2022 STAWA Science Talent Search School of the Year

I was so impressed by the respectful, dignified and fun way with which the Year 12 students finished their time at Carmel School last week. Breakfast on the beach, a game of laser tag and a stunning valedictory dinner with a Hollywood theme all provided a fitting end to what was, for many of our young women and men, fourteen years of education at Carmel. The valedictory assembly and the comments from the students showed that they genuinely recognise and appreciate the efforts that their teachers have made to support them as they work towards personal excellence.

With a wonderful valedictory week now over and the Year 12 students returning only for mock mocks and their final external WACE exams, the campus will be a slightly quieter place. This provides our Year 11 students with the opportunity of six weeks to see how it feels to be the most senior students on campus. I am confident that they will step up and lead with aplomb.

This week has started well, with the news from the brilliant Ms Poustie that on Monday night, we won the 2022 STAWA Science Talent Search School of the Year! What a fantastic result this was. Students, teachers and parents attended the STS award presentations at SciTech and we could not be more proud of the work on show. In the Year 7/8 Science Engineering category, Vanessa and Chaya were awarded the Rowe Scientific Emerging Talent Award on top of their second place win. Jonah, Daniel and Saul won first place in the Year 9/10 Investigation category, with Dylan and Caleb winning second place and Charlotte taking out the third. And to top it all off, Ashri made his fourth consecutive finalist appearance at the awards night, walking away with second place in the Year 9-12 Communication category. The Carmel presence was certainly felt on the night and we are very proud of our young scientists. This level of public recognition reflects the talent that we are privileged to nurture at Carmel School.

Work on the Jewish Life and Learning review has continued, with more than 500 people having been involved in the consultation process of surveys, community workshops and interviews. We also ran three workshops for a 25-person Stakeholder Reference Group (SRG). I thank all of those who contributed their views in some format or other. This has been a thorough consultation process which has provided rich insights into the needs of our community. On Sunday, Mr Lawrence and I were pleased to present a draft proposal for the future Carmel School Jewish Life and Learning program to the SRG for feedback.

The responsibility of putting forward a proposal that caters effectively for our diverse group of families weighs heavily and I want you to know how much thought we have put into this process. The next step is to present our proposal to the Board for discussion at their November meeting; then we will be able to share the details of the proposal more widely. I am excited at the prospect of an excellent Jewish Life and Learning program which truly represents our modern orthodox approach and reflects the importance we afford to this key aspect of a Carmel education.

At the end of this year, we will be farewelling Ms Faye Paioff, who has decided to retire for health reasons. She has worked at Carmel School across two separate stints and her expertise in teaching Chemistry has been her claim to fame. Ms Paioff has contributed immeasurably to the success of the Science department over 19 years and will be missed. We are confident that she will enjoy the next year with her grandchildren and possibly working with some publishing companies.

Elyse Leeb also leaves us at the end of Term 4, to enable her to spend more time with her growing family. Although she will be forever etched in my mind for the spectacular cake competition, she has worked in various learning areas during her 18 years at Carmel School and I have no doubt that many Carmel students will feed themselves and their families more effectively and tastily based on the knowledge that they have gained from her food technology lessons.

Shabbat shalom.

Julie Harris