The other day, after much procrastination and prompting from Miss Goodwin, I finally sat down and wrote my magazine articles for the 2019 Caloundra City Private School magazine.  Some would say ‘an easy task’!  But they are not in my shoes.  Others would say the Nike motto ‘Just Do It, Macca’.  But again, they are not in my shoes.  My biggest issue was not a lack of motivation, I had dot pointed what I would like to write about and added some extra explanations to these dot points.  Nor was it a lack of subject material as there is so much to write about being acting Head of Senior School, Head of Physical Education, Head of Sport and Head of Outdoor Education.  No, my biggest issue was, where to start?  It has been such an amazing year of celebration and at the same time a year of great change.  Change is tough, but inevitable and we must embrace this change and focus on what is ahead and not what is behind us. The School community says thank you and good-bye to several staff – Dr. Wellham, Mr Pederson, Mrs. Muir, Mrs Crane, Miss Fung, Miss Goodwin and Mrs Hiley.  Each have had their own unique impact on the school, the students they have taught over the time they have been at the school and have shared in the successes of being a teacher.  Each have their own reason for choosing now as the time to leave the school.  Whether that be choosing to chase a dream, moving to be with family or choosing a new challenge in their teaching careers.  I would like to thank them for being part of the school and everything they have brought to the table.  Teaching is a very tough but humbling and rewarding career.  These people have had to be at their best every time they step in-front of a class, and they were.  They had to be creative, plan every class and think on their feet, and they did.  They had to consider ‘how would I like this student treated if they were my child’, and they have.  Very often they came to me with solutions, not questions and problems.  The old saying ‘you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone’ is not correct this time.  I know what we are going to miss.  Thank you again everyone. We turn another new page in the School’s history as planning for 2020 is well under way.  A new Principal and Strategic Advisor will step into the School.  New staff, new curriculum, new co-curricular offerings, new subject matter, but what will stay the same is what the School stands for – quality, unique, caring, small class education where every student does matter.  Mrs Frisby, Miss Maxwell and I have been working on the 2020 calendar and things are definitely busy again next year. The School’s Speech Night and Year 12 Final Assembly were great celebration events.  Congratulations to the many students who achieved Academic success.  It was inspirational to see you accept the community’s acknowledgement of your hard work.  To the other students, the bar has been set and the challenged placed before you to strive to be better in 2020.  There is a poster in RBH Room 3 which states “Success is not an accident”.  Go for broke everyone and be the best you can be. Overseeing Pastoral Care and the School’s Restorative Processes lets me glimpse into the lives of our young people.  I see the good and the otherwise on a daily basis.  It gives me great hope how understanding and helpful the students can and want to be.  The other day a youngster and friends came and saw me about something that was ‘supposedly’ said about one of them.  After listening to them and seeing the amount of energy it was taking up in their lives, we sat on the carpet and bounced around some thoughts about what was happening.  Sometimes our habitual thinking takes over and we end up complaining or being upset about things that don’t actually matter to us.  I challenged them to break the habit.  Before you get worked up about something, ask yourself, ‘Do I really value this enough to exhaust myself emotionally over it?’ Ask yourself if it is worth it to have it play on a mental loop in your head.  Ask yourself if it is worth your energy or worth your words.  You are in charge of how much space a thought will take up in your life. The last few days I have been able to focus on the up-coming New Zealand Expedition.  I am looking forward to going back to the bush for 22 days and ‘earthing myself’.  I am especially looking forward to sharing the ‘classroom without walls’ with the students and staff.  Even after six months of training, the group still does not really have a complete idea of what they are in for.  Multiple river crossing every day.  Heavy packs.  Sharing tents.  Cooking together.  Trusting others.  Being part of an expedition like this, as it slowly builds up, has an excitement that everyone needs to experience.  The anticipation and uncertainty that it brings. I look forward to sharing the expedition footage with the School early next year. Finally, my time as acting Head of Senior School draws to a close.  It has been a tough year with many hi-lights, some low lights and many great experiences shared with the students, parents and staff.  Thank you to the many people who have me assisted in the past months.  There are too many to mention by name but…. Ms. McGregor and Ms. Simm in the Administration, thank you for your patience in answering the never-ending stream of questions from me and for all the behind the scenes things you do and did.  You have been amazing.  The staff who shared the Raelene Boyle Hall staff room with me – Miss Fung, Miss Goodwin and until recently Mr. Ashton.  You have had to put up with my mumbling and discussions I would have with myself.  Thank you for your ideas, ‘yarns’, professional input and the many funny times we shared. You guys have become my 2nd family. “The mountains are calling, and I must go!” Have a better than brilliant holiday. Go gently. Peter McMahon Acting Head of Senior School Head of Physical Education and Outdoor Education.

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