Finishing the Term Three Race

Mr Andrew Hawkins – Headmaster

2 Timothy 4:7

I have fought the good fight,

I have finished the race,

I have kept the faith.

As we draw close to the end of Term Three, I have been reminding both the Prep and Senior students to finish the term well. The words of Timothy ring true this time of term. Timothy is of course using the analogy of ‘fight’ in a faith setting, not a physical setting. Most importantly, however, Timothy’s words remind the boys of the need to finish the race. We need to see the best in their classroom work as staff finalise decisions around assessment. The boys also need to finish their winter co-curricular activity ‘race’ too.

Many of you reading this article will understand that there are many races we need to run in life. The term, semester, and school year races give perspective for life. I am constantly comparing data to our local and our GPS competitors, particularly in the academic context. One piece of data that is never tracked or traced is retention rates in the workforce or tertiary study for alumni in schools.

Anecdotally, my three closest friends from my TSS school days illustrate a micro study for this non-existent longitudinal data that does not exist for school leaders. After successfully completing university, one of the friends I refer to just sold an incredibly successful business he and his family built over many years and another friend is a finance executive for BHP in Brisbane, having earlier completed a Business/Commerce degree at university. The one friend who did not enter tertiary studies played over 100 tests for the Wallabies and now works for a successful company out of Brisbane that equips businesses with similar team processes to professional sporting bodies. All three have run very different, but equally successful, races in life.

To further fuel my desire to form a more formal bank of longitudinal data on retention rates in the workforce and tertiary studies, I read with interest the feedback from our recent Year 11 Legal Studies excursion to the Magistrate’s Court. Given former TSS Legal Studies teacher Phil Ward joined the excursion, the Old Boys in the Courts were easily recognised by Mr Ward and Ms Prouten. It was a real thrill for the boys and staff to see three Old Boys ‘making appearances’ for clients on behalf of the law firms that they now work for. These Old Boys were:

  • Sam Bowen (KAI19)
  • Tim Jacobson (SUR20)
  • James David (ATK20)

At about the same time the excursion was being conducted, I also received the news that Old Boy, Joshua Tiffin, was nominated as Queensland Rising Star for Criminal Lawyers in 2022. Josh always had a dream to be a criminal lawyer. We are so happy and proud to call him an Old Boy of this great school, that he is living out his dream, or running his dream race, in the legal industry.

It is examples such as my school friends mentioned above, Old boys at the Magistrates Court such as Sam, Tim, and James, or award nominees such as Josh, that provide inspiration for our current students that listening to your teachers at TSS and combining hard work, passion, dedication, and choosing the right race to run in life can set you up for a great deal of success. This also provides parents with the assurance that the investment you are making in your son’s education at TSS is the best investment you will ever make.

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