High Notes, Vol 18 No 21, July 21 2017

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From the Principal

Welcome Back to Term 3

 I hope students and staff are returning relaxed and healthy after the holidays and ready for another busy term.  We welcome back Donna Marsh who is returning part time from maternity leave and will be working Wednesday to Friday in the Social Sciences Faculty. During the holidays, concrete paths were laid from the two staircases to the basketball courts on The Flat. Two aluminium seats with back rests were concreted in along the wall under the trees on The Flat for boys to access summer shade and for basketball spectators. Two concrete slabs were poured on the SGHS side of the COLA – one is for the new cricket / fencing kit storage shed, the other will accommodate permanent barbecue installations for our numerous events – social, celebratory and charitable. The COLA fencing alongside the retaining wall was also refurbished during the break. The long jump pits have been raked and cleaned with new protection sheets laid over them, ready for the athletics season. I want to thank Jim Crampton for all his work during the holidays. Thank you to John Prorellis and George Barris for giving up their vacation time to help with school business.

High Talent

Congratulations to our rifle shooting team for their win in the All-Schools Competition held at Malabar during the holidays. Well done to James Jiang (12F), Nathan Wong (12F), Wentao Ruan (12F), Ricky Li (11F) and Frank Zhou (10M).Our first grade boys finished second in the GPS Premiership and second grade was fourth. Congratulations to Nathan and Frank who were selected in the combined GPS Rifle shooting team.

Transitioning to LMBR

We ‘go live’ on Monday. That means that the OASIS system will be closed down and its files archived. All our students’ records from ERN will be uploaded into the new system. All our invoices will have to be re-entered. We have to work with only 18 ‘cost centres’ instead of our 50 or so ‘dissections’. We have to use state wide ‘internal orders’ and establish bespoke ones for some of our activities. There are many changed practices to be internalised and our SASS colleagues will be working hard to prepare our complex accounting activities to fit the new arrangements. All of the above means that we are not going to be able to reopen for normal ‘business’ until at least July 31st. To those groups planning and organising celebratory functions for the end of the winter season, tit means extra work will be needed to track transactions. We will be able to receipt payments manually and return the funds in cash but we will not be able to supply lists of those who have paid. Committees or Managers in charge, will have to keep track of paid up participants independently of the office.

Debating, Rifle Shooting and Volleyball Assembly 2017

My address to the assembly is reprinted below.

"Special guest Ms Jenny Leong MP for Newtown, staff, parents, students, representative debaters, volleyballers and rifle shooters, welcome to our annual assembly recognising the students and their achievements in these three popular and successful co-curricular activities that are flourishing at our school. The official start of the GPS debating season is this Friday night. We hope to vigorously defend the Louat Shield that our boys retained last year.

"I want to begin by thanking Rachel Powell for her ongoing high standard work as Manager in Charge of Debating. The depth and strength of our program is built upon her efforts to recruit and retain strong coaches and to maximise competition debating opportunities for our students. On her behalf I would like to thank the members of the Debating Supporters Group for all their work. Pam Konecny served again as President, with Victor Zeigler as Secretary. Edwina Henningham coordinated High’s highly regarded suppers. Vivien Suttner organised the parking effort again. Zerman Okarsu took over as Treasurer. Wendy Dar is coordinating the debating dinner. Thank you all.

"Thank you to Khushaal Vyas (SHS 2014) our Head Coach. We really appreciate the long hours put in by our tem of 23 coaches. Thank you to Nakul Bhagwat (SHS 2011),first grade, Nicholas Gerovasilis, second grade, Ali Thompson, third grade, Robert Sternhell (SHS 2012), Year 10 Coordinator, Ganeshmoorthy Chandrasekaren (SHS 2015), Year 9 Coordinator, Rachael Short Year 8 Coordinator and Christopher Chiam (SHS 2012) Year 7 Coordinator. Our PDC program is mentored by Melinda Jollie, Rowena Barr and Jeanette Cook. Thank you for your assistance which is so necessary to make such broad participation of teams possible. Thank you also to Sara Critos for her great preparation of our Legal Debating team.

"For rifle shooters, their season concluded on Wednesday after a long commitment over the holidays. They trained and then won the All Schools Competition, then backed up to train and compete in GPS shooting at Hornsby this week. Thank you again to the dynamic duo of Cathy Meaney and Daniel Comben (SHS 2003) for their fine work in managing the shooting program. I acknowledge and thank them both for their efforts. Our great team of Old Boys is headed up by High stalwart Sam Kremer (SHS 1992). Thank you to Brendan Leo (SHS 2011), Jacky Yang (SHS 2012), Joe Banh (SHS 2006), Terry Fong (2013), Keller Huang (SHS 2015), Timothy Tran (SHS 2015), Desmond Chang (SHS 2015), Evan Han (SHS 2015), Jack Zhou (SHS-2015) and Jeremy Chan (SHS 2014) for their great support. Our parent supporters are heavily engaged in our program. Thank you so much to Amy Cao and Frank Ruan. Yi Sheng Jiang and Li Ping Cai in particular, as departing Year 12 parents. We will miss their energy on behalf of rifle shooting. 

"Volleyball, as always, is managed expertly by Michael Kay. It is consistently our most successful sport. Our boys are set for another successful season.I would like to thank our teacher managers Patrick Parker, Everett Coan and Kerryn Ibbott for their help with the program. Well done also to our impressive squad of Old Boy coaches: Pinyan Gao (SHS 2014), Kevin Lu (SHS 2015), Gordon Qin (SHS 2014) Sunny Xu (SHS 2015) and Ryan Seong (SHS 2016). The expertise and commitment of our coaches really makes a difference to our program.

"Returning to debating, it has been said that the core of competitive high school debating is to examine every side of important and controversial issues in an atmosphere of reasoned argument and respectful discourse. The culture of the activity is strong in this regard. The focus is on the argument, not the arguer. Perhaps the most important skill debaters learn is the ability to think rigorously and critically. They cannot hold fast to bias or prejudice when applying themselves to one side of the topic or another. Academic benefits can be accrued by debaters. Debating students excel in written and oral communication, and greatly improve their reading comprehension. Moreover, they gradually become more comfortable with encountering new concepts and unfamiliar language. Debating students show more maturity in the face of adversity, considering they have to learn to be gracious in victory or defeat, and tend to develop stronger relationships with peers and mentors than other students. Many top corporate executives and high-ranking officials in all branches of government are former high school debaters. It is gratifying to know that our program attracts so many boys to participate in it, given the long term benefits that they will derive from their experiences in high school debating.

"I congratulate all boys selected in debating teams and in first and second grade volleyball. Well done to the rifle shooters. I wish all competing teams the best of luck on Friday night and Saturday and for the GPS season ahead."
Dr K A Jaggar
Principal

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