Sunday, July 21, 2024
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It’s More Than Just A Job

Benjamin Conolly
Benjamin Conolly
Benjamin Conolly is Media Advisor to NT Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, and a former Catholic Weekly staff writer.
Marist College Kogarah Principal Simon Ghantous PHOTO: Marist College.

What is Sydney Catholic Schools without the incredible principals, teachers, staff and parent volunteers whose everyday commitment to learning give our Catholic School System its unique identity?

We want to recognise the dedicated people working tirelessly to provide a quality, faith-filled Catholic education, and the parents and carers who volunteer their time and effort to keep our school communities thriving.

Mr Simon Ghantous, recently appointed Principal of Marist College, Kogarah, is one of those incredible staff members, committed to teaching and improving the lives of students across the Archdiocese.

Simon Ghantous at the Marist College Chapel PHOTO: Benjamin Conolly

Simon began his teaching journey two decades ago, working at a number of schools and at Sydney Catholic Schools head office. Born and raised in Windsor, in Sydney’s Hawkesbury region, a self-described “young bloke full of faith,” helping people has always been an important part of who Simon is and the calling he felt from God.

“When I was a teen I was invited to go along to an Edmund Rice camp,” said Mr Ghantous. “It was run by the Christian Brothers and I was volunteering there, working with kids who had come from difficult, often horrendous and unfortunate circumstances.

“I was hired to work there while I was at university and after three years Brother Bernie Gartland, who was very influential on me, said ‘you have to go in to teaching.’

“I had already been thinking about it and from there I studied a Diploma of Education and began working.”

Simon has spent his career working to promote charitable works in his students, designing and implementing programs encouraging students to give their time and talents to helping others. He says that same charity is truly present in the Marist charism that is embedded in the school.

“We have a big focus on social justice and community outreach this year, and finding ways our college can be more involved in the community,” said Simon. “We’re privileged people to live in this country, and we’re privileged people to come to this school when so many people around the world don’t have access to education like this.

“So we look at, what are the things that we can do? Even if they’re very small. We’re really interested in building our schools outreach programs.”

He began his time at Marist College at the beginning of this year, after four years as an assistant Principal at De La Salle College Revesby Heights and while he says it’s a lot of work, he wouldn’t change a thing.

“you can just feel it in the place, everyone is here for the students.”

“I’m loving it here, it’s a fantastic place and the kids are amazing,” said Simon. “The staff are remarkably dedicated to the kids and their learning, but also to the Catholic ethos of the school, our mission statement, and you can just feel it in the place, everyone is here for the students.”

If you know a principal, teacher, parent or carer in your community who you think deserves some recognition for their everyday acts, commitment to teaching and faith, let us know. Email us at [email protected] and help us highlight the people who make Sydney Catholic Schools the brilliant institution it is today.

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