Catholic Education South Australia

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Fond Farewell as Principal Retires


St Mary Magdalene’s School, Elizabeth Grove, has this week farewelled a stalwart of the school community, Principal Trish Jones.

Ms Jones announced her retirement late last year following 12 years as Principal of Elizabeth’s first Catholic school. St Mary Magdalene’s School opened in 1957, with Ms Jones among one of the early students to be educated at the school. Completing her education at St Mary Magdalene’s School, Trish went onto gain her teacher registration and return to the school in 2009 to take up the position of Principal.

During her time at the school she has introduced a strong element of inclusion for the diverse multicultural community surrounding the school.

CESA Schools Performance Leader for Northern Adelaide Mr Jamie Blowes said Ms Jones’ ties to the St Mary Magdalene’s School community would be enduring.

“She has a wonderful connection with the community through her work as an educator and she is known for being very caring and understanding of the needs of the community,” Mr Blowes said.

“Trish’s understanding for families and the community is a demonstration of what Catholic education can offer to a diverse, multicultural community like Elizabeth Grove.

“Her work in ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families are involved and connected with the school has been outstanding. She was an early promoter and adopter for creating a more inclusive, responsive, and culturally aware Catholic education system for our First Australian families. This influence has been not just limited to St Mary Magdalene’s School, but throughout Catholic Schools in South Australia.”

Incoming Principal for St Mary Magdalene’s School, Mr Chris Platten, said during her time at St Mary Magdalene’s School, Ms Jones dedicated her efforts to creating a safe, nurturing environment where children thrive in their learning and social development.

“Her strong connection to the community and empathy for others has made her an outstanding educator throughout her career,” Mr Platten said.

“While she is saying farewell to us as a staff member, Trish will always remain a much-loved member of the St Mary Magdalene’s School community. We wish her every happiness and many blessings on her retirement.”

Mr Blowes said given Ms Jones’ deep affinity for the north and for education, she would no doubt continue to follow her passion for helping children reach their potential.

“We offer her our best wishes for good health and happiness as she steps into retirement and with many thanks for her years of dedicated service to the students, staff, families and community of Elizabeth Grove,” Mr Blowes said.

A farewell morning tea was hosted by staff for Ms Jones recently.