The Southern Cross : July 2010
The Southern Cross July 2010 Page 13 www.adelaide.catholic.org.au feature Continuing our series on principals, Rebecca DiGirolamo discovers November is the favourite month of the year for Xavier College principal Lynn Mar tin. Graduation day at Xavier College in Adelaide's nor th is a really big deal. You would be right to assume it's the students who are eagerly counting down the days to closing their exam books and heading for the dance floor. While that may be true, it's the principal who's most looking for ward to dr y-cleaning his par ty suit well in time for the big day. "It's a huge buzz," says Xavier College principal Lynn Anthony Mar tin. "I find the graduation process an absolute highlight of the year," he adds. "The greatest moments (of teaching) for me, have always been the graduations." Graduation day -- for Mr Mar tin -- is that rite of passage he's "privileged" to share for the last time with his students. Students he, and his staf f at Gawler Belt, have helped nur ture and develop into "global citizens" over the last five years of their teenage lives. "I don't think there is anything more purposeful than helping the young to discover themselves, to help facilitate their personal development and to aid them to imagine and realise their dreams," he explains when asked what has most motivated him throughout his teaching career. Mr Mar tin, 53, has been a teacher at South Australian Catholic schools for the past 33 years. His career path however was not so clear-cut. "I fumbled through the university course selection process after completing Year 12," he says. After gaining solid year 12 results, Mr Mar tin was accepted into his first course choice -- a teaching degree in Physical Education. However, he declined the position and instead enrolled in a Commerce degree at Flinders University. "After completing the enrolment process (at Flinders), I changed my mind again and sought to take the physical education option." He's never looked back. After finishing his Bachelor of Education, Mr Mar tin went on to teach PE and Economics at St Michael's College, at Henley Beach, where he was a student from Years 4 to 12. He was acting deputy principal at Mercedes College in 1989 and deputy principal from 1992 to 2003 at Blackfriars Prior y School at Prospect and Gleeson College at Golden Grove. He has been principal at Xavier College since 2004 and temporarily headed the state's newest R-12 Catholic School -- Nazareth College -- in 2009. His extensive "drift" into education is largely attributed to his parents involvement in the school community -- Star of the Sea, where he and his siblings were schooled, St Michael's College -- where he and his brother attended and later, Siena College -- attended by his sisters. His father, Brian Mar tin, was the first lay person to chair the South Australian Commission for Catholic Schools and was instrumental in helping establish an all-girls secondar y school in the western suburbs, Siena College. His parents were dedicated P&F members, on various school boards and attended numerous busy bees, fetes and school concer ts. "The depth of their involvement gave me an acute sense of the value of Catholic education," says Mr Mar tin. He says the teachings of the de la Salle brothers at St Michael's also impressed upon him the wonder ful influence a teacher has on pupils. His most significant memories as a teacher however are not of happy times. He says the Gawler secondar y school has seen its fair share of tragedy in recent years. In 2008, the school lost three students in separate car accidents and one to illness. "That was an extraordinarily difficult time," says Mr Mar tin. It was a time, he says, that forces you outside yourself in a bid to lead a community shattered emotionally and psychologically. "You're not always tested to your limits and these sor ts of moments test you beyond whatever you imagined you could do." Getting a buzz out of education SNAPSHOT Xavier College, Kentish Rd, Gawler Belt Co-educational Year 8-12 Enrolment: 920 Established: 1995 in the tradition of the Salesians of Don Bosco Ethos: The Salesian School community is a home that welcomes, a school that prepares for life, a parish which evangalises and a playground where children meet and enjoy themselves. Funeral Directors Frank J Siebert Life changing. When you engage in Funeral ritual, you acknowledge life passed, give meaning to life lived, encounter your sense of loss, and your journey of grieving. When someone we love dies, we touch the mystery of life changing, not ending. Signature Service ... since 1867 Dedicated to Faith-centred Funerals Phone (08) 8223 5879 24 hours 7 days 49 Wakefield Street, Adelaide 5000. Proprietor and Manager B Siebert St Patrick s Technical College Northern Adelaide (formerly Australian Technical College - Northern Adelaide) Will you commence Year 11 in 2011? Have you considered a Trade? St Patrick s Technical College provides a trade focused SACE education for Year 11 & 12 students. Unlike other Colleges, St Patrick s Technical College is led by industry and is designed to assist students in completing school while getting started on a trade career. For more information visit www.stpatstech.sa.edu.au or contact the College on 1300 765 384 to request an information pack Metals & Engineering Automotive Building & Construction & Plumbing Commercial Cookery Electrotechnology Hairdressing Principal Lynn Martin with students Shaun Baker and Katelin Clark.