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April 2008 - from the Principal

posted Apr 10, 2012, 4:59 PM by Eddie Woo
We have started 2008 well. We have an extensive program to support Year 7 so that they can settle into the life of the school and learn as much as possible. Our new enrolments in the other years are already contributing to the school.
 
We welcomed several new teachers to the school. Ms Annetta St Louis has taken up her role as Head Teacher English and is enjoying herself immensely. Mr Greg McNulty is very keen to share his love of geography. Mr Eddie Woo is teaching mathematics and TAS and catching up with the teachers who taught him. Ms Kate McCready is replacing Mr Lou Bialy for the year and is looking forward to her enrichment classes. Ms Chris Doyle is well known at the school and is replacing Ms Sue Briggs who is on leave for 2008. Mr Greg Bruce has returned to a temporary position in Agriculture. Ms Kerrie Ballantyne returns as Girls’ Supervisor and Ms Natasha Romanov will be her Assistant.
We have an extra member of the music staff, our new band director, Mr Glenn Armitage, who is delighted with how much the bands are enjoying their rehearsals.
 
 I shared some history of the school with our Year 7 students, including the names of our houses. Originally there were six houses, Felton and Frater being the two extra ones. Felton was the family name of the original owners of Barrengarry House, built in 1885. Frater was named after Mr Harry Frater, the principal of Carlingford Central School, which established an annexe on the site of James Ruse, from which the present school developed, briefly as Carlingford Agricultural High School, and then as James Ruse Agricultural High School.
 
Jones is named for Mr Wallace Jones, a staff inspector of the department, who was closely associated with the early development of the school. Mullavey was named after Mr Charles Mullavey, who was the first Deputy Principal of the school. Rassack is named after Mr R.C. Rassack, who was accidentally killed after being deputy principal for one year. Toft is named after Mr W.S. Toft, who was deputy principal for five years.
 
Our Valentine’s Day assembly demonstrated the outstanding singing, dramatic, dancing and organisational talents of Year 12. It was a most enjoyable concert. Some of the students chosen from the audience to be part of the performances looked a little embarrassed, but a good time was had by all.
 
The weather for our Swimming Carnival was perfect. Our students swam and participated well. Congratulations to our CHS swimming representatives. Christopher Liu is swimming in the 100 m breaststroke. Richard Guan, Brian Gao, David Tang and Raymond Li are in the 13 years 4 by 50m relay. Chi Wai Kou, Allan Zhang, Kevin Tree and Max Yeung are in the 14 years 4 by 50 m relay. Trevor Yiu is in the 16 years 100 m backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly as well as the 16 years relay. The other members of the 16 years relay are Alan Ng, Duncan Loi and Bobby Esaev. Well done!
 
It was wonderful to meet all our new parents at our evening BBQ.
 
We began our Faculty of the Month program in February with Science. I have been privileged to join four focus groups of students this week, reviewing various aspects of the Science Faculty. At assembly we had some wonderful student presentations on the junior science enrichment program, on the science and engineering challenge, and on the Olympiad and scholar program. We were reminded that of the 60 students who represented Australia in 2007 in the Biology, Chemistry and Physics Olympiads, 14 were from James Ruse AHS. Thank you to all the science staff for this amazing achievement!  I am looking forward to the results of the Australian Brain Bee Challenge on neuroscience.
 
Five students from our school have been invited to represent Australia as members of the very prestigious International Science Olympiad teams in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
Biology:  Ruby Kwong and Victor Chan (Year 12)
Chemistry: Yufeng Xi (Year 11)
Physics: Bonnie Zhang and Irene Lo (Year 12)
 
Ruby, Yufeng and Bonnie have accepted the invitations.
 
The 2008 International Science Olympiads will be held at Mumbai (Biology), Budapest (Chemistry) and Hanoi (Physics).
 
It is a stunning achievement indeed to be selected to participate at an International Olympiad. These students have had to be successful in a number of examinations, both Theory and Practical, including a very arduous training session during the summer vacation.
 
A record number of students from James Ruse were selected to be trained as Scholars and to compete in the Final Selection Exams. They include Aditi Halder (11), Kevin Pan (11), Cleo Loi (11), Kelvin Cheung (10), Jeremy Luk (12), Sen Lin (12), Norman Ma (12) and Jowa Chan (12). We would like to congratulate these students for their outstanding achievements.
 
Congratulations to the following nine students who have been invited to be members of this year’s AMOC Mathematics Olympiad Selection School., to be held at Macquarie University from 14 – 23 April: Reveen De Silva (10) Parth Girdhar (11), Stacey Law (10), Sen Lin (12), Irene Lo (12), Deva Rajan Nirthanakumaran (11), Kevin Pan (11) Shiva Subramanyan (11) and Sampson Wong (10). These students have had outstanding performances in recent mathematics contests. We have nine out of the twenty five students at the selection school! We look forward to some of them being part of the six member Australian team at the 49th International Mathematical Olympiad to held in Madrid from 14 -22 July 2008.
 
Five of our students have been invited to be members of this year’s Australian Informatics Olympiad Selection School, to be held 14 -24 April at Macquarie University. Congratulations to Jarrah Lacko (12), Willy Mai (12), Kenneth Wong (10), Joseph Wang (11) and Xi Chen (12). The four members of the Australian Team, to be held in Cairo, Egypt for 16-23 August, will be selected at this school.
 
Kaarin Wong, Sharuika Vijeyakumevan, Mariya Hamid, Kriti Agnihotri, Minoli Abeysekera and Beidi Zeng attended the UNIFEM International Women’s Day breakfast at Darling Harbour last Friday morning. The students were very enthusiastic about supporting the campaigns against violence against women around the world, which the breakfast speakers highlighted.
 
All members of the SRC were inducted at a special assembly last Friday. The outgoing executive reflected on their achievements over the year and welcomed in the new executive. One third of the old SRC (19 students) were re-elected onto the new SRC (a total of 60 students). Congratulations to all these students.
 
I welcomed the selective schools LOTE teachers to the school last Thursday for their network meeting, together with two members of the Office of the Board of Studies, Dr Margaret Silink (BOS Inspector – Languages) and Mrs Lyn Sully (Senior Curriculum Officer). The BOS officers also interviewed students continuing, and not continuing their languages study, as part of BOS research.
 
Four of our ex-students who scored UAIs of 100 in 2007 have joined University of Sydney in the Faculty of Science, and their success has been reported in several local newspapers – the Hills Shire Times and North Shore Times . Attached is one of the articles about the students – Kin Lam, Joshua Lau, Karen Lee and Alex Stoyanov . Sydney University has also put the news on the Faculty of Science website: www.science.usyd.edu.au/news/index.shtml
 
Larissa Treskin
 
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