Last week I had the privilege of interviewing the candidates for the College Captain positions for 2015.  The candidates had a series of questions that they had to respond to during their interview with the Principal Class. All responded in a confident manner and had clearly thought about how they would conduct themselves if elected to the position of College Captain. The candidates delivered their campaign speeches to the Year 11 and some Year 10 students and this was followed by a ballot that day.  All candidates were very impressive. Equally impressive was the audience of students who eventually voted on the day.  I am happy to announce that our Captains for 2015 are Amy Wright and Corey McGrath.  Our Vice Captains are Georgia Harris and Dan Gretgrix.  I look forward to working with them next year and the College community wishes them all the best.

 Over the last fortnight the College has been busy with preparations for 2015. Next week the College will commence its new ‘Academic Year’ and once again it will enable our students to get a head start on 2015. In the majority of cases student will follow the same timetable day one next year and teachers will be the same.  Students can now look forward to 2015 with a greater insight into the year’s study.  The 2015 VCE students finish their program on the Friday 5th December and the remaining levels of Years 8, 9 and 10 (2014’s Y7, 8 and 9) will finish their programs on the 12th December.  The last week of school will see an alternative program put in place for those levels and school finishes on the 19th December. All students are expected at school next week for the start of the new Academic year and failure to attend will put students well behind their peers at the start of 2015.  

This year’s Orientation Day for Grade 6 into Year 7 will be on the 9th December.  The College always looks forward to meeting our new students and Orientation Day is always a day of mixed emotions for  Grade 6 students; whilst excited about the thought of entering the College, most are uncertain on how this transition will take place.  Over the last 12 months Echuca College and its partner primary schools have worked hard at reducing the concerns held by students moving from primary to secondary schooling   Enrolments for 2015 are still open and if families have not enrolled as yet please contact the general office at Echuca College 54821133.

 VCE results for our Year 12 students will not be known until Monday 15th December when the VCAA (Victorian Curriculum & Assessment Authority) forward scores to students.  VCE certificates and formal documentation will be sent to the College for distribution at the end of the year at our celebration evening on the 16th December.  To celebrate their 13 years of education and completion of examinations, the College held its Year 12 Graduation Dinner last Thursday 20th November at the Moama Bowling Club. The evening provided students, parents, guests and teachers with an opportunity to celebrate the great year that we have experienced and a chance for the students to say their farewells to friends and teachers.  It was great to see so many former students attend the evening, some home from university and others doing casual work over the holidays.   I would like to thank the Year 12 organizing team, led by our College Captains and Ms. Watson, for an outstanding and entertaining evening.

Our successful ‘Peer Support’ program for Year 7 students will run for all of first term next year.  The focus of the program is to support Year 7 students during the first few months of the year and also to provide a senior student as a friend to talk to if the need arises.  This week, 30 Year 10 students were trained as ‘Peer Support’ leaders and while their main function is to support their younger peers, the training is valuable to them as leaders in the College.  The leaders and their groups will meet early into term one and during this time complete activities that provide an opportunity for conversations about school, classes and how the transition from primary to secondary school is going. Students will meet at different times each week to avoid missing the same class and at the end of the term all Year 7s and their leaders will meet for a final celebration.  The goal of the program is to help Year 7 students to feel comfortable in their new environment and to also make their secondary experience a great experience.