at school. However, with only 14 Year 12 boys in GPS first or second grade in two seasons of sport this year, we were lacking in role models to define our culture for younger boys.  Congratulations to those dedicated boys who represented the school at the highest levels in multiple sports in 2015. ‘Triple Firsts ’this year were: Sam Musgrove (4), Luke Hoad and Leonard Mah. Our ‘Double Firsts’ representatives were: Wesley Beare, Noah Fowler, Bailey Musulin, James Tinker, Stephen Ngo, Ian Lai and Jonathan Chew. The ‘One-Two- Club’ comprised Jing Li and Neil Song. Our lone ‘Double-Two’ was Rick Saha. In my ‘Farewell Message’, I quote from General Douglas Macarthur as he inspired West Point graduates in his speech about how he saw duty, honour and country. He urged graduates to build their self-awareness, to face their challenges – intellectual, psychological, emotional, spiritual or physical. I exhort the Class of 2015 not to seek the easy option, not to avoid the challenges life sets up, not to let yourself down by not reaching for that ‘high goal’ and when establishing your future not to forget the past here that helped to forge who you are.

"William George Plunkett worked for Collins Publishing and was credited with many aphorisms that appear on desk calendars. I like this one: “People’s minds are like parachutes. To function properly they must first be open.” I trust that the way you have been taught at High and your learning experiences with your peers, will equip you well for a safe landing in life by means of an open-minded approach to all the challenges you will face. I wish you all the best in your HSC preparations and in the examinations that follow and expect that you will be successful in gaining entry to your chosen tertiary options."
Dr K A Jaggar

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