New leaders get to work
06 Feb 2024
Penola's Leadership team: Charlie Thomas (Vice Captain), Ben Norris (Captain), Peta Sparkes, Imelda Wright (Captain) and Montana La Rosa (Vice Captain)
Local students heading back to school this week may have noticed a few new faces in the office, with two new principal's staring in the area.
Gabriela Osterlund is swapping a five-storey building for acreage, coming to Emmaus Catholic College Kemps Creek from Santa Sophia Catholic College in Gables.
Formerly, Osterlund's role was Head of School - similar to an Assistant Principal - but she said she's always wanted the top spot.
"I've been aspiring to be a principal for a little while, and I feel that I can lead a school well," she said.
"This particular school took me by the heart, because I I have worked in the western suburbs before in Mount Druitt and Marayong, and I just love the community out here."
Osterlund said her main goal for the school in 2024 is to encourage growth in all areas, nurturing the uniqueness of her students whilst also pushing them to fulfil their academic potential.
"My priorities are having high standards and that pursuit of excellence, but I think that excellence is multi-dimensional - it's not just about academic excellence", she said.
"It's about students getting to their personal best, seeking and embracing different challenges, being courageous, and trying to get to what is possible as far as academics, but also as far as their personal nature."
Brand new to the school and the area, Osterlund said she can't wait to get into the year and build relationships within the school community.
"I'm most excited to meet the new community, I think that's always really important," she said.
"You've got a lot of feeder primary schools, all the parents, all the students, so I'm really looking forward to day one and having everybody return and meeting all the students."
Over at Penola Catholic College in Emu Plains, the new principal is a much more familiar face, with Peta Sparkes starting her first full year in the job after being an assistant Principal at the school for six years.
"I feel really proud, and I feel it's a great privilege, having been a child that grew up in this area and had all of my schooling and my sporting background in Penrith," she said.
Noting that she has big shoes to fill, Sparkes said she can't wait to bring her long-term visions for the school to life.
"I've had great leaders in the past in Jim Fanning and Tania Cairns, and there's been about 12 principals here in the time of McCarthy and Penola," she said.
"There's a great sense of care in the school community, so I stand on the shoulders of those great people who have always shown great care of the kids, the families and the staff. That's something I absolutely am taking forward, but we absolutely need to keep growing and lifting our kids."
Finding this balance between care and challenge is a key goal for Sparkes in 2024.
As an advocate for western Sydney, she added that she has big dreams for the school and its students, coming along with a restructured leadership team, and a new pilot program for mental health.
"When I first went to university people would say, 'You're from the west? How did you get into uni?'," she said.
"I want kids in this community to continue to believe that they deserve a seat at the table, that everyone's got gifts, and it's our job as educators to bring forward those gifts and those talents.
01 Mar 2024
Our College Captains joined other Student Leaders leaders across the Diocese yesterday as part of the Lifted Leaders gathering. They learned about how important it is to be a leader in their school communities and how they can inspire change!
28 Feb 2024
Visit our College's learning environment in action at our Open Classroom Day on March 5th! From 9am to 10:30am, witness what goes on in our classrooms firsthand, engage with teachers, and explore our school grounds. Don't miss out on our Open Night on March 6th, where we welcome families to come down from 4:00pm and engage in different activities hosted by all the faculties in our school✨📚
23 Feb 2024
As part of our Project Compassion fundraiser, we are having a DONUT DAY on the 12th March! Please pre-order your donuts now on the QKR app as this ensures that you will get the flavour/ amount of donuts that you want. The last day to pre-order is on the 5th March. There will also be some individual donuts available on the day. This will be EFTPOS only! Thank you for supporting Project Compassion!!
14 Feb 2024
Today, our students came together in reflection and solidarity, marking the sign of the cross with blessed ashes to commence the Lenten season. Let this sacred gesture remind us of our shared journey towards renewal and spiritual growth
14 Feb 2024
At Emmaus, we inspire students to fulfil their potential. Through a supportive and encouraging learning environment and a range of educational pathways, we enable every student to succeed. We're enrolling now for 2025 and invite registrations now. Learn more here: www.emmauskempscreek.catholic.edu.au/enrolment/tours-and-events
12 Feb 2024
Hosted by Mr Skinner, our High Achievers of 2023 participated in a Masterclass Session for our current 12 students. Students asked their advice on how to succeed in the HSC from study habits to planning responses!
12 Feb 2024
Tomorrow is Shrove Tuesday and our Faith in Action and Leadership teams will be raising money for Project Compassion by selling pancakes for Recess! Reminder it is Card Only.