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Posted December 6, 2011.


Emotion is a mysterious thing!! One can have “steely resolve” and character and look to resist all efforts to be emotional and then all of a sudden this mysterious feeling hits you and hits you hard. If I asked my 144 Year 12 students last week whether they wanted to be emotional in front of 750 people, I know what they would say – “No way, and I will be able to hold it together.”

What I am talking about is our famous Valedictory Assembly held for the last ten years at the Regent Multiplex Cinema 1. Each of the graduating class speaks for 30-40 seconds in front of the entire audience. These speeches are priceless and our students, almost without exception, thank their parents, family and show the special bond they have with their teachers.

Having been the MC for this event for the last 12 years, I have seen hundreds of students show this “steely resolve” right up to when they are passed the microphone, and then they break down in the first sentence. We witnessed that again at our Assembly last week. Please don’t get me wrong – this highlights the effect our community has on the students and the assembly is such a special place to be each year.

(Emotion can also affect the MC as well!)

For those who witnessed the Presentation Night, Breakfast, Lunch, final Chapel Service and Graduation Dinner, I am sure they will have a warm feeling inside of them this week. I am biased but, as stated in my earlier blog, my wife and I had Tom (our last child at Clarendon) as one of the graduating class in 2011 and, as parents, we certainly can look back and thank the school for putting on such a special Graduation Week. The students were the centre of our focus and were presented in a number of ways at the various functions. In speaking with many of the students this week as they have been in for tutorials with their teachers, without exception they had a fantastic week – tiring but wonderful.

As one of the Year 12 teachers, I feel that they are more than ready for their next challenge and wish them every success in the upcoming examinations. In speaking for us, the Year 12s’ parents, all we want is for our son or daughter to look at us directly after their last exam and say, “Mum and Dad – I could not have done any better!” Then every minute invested will be worth it.

David Parker
Head of Senior School and Year 12 parent