From the Principal

A very warm welcome back to all families for the 2019 school year, with a special mention of those new to the De La Salle community. It has been a terrific beginning to the year with a smooth transition for the new Year 7 students and the many others across the College having their first week at a new school. 

One of the many great features of De La is the community of positive relationships which exist across the board. Welcoming new staff, students and families, helping them settle in is a key part of who we are and what a Lasallian community provides. I have been out in the yard and in classrooms in the past week, talking to many of the Year 5 — 8 students at Tiverton in particular, and note a wonderful level of enthusiasm and camaraderie already.

I was very proud to announce to the community in December that in 2018, De La Salle achieved our best VCE results on record, with a significant increase in all the key data from 2017 and especially from 2016.

  • The Median Study Score for 2018 is 32, up from 30 last year and 29 in 2016. To leap three places in two years is indeed momentous.
  • The percentage of Study Scores 40 and above is 7.22%, up from 6.43% last year and 5.3% in 2016.
  • Median ATAR is 73.15, up from 67.60 last year and 64.18 in 2016.
  • The percentage of students with ATARs in the 70 – 99.96 range is 57.62, a dramatic increase from 45.86% in 2017.

While there is an impressive range of superb individual results, with many students doing exceptionally well, the unprecedented high standard they have set as a cohort is most noteworthy. Congratulations and thank you to all the Units 3 and 4 teachers who invested so much time, effort and expertise in teaching, mentoring and advising the students in their care. Remembering that the state median for all subjects is 30, De La’s many Study Scores in the 34 – 38 range places us at the very top of the scale when compared with any of Victoria’s highest performing schools. 

The overall improvement is a testament to the targeted approach and diligent attention to detail of the 2018 cohort and the positive relationships our teachers form with the young men they teach. 

As ever, the most organised and intrinsically motivated students performed at the highest standard. However, the real difference in the improved results comes in the middle and lower band. While the top end has certainly improved, achieving an overall increase relies on all students stepping up. The marked difference in the performance of students at all levels sends a powerful message that each and every one can achieve and do very well with the right approach.

Congratulations to the 2018 College Dux, Harrison Cook, who achieved an outstanding ATAR of 98.25. Harrison’s extraordinary results in six diverse and very challenging Unit 3 and 4 Studies are the result of a disciplined, organised approach, a dedication to maximising his potential and a willingness to work closely with teachers and peers. Harrison’s results in his six subjects – attaining scores in the 40s for four of them – sets a tremendous example for other De La Salle students. 

All in the wider De La Salle community were thrilled with the successful opening of our new Year 9 Holy Eucharist campus in Malvern East last Thursday. An enormous amount of work has been invested by so many people in so many areas since September to ensure all was in readiness for last week.

An extensive renovation and refurbishment program was executed on time and on budget by Schiavello Builders and Montlaur Project Management, transforming the buildings to a clean, bright and spacious contemporary learning setting for our Year 9 students.

New Head of Campus, David Alexander and Deputy Principal: Learning and Teaching, Mark Gustincic assembled a highly skilled, innovative and dedicated Year 9 teaching team. Supported by Lauren Anderson in the newly created role of Year 9 Learning and Teaching Leader, the team has developed an engaging, original, cross-curricular learning experience for our young men. The Year 9 campus has begun its life in very encouraging style, full of promise and exciting opportunities for the many cohorts of Year 9 students to come.

We will officially welcome all students and families to Holy Eucharist with a special De La Salle mass at the parish church at 10:30am on Sunday 24th February, followed by a family BBQ courtesy of our ever-supportive Parent Network. This promises to be a special day enjoyed by all.

We have been fortunate to recruit a range of excellent new staff for the 2019 school year, outlined in the list below.

2019 New Staff

Name Role
Ms Jessica AlgerDeputy Principal — Students
Ms Lauren AndersonYear 9 Learning and Teaching Leader
Mr Martin GibbsDirector of Students (Middle Years)
Mr James GigaczCollege Organiser
Ms Catherine RyanLibrary Team Leader 
Ms Eliza MeallinVCE Media Teacher
Ms Dasha VorobievaLanguages Teacher
Mr Luke SerranoMusic Coordinator
Mr Lucas ClaytonCasual Trombone Teacher
Mr Alex ZolkoverDigital Services Manager (ICT)
Mr Rodger HoskinVCE Commerce Teacher
Ms Kathryn HolewaReligious Education LATL and Maths/Science Teacher
Mr Clint HutchinsonDesign Technology Teacher
Mr James BivianoLasallian Youth Minister
Mr Geordie NagleAFL Trainee
Miss Prema D’cruzVCE Commerce Teacher
Mr Henrich GalamVCE English Teacher
Mr Ben AhernYear 5 Teacher
Ms Dianne SaugyLibrary Technician
Ms Pam LeedingEducation Support Officer — VASS and Alumni
Ms Angela RunciEnglish and RE Teacher
Mr Peter SchwabDirector of Football
Ms Rupali SharmaLaboratory Technician
Miss Madalaine Jaskiewicz Kinnoull Receptionist

In closing, I would like to thank all staff, students and families for their contributions to making the beginning of 2019 so smooth and successful. I look forward to catching up with as many of you as possible during the year.

Mr Peter Houlihan

Back to The Duce Issue 2019 01 - 7 February 2019