PLC Sydney is blessed to have wonderful staff. I know as Principal it is fabulous to lead such a talented and cohesive group of people. The staff at PLC Sydney really care about the students, they know their subjects well, they differentiate and they connect to the real world. Thankfully our staff turnover at PLC Sydney is very low.
Yet part of school life is change.
At the close of 2015 we will say goodbye to two wonderful long-term members of the academic staff.
Firstly, we will farewell the creative, gracious and pastoral Mr Keith Fyfe, Head of Visual Arts.
Mr Fyfe is retiring from teaching.
It is not unusual, when you visit Mr Fyfe's classroom, to see him working alongside a student, really assisting her to communicate with drawing or clay, print or oils. He really feels the work and can appreciate the aesthetic quality of a student's work. This has meant that the student art work at PLC Sydney comes alive: students are permitted to express themselves.
The Croydon is a place that many students like to inhabit. Mr Fyfe has been important in creating this tone.
In 2016 Mrs Knight will become the Head of Visual Arts as well as looking after the Adelaide Perry Gallery. We can do this due to changes we are putting in place to give Year 8 more time studying Art. This will also enable us to look carefully for the person who replaces Mr Fyfe in 2016.
Secondly, I write to inform you that Mr Greg Friend informed me a few days ago that he will be accepting the role of 'Head of Drama' at Queenwood in 2016. After transforming Drama at PLC Sydney Mr Friend is ready for a new challenge. Queenwood is looking for someone to transform Drama at that school and Mr Friend would like the opportunity to take the lead.
In his resignation letter Mr Friend wrote:
'I feel I have achieved all that I can at PLC Sydney and the principal's challenge to me is to build up the Queenwood Drama Department like I have done at PLC Sydney... Paul – PLC Sydney has been a part of my fabric for the past 13 years. I arrived as a single wide-eyed 30 year old and am leaving with a beautiful wife, three great kids and a bag full of incredible memories thanks to my time at PLC Sydney. I have had the privilege of working alongside some incredible colleagues, under two exceptional principals and had the honour to teach some of the finest young women one could hope to meet.'
I know that Mr Friend will leave very big shoes to fill. All of the theatrical work that he has overseen has been superb. Not many schools, for example, can manage to put on Les Miserables – he handled this with a cool head and great creativity. The staging was wonderful, allowing for excellent performances. Yet this is only the most recent of his triumphs. He has consistently ensured the stage of the Audrey Keown Theatre presents some of the finest dramatic performances in this city.
It is likely that we will take time to look at the big picture of the performing arts at PLC Sydney. In this way we will both celebrate the wonderful era that Mr Friend has led and look forward to an exciting future.
I will talk with staff over the next week or so and make further announcements in November.
Now is a time to thank Mr Friend for his work.
I know how whole community will wish these fine educators all the best for the future.
Dr Paul Burgis