Greetings Preshil Community,

Happy first days of school! The beginning of the school year is always one of my favourite times of year. There is so much excitement and promise for new possibilities, mixed with a good bit of nerves, of course. The beginning of this school year is particularly special to me as it is my first year as Principal at Preshil. Having just arrived, there is so much to learn and take in about the school, with my highest priority being to get to know the people who make up the school community. 

Happily, I have already had the chance to sit down and learn from some of the students. It felt celebratory and auspicious for the first day of school, 1st February, to coincide this year with the Lunar New Year. A number of students were dressed in the colour red and many had tigers represented on either hats or shirts. I heard from students at the Arlington campus about some of their families’ Lunar New Year customs and traditions including eating special foods like noodles, fish, and dumplings and receiving money from parents and grandparents. They shared with me that it was the year of the water tiger. While I’m not sure I quite figured out what the water part of this year’s sign means, some students were very clear with me that the tiger represents courage. I decided to take this as another auspicious indication that the tiger representing courage, aligns so perfectly with Preshil’s guiding motto, “courage.” 

I share these thoughts about what I learned from students regarding the Lunar New Year not just so we could wonder whether these events were just some interesting coincidences to start the school year (I think not!) or some more auspicious machinations, but more so because I felt good about starting the school year this way. I look forward to being in a school community where we will learn from each other. One where we will be curious about each other and where we come from. About what makes us different and what makes us similar and about where we want to go. As my family and I begin our journey with you at Preshil, I look forward to the collaboration and courage it takes on everyone’s part to create a space where there is a sense of belonging and inspiration. I know I’ll have much to learn. I do feel a little nervous. But most of all, I am excited for all of the possibilities and to work together to carry on the wonderful work of those at Preshil who have come before us to create an environment where students are supported to thrive. I look forward to learning more next week on the camping excursions with Blackhall Kalimna students and at the fireside chats with Arlington teachers.

Here’s to the school year ahead!