High Notes, Vol 18 No 7, March 17 2017

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From the Principal

High Talent

In a season marred by cancellations and interruptions due to heat and rain, our High first grade tennis team secured the win as premiers – our first victory since 2004 and only our fourth since 1972 when tennis was recognised as a GPS sport. Stephen Young (12R), Matthew O’Sullivan (11S), Andre Putilin (10S), Antonio Li (9M), Samuel Yu (10T) and Hikaru Ikegami (9S) were undefeated as a team. Our seconds’ tennis team made history as the first to win a GPS Premiership for High. It is also the first 1-2 win for High. Wanyu Tang (12M), Danny Yu (12S), George Ge (12S), Aaron Tang (12T), Cyrus Dadgostar (10F), Khobi Deep (9R) and Andy Danis (8T) brought home the title. My thanks go to the Head Coach, David Deep, whose ebullience and perseverance lifted the group to believe they are better than they thought they could be. Congratulations to our Combined GPS basketball team representatives – Luke Schroeder (12T) and Sebastian Diaz (11M) (firsts); Oscar Dumas & Tim Jeffrey (12R) (seconds). Well done to Ike Matsuoka (8M) who has qualified for a second event at the National Swimming championships, swimming 5.14.74 in the 400m individual medley.

Rowing Assembly

We held our rowing assembly early this year. Dominic Grimm (SHS-2005) recounted his journey from being inspired at a rowing assembly at High to world champion oarsman. He suffered serious injuries along the way but came back stronger, dedicating himself fully to realising his dream. My speech is reprinted below:

"Special guest Dominic Grimm (SHS-2005), parents, teachers, rowers and students, welcome to our 2017 rowing assembly. We are honouring the Head of the River crews very early this year, but I trust you will give these boys your support on March 18. There are two main reasons for having a dedicated rowing assembly at High. First, rowing is a sport that really has its season and grand final on the same day, so it was treated in a special way historically. Also, for many years it was our most successful GPS sport and established its own tradition. Second, the school wanted to inspire students to go and support the crews out at the Sydney International Rowing Centre. It has been established custom to hold the assembly on Thursday or Friday before the Head of the River when it falls on a Saturday.

"I would like as a starting point to express my appreciation for Elliot Shackcloth-Bertinetti’s work on behalf of rowing in his first season with us. He took over rather late as MIC and had to hit the ground running as the season had started when he took over. He has attempted to combine the three jobs of first VIII coach, MIC and coaching coordinator. In addition, he has been the driving force behind a rowing fund raising event. He has put in a great deal of time and effort on behalf of our boys this season. He was ably supported this season by Steve Comninos (SHS-2014), as his assistant and 2nd VIII coach.  Thank you to Angus Chilton as coach of the first IV. We have really appreciated the voluntary coaching consulting of Michael Morgan this year.The Year 10 VIIIs were coordinated by Lachlan Hine with John Johnson and Alan Low (SHS 2010) assisting. Terry Fong (SHS-2014) led the Year 9 quads team with Wesley Zhang and Daniel Xu (SHS-2016) assisting. Marguerite Pain again coordinated the Year 8 quads, with assistance from Daniel Tran (SHS-2014). I thank you all on behalf of the boys and their parents.

"I commend as usual the great efforts of the Rowing Committee, headed up by President Tracy Whittaker. Thank you to Sharon Wang, Michael and Violet Schanzer, Cindy Ho, Joan Zhang, Ron and Pitt Trent, Charlie and Anneliese Appleton, Zarir Kranjia, Zixiu Guo and Andrew Borscz for your help with the program.

"This year is the 60th anniversary of the great victory by the Sydney High VIII at the Head of the River.  It was the legendary A.R. Callaway’s first year as coach.  Bob Sample was the stroke and Reg Smith the coxswain.  Previously, the crew rowed into third place in the senior eights championship of NSW and was second in the State Junior VIII race.  The win at the Head of the River was not a lucky break on the day, as the crew had strong form going into the race, despite SGS being favourites.  John Pilger, Kerry Rubie, E.A. Dalziel, J Bindley, J Quick, J McGill and L Small made up the rest of this great crew.

"The boys got on well with one another, on and off the water. They worked together enthusiastically “proving an excellent example to junior crews in performance, attention to training and conduct”. These men define the word ‘crew’. They worked tirelessly together to achieve a common goal. Despite the great many years since that experience, nearly all of them will be attending the Outterside Centre for a reunion on 26 March. The bond they forged in that wonderful 1957 season remained strong their whole lives. Their history is the epitome of the notion of team sports: shared goals, collaborative passion and collective suffering for the cause. They all knew what it took to be successful. The importance of this anniversary has brought these men from interstate and overseas to share again their memories of such an important summer in their lives.

"The culture of an organisation can be identified by the nature, frequency and power of its story telling. At assemblies like this one, we share stories from the past and present to reinforce the continuity and value of these experiences to the ethos of our school.  You are both consumers and creators of the history of High.  Be proud of that history and play your part in making its future, following the fine example of the 1957 crew.

"I want to congratulate all the boys who have been selected to compete for High it has always been seen as a great honour. I hope you are justifiably proud of your achievement so far and are looking forward to the big challenges ahead. On behalf of all competing crews who have worked so hard for this one event on this one special day, I ask that many of you make the effort to come to SIRC for the Head of the River to cheer them on."

Early Bird scheme success

Since Orientation Day last November, 675 families (55.92%) paid all their invoices by the deadline set and have received collective discounts of $136,740 as a result. I want to thank sincerely all these families for their support. I encourage them to save even more in future by taking advantage of our pre-payment scheme with Sydney High School Foundation. We will be promoting this scheme more fully after our July ‘go live’ day for LMBR switch-over to no cheques and no banking account environment. For those families who did not benefit from the scheme, please consider doing so for next year.

Tell Them From Me Survey

The online survey of student opinions about school life has opened. I encourage parents to talk to their sons about the importance of using an opportunity to express their views and influence possible change. The survey gives students a voice in our development of policies and processes. It is very simple to access and easy to complete. This year there are several questions designed specifically for our school. The survey closes on the last day of term.

Student Leave Requests – Reminder

Too many parents are ignoring or pleading ignorance about the school policy on Student Leave of Absence – Extended Leave Travel requests. This applies to leave that is five school days or more in duration. Parents are reminded that as a matter of policy leave will not be processed or approved unless four weeks’ notice has been given. Also, cogent reasons for travelling during school term need to be supplied. The effect of this decision is that all leave requests that involve the last four weeks of term must be lodged with me for approval by the end of week 6, each term. If you are planning to travel during the school term you need to download, complete and submit the form for my approval by the closing date. As it is now week 7, I am going to apply the rule quite strictly.

The Sydney Boys High Student Research and Resources (Public Library) Fund 

The Sydney Boys High School Student Research and Resources Fund is a fund to resource our two school libraries. Purchases of books, e-books, subscriptions to magazines, databases and streaming services and minor equipment can be made from the Fund. In addition, the wages of a second Librarian and staff employed to extend library hours and run Library archives, are paid for from the Fund. As contributions to the Fund are tax deductible, it provides a very cost effective way for parents and Old Boys to help fund an important and growing area of school life – online learning. As well, 248 boys can enjoy the library facilities simultaneously. This year we are adding Clickview to our services to allow direct access to videos online. These can be streamed directly to classrooms.
Dr K A Jaggar

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