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Principal’s Message

Neil Alweyn (Principal)

As I walked through some of our new Stage 15 facilities earlier this term, I found my heart full of joy and pride. It was rewarding watching our students respectfully engaging with some of our state-of-the-art facilities, whether it was our new dance centre, music recording studio, cafeteria or our new classrooms. These new spaces have helped grow and transform our learning environment at Kolbe. Our students deserve these wonderful resources as they navigate through this exciting time in their lives, and set themselves up for their adult lives.

Ironically, it led to a reflection about a comment made to me by an educational leader from another school when I was first appointed as Principal at Kolbe. While well intentioned, it caused me to become incredibly defensive. The comment was simply this – ‘Kolbe is a school that punches above its weight’. My offense was at what was implied – that Kolbe achieves greater outcomes than what may be expected. I think I actually shocked the person when I challenged them to explain what they were insinuating at that comment. They immediately became defensive and quickly exited stage left.

I believe our students’ potential is limitless, and they need to believe they are just as capable of any other student in the country. While others may place lower expectations on us for a variety of reasons, it is ultimately the belief in ourselves which is all that counts. Eleanor Roosevelt said ‘ No one can make you feel inferior without your consent’, and this is the mentality I want our College and our families to instill in our students. Chicago Bulls basketball great Michael Jordan said, ‘You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them’. We must continually infuse our students at Kolbe with an unwavering belief that they are capable of great things in this world.

A final musing is also this – while we are all capable of great things, nothing is just handed to us. Our students are growing up in a society where things are accessible to them with a greater ease than ever before. While this can be extremely convenient, it can also set them up with an unrealistic view of the adult world. We must continue to remind our students that without hard work, dedication and commitment we will never reach our true God-given potential. As Zig Zigler said ‘There is no elevator to success; you have to take the stairs!’

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