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2019 Valedictory Dinner

Posted by Mr Rod McNeill (Principal) | Found in: Leadership Blog

Friday night was a proud moment as we celebrated our students, parents, and staff. It was a great night overall and our Valedictorian, Catherine C., spoke magnificently. You can read her speech in the article "Words from MCC's 2019 Valedictorian" below.

Following are my notes from Friday night's speech:

Here we are, love this night. Everything is good about what we're doing. Our finished product. This is what people look like when our work is done. Remember the journey. Fare you well.

Thank you, parents and teachers.

Also, a milestone, the last of our small cohorts. You have lived through a lot of change. In the turmoil of very intentional transformation we lost students. Kind of a whooooaaaa ride. Yet you stayed the course. Some of you have come in along the way. Thanks you. Thank you all personally.

The things we went through together must have, at times, made you ask the question, stay or go? Tonight is a celebration of staying. We have fond personal memories of you all. We are proud of the merry band of stickers you have become. Your story is unique. I am incredibly proud.

We've come a long, long way together through the hard times and the good.

Yep, I know what you're thinking. Fatboy Slim, right?

We've come a long long way together,
Through the hard times and the good,
I have to celebrate you baby,
I have to praise you like I should
Fatboy Slim
Praise You.

Leaving school and entering a brave new world.
For advice and wisdom, you still have your parents. You no longer have us. A unique element of school is having access to people who speak into your life i.e. caring teachers, staff, chaplains, counsellors, Mr Meyers, Elsings, Thyers, and principals with such singing voices. So much advice. Sometimes too much.

Where do you go when that tap runs dry?
Family, friends, and new relationships.
Put in a word for wisdom. You're going to need it. Knowledge is knowing something. Plenty of people know stuff. Wisdom is knowing how to apply the stuff you know properly to the stuff you do. It’s about applying the right thing at the right time. It is not easy. If you get that, your life will work.

Let me read and unpack something for you that I read in one of my favorite books of the bible:

“A person will be satisfied with good from the fruit of his words, and the work of his hands will be rendered to him. The way of a fool is right in his own opinion, but the one who listens to advice is wise. A fool’s annoyance is known at once, but the prudent overlooks an insult.” Proverbs 12:14-16

It's saying three powerful things in a row.

1. A person will be satisfied with good from the fruit of his words, and the work of his hands will be rendered to him.

You speak well and something tangible and good will come to you. Words are so powerful. Use them for good. You will be built by the work you do. Do it well. It's up to you now. You are never working for someone else. You are always, in a sense, working for yourself.

2. The way of a fool is right in his own opinion, but the one who listens to advice is wise.

Everyone knows a fool when they see one, not when they are one. Don’t be that person. Don’t strut through life. Try this one: “He is a self-made man in love with his creator.” Walk through life softly enough to hear the voices and advice of other people. When I was young, I knew everything. Thankfully, I've had the chance to get old enough to realise how much I have to learn. Listen and learn. You can learn from anyone. Listen and learn.

3. A fool’s annoyance is known at once, but the prudent overlooks an insult.

The best is last. We live in the road rage capital of Australia. Australia is probably the road rage capital of the western world. You don’t have to be driving to be a road rager.
In life you will be belittled, misunderstood and offended.
People will knock you around, sometimes inadvertently, sometimes intentionally. I’m not saying be a push over.
My best advice is don’t be so defensive. Take it on the chin.

Overlook…see just a little further beyond. Let's not react, let's go for good.

Speak well, work well, listen well, overlook well.

So, this book (the Bible), it’s all in here. Most especially I'd love you to know the voice of the one who spoke these words. Jesus.

Rod McNeill (Principal)

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