Ms Sandra Vassallo TAS Assistant Retires After 27 Years
14 Dec 2023
Ms Vassallo (centre) with students on Shrove Tuesday in 2016
“This is a bittersweet time for me”, says Ms Vassallo on her retirement after 27 years at the school.
“I am excited to be moving on but leaving so many people behind is sad. I have made friends at Catherine McAuley who will be friends for a lifetime”.
Ms Sandra Vassallo, TAS Assistant, first started at the school as a long service leave replacement for two terms only. She left for a short time only to be invited back to interview for a permanent TAS Assistant position. Sandra was offered that position in August 1997 and spent the next 26 years “very busy”. “The years have gone by so fast. Every day is different. You come in and do what needs to be done for the day. It is always very busy”.
Primarily in her role Ms Vassallo assists the TAS teachers but over the years she has also done a lot of school catering for events such as the opening of new school buildings, graduation nights, award ceremonies, Year 7 welcome nights and school open days. Her fondest memories however are the years she spent with Vinnies in her former role as the St Vincent de Paul Coordinator. “Working with Vinnes was rewarding as I liked giving back to the community and spending time with the students and seeing them embrace the opportunity to help such a worthwhile cause”, said Ms Vassallo.
Ms Vassallo would organise on a month to month basis for students to go out with the night patrol van. She also organised with the help, in her words, “of some amazing teachers”, the Vinnies Winter Sleep Outs, the Vinnies Christmas hampers and for a time the ‘Homelessness Awareness Week’. “Things like this were for me the best times. It was always heartwarming to see the students think about the homeless and realise that they are people just like us”.
Another highlight for Ms Vassallo were the nights she spent with Year 11 students helping with graduation events. “I always really enjoyed these nights because with my background in catering it was good to work with the students and give them real experience in what catering is all about”.
In retirement Ms Vassallo plans to join u3a, an organisation which organises courses and activities for seniors, (to begin Ms Vassallo wants to learn card making and to do a course to assist her in writing her mother’s life story); get back into her aqua classes and spend more time with friends. “I definitely intend to keep myself busy”, she says.
“I have loved my time here”, said Ms Vassallo. “The school has such amazing staff. I won’t miss the job because it has got too big for me now and it is time for younger legs but I will miss the people at Catherine McAuley”.
26 Feb 2024
NEED HELP WITH SCHOOL WORK? 📚📝 Tutoring is again being offered on Monday and Tuesday afternoons straight after school until 5pm in the school library. This is a free service open to all students. In addition, there will be some specialist tutors in the library all day on Tuesdays and on Thursday mornings to assist senior students during their study breaks. These tutors will move to the BM Building on Thursday afternoons.
24 Feb 2024
AROUND THE CLASSROOMS ➡️ Year 7 Religious Education students of Miss Radisavljevic are currently focusing on the unit ‘Initiation and Belonging’. Students have been recapping the Opening School Mass to fully understand the importance of initiating one into a group - in this case, the Catherine McAuley Westmead community. The class stumbled upon a solitary clay structure in the classroom and used this as an example of initiation and belonging. They warmly welcomed the figure and dubbed it Valentino, or 'Val' for short. Miss Radisavljevic said the class is committed to incorporating him into the class as they delve into learning about types of initiations and what it means to belong.
23 Feb 2024
APPLICATIONS FOR YEAR 7 2025 CLOSING SOON ‼️ Catherine McAuley Westmead is enrolling now for Year 7 2025. The closing date to be considered in the first round is Thursday, 28th March 2024. Contact the school on 9849 9100 or visit our website for an enrolment pack. https://www.mcauleywestmead.catholic.edu.au/
23 Feb 2024
Find your reading ERA in the Catherine McAuley school library! 📖 In honour of the Taylor Swift Eras tour this weekend, the library staff have curated a selection of Taylor Swift-era-themed books. Ready for students to borrow now! 📖 💄 🎤
23 Feb 2024
NSW ALL SCHOOLS TRIATHLON 🏃♀️ Well done to the three Catherine McAuley students who represented the school as a senior team at the NSW All Schools Triathlon yesterday. This event was held at the Sydney International Regatta Centre in Penrith. Irene S., Samantha T. and Sophie S. competed for the last time in a school triathlon and teacher Miss Radisavljevic said that they all pushed to their absolute limits in what was a very hot day.
22 Feb 2024
AROUND THE CLASSROOMS ➡ Year 7 English students with Ms Shipley are currently reading ‘Hilter’s Daughter’ by Jackie French. This week in class the students were discussing characters and what might help identify a character’s personality. The students were suggesting things like how they speak, how they act and what their role in the story is.
22 Feb 2024
This week Dr Prue Salter from Enhanced Learning Educational Services (www.enhanced-learning.net) presented a study skills session to Year 9 and Year 11 students. The sessions focused on helping students identify changes and improvements they could make to their approach to their studies in order to maximise their results while minimising stress.
22 Feb 2024
Claudia Nguyen, Dux for 2023, returned to Catherine McAuley Westmead on Wednesday 21st February for the High Achievers Assembly. Claudia achieved an ATAR of 98.9 and has accepted an offer from Sydney University to study a Bachelor of Law and Arts.
21 Feb 2024
In partnership with Western Sydney University a small number of Year 11 students participated in their orientation day for the 'Leadership in Complexity' university subject they will complete this year. Sophie, Fiona, Aurelia, Makayla, Annie, Joaquina, Isabella, Niamh, Jasmine and Brinda will have the opportunity to understand leadership styles and traits (including Indigenous leadership) and will learn about leadership in crisis. We commend these students for taking on the challenge of completing a university subject alongside their preliminary studies.
21 Feb 2024
Congratulations to the Class of 2023 and to the high achievers who returned to school today for the High Achievers Assembly and morning tea. It was lovely to see the students return proud of their achievements and so many proud parents as well! Congratulations to all. 🥰🥰
21 Feb 2024
The Catherine McAuley Westmead school community honoured the high achievers from the Class of 2023 at a special school assembly on Wednesday this week.