Week 5, Term 1 2024 - 20th February 2024
Remembering Kevin Casey: A Pillar of St Mary's and the Mackay Community
It was with heavy hearts that last week, we farewelled one of our own, Kevin Casey, a cherished member of the St Mary's family and a beacon in the wider Mackay community. Kev leaves behind a legacy of service, dedication and unwavering commitment to the betterment of those around him.
A past student of St Mary's, Kevin's roots ran deep within our school and parish. Throughout his life, he remained a steadfast supporter, actively participating in numerous aspects of school and parish life. From his role as a parent and P&F President, to his membership on the Parish finance council, Kevin's contributions were invaluable in shaping the vibrant community we cherish today.
He was a mainstay of our annual St Mary’s Christmas Fair, where he famously spun the ham wheel for more than forty years. Graeme Connors immortalised the Casey’s involvement with the ham wheel in his song, ‘St Mary’s Fair’.
Alongside his beloved wife Tricia, herself a former music teacher at our school, Kev's impact extended far beyond our school gates. His footprint in the wider Mackay community was profound, marked by three terms as a Mackay Regional Councillor and a stint as Deputy Mayor. His dedication to community service was further exemplified by his life memberships in the Mackay Surf Lifesaving Club and Mackay Hockey Association, as well as his role as President of the Mackay West Rotary Club.
The news of Kevin's passing reverberates deeply throughout our community, and the large number of people who attended his funeral last week was testament to the his far-reaching involvement in Mackay. His absence will be keenly felt, and his memory will forever remain etched in the hearts of those fortunate enough to have known him. On behalf of St Mary's School, we extend our sincerest condolences to his beloved wife Tricia and their children, Alicia and Nathan.
As we mourn the loss of Kevin Casey, let us also celebrate his remarkable life, characterized by his love of God and family, selflessness, integrity and an unwavering commitment to service. May his spirit continue to inspire us all to uphold the values he held dear, and may his legacy serve as a guiding light for generations to come.
May Kevin Rest in Peace.
All the very best,
From our Principal - Mr Wes Rose
Rumble’s Quest – Social Emotional Learning Tool
All families received a letter outlining a new initiative at St Mary’s, focused on improving student wellbeing– Rumble’s Quest. When children participate in Rumble’s Quest, they complete fun challenges and answer questions about the way they experience the world. The game takes students approximately 45 minutes to complete and will be undertaken in class groups at school. The information we gather will help our school set directions for student support and to inform teaching and learning strategies.
- Today Mrs Lisa Sorbello (Learning Support Teacher) attended a regional meeting with other support teachers.
- This week, your child’s may have a relief teacher as classroom teachers complete the Diagnostic Reading Assessment with Year 1-6 students.
- Tomorrow, Mrs Wilkes (office secretary) and Mr Rose will attend a training session on Pixevety, a media management software solution for schools.
- This Thursday, our Year 6 students will travel to the Mackay Surf Club where they will participate in their retreat, led by Mrs Leotta, Mrs Battaia and the Yr 6 teachers.
- This Friday, I will attend the regional Principal’s meeting at St Patrick’s College. Mrs Leotta is acting principal in my absence.
Ordination of Peter Doherty
This Thursday, the Diocese of Rockhampton welcomes a new priest to the ranks, with the priestly ordination of Peter Doherty. On behalf of the school community, I congratulate Peter on his special occasion and wish him well in his ministry as a Priest in our Diocese. For those interested in viewing the livestream of the ordination from 10am this Thursday, please click here.
Position Vacant - Tuckshop Convenor
Please note that our school tuckshop remains closed. We continue our search for a suitable tuckshop convenor for 17 hours per week, term time. If you know of an interested person, please get them to contact the school office asap.
Just 1 Thing
Thank you to the overwhelming parent response we received for the ‘Just 1 thing’ Campaign. With over 200 parent responses, it will assist our school and P&F connect with families throughout the year so much easier. A special mention to 3P and 6T, who had the highest number of parent responses!
Quote of the Week
Youth Mass & Children's Liturgy
PLEASE JOIN US!
St Mary's School will join with St Patrick's College to celebrate our Youth Mass this Saturday 24th February, St Mary's Church at 5pm. Children's Liturgy will also be held.
Mass will be followed by a pizza outside the church. Everyone is most welcome to attend.
We look forward to seeing you there.
Assistant Principal: Religious Education
Last Thursday, we held our first Wellbeing Day, dedicated to positive mental health, self-care and connection. Workshops were held across the day led by teachers, parents and the parent community which focused on mindfulness, creative arts, physical activities and relaxation techniques. We would like to thank everyone involved for making the day a huge success.
Project Compassion - Second Week of Lent
Ronita is 22. She lives with her husband and two children in a barangay (local district) in Quezon City, which is situated in Metro Manila in the Philippines.
Ronita left school when she became pregnant as a teenager. This could have had a life-long impact on her ability to find work and provide for her family but, thankfully, she heard about the Alternative Learning System (ALS) program run by the Faithful Companions of Jesus (FCJ), Caritas Australia’s local partners in the Philippines.
Through the FCJ, Ronita was able to re-enrol in her studies and continue learning in a safe and flexible environment – even with the arrival of her second child.
After completing her ALS classes, Ronita went on to earn her Grade 12 Senior High School Diploma. With her new diploma, Ronita has now secured a job at a call centre and is looking to a brighter future for her whole family
“I have now graduated senior school and I am so proud of myself,” she said. “I feel hopeful for the future… Now it’s not impossible for me to achieve my dream… Thank you.”
Please donate to Project Compassion.
Together, we can help vulnerable communities face their challenges today and build a better tomorrow for all future generations.
You can donate through Project Compassion using donation boxes in student classrooms and envelopes available from your parish, scanning the QR code, by visiting caritas.org.au/project-compassion or by calling 1800 024 413.
Photo: Richard Wainwright/Caritas Australia
Caritas Classroom Tally
Assessment Window: 13th – 25th March 2024
The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is an annual assessment for students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. NAPLAN assesses skills in literacy and numeracy that are developed over time, through the school curriculum. NAPLAN is not a pass or fail type test, but rather shows how students are progressing in numeracy and literacy skills against national standards for all Australian children. NAPLAN tests fundamental skills rather than specific content, and as such is not a test for which students can study or drill. It is important to remember that the NAPLAN tests and report is only ONE aspect of the school's assessment and reporting process and does not replace the more extensive and informed judgements made about your child by their teachers.
This year our year 3 and 5 students will undertake NAPLAN testing online, with the exception of year 3 writing which will be done on paper. The assessment schedule for NAPLAN online has been finalised.
The tests are taken in a specific order: Writing, Reading, Conventions of Language and Numeracy). Should a student be absent for a test, on their return to school they will sit catch up missed tests in the required order. Examples of the questions and key features of NAPLAN online can be found on the NAPLAN public demonstration site.
The best way you can help your child prepare for NAPLAN is to let them know that NAPLAN is just one part of their school program, and to urge them to simply do the best they can on the day.
If you have any questions regarding NAPLAN please contact me or your child’s teacher.
Assistant Principal: Curriculum
Letters have been emailed to all Year 3-6 parents with further information regarding the 2024 St Mary's Fun Run/Cross-Country which will be held on Friday 15th March at Queen's Park. Please contact me if you have any questions - firstname.lastname@example.org