G is for Gratitude

Dear Year 8,

I first met Kate Mitchell in the 1990s, when our school was shrinking and the government in power wanted to force its closure. The principal at that time, Robert Jenkin, refused to cave in to the demands of that government. Mr Jenkin was not an easy man to intimidate. He had worked as the president of the teachers’ union and he was used to resisting the pressure of politicians.

Mrs Mitchell took over from Mr Jenkin and she has worked with the utmost dedication and resolution, ultimately making the role of principal her very own and putting her stamp on our school. In the process, she has had to withstand considerable pressure herself, just as her predecessor did. Two decades later, our school has 1300 students and is highly regarded in the community.

Although she began here as a regular teacher, Mrs Mitchell rose rapidly through the hierarchy, becoming the year twelve coordinator, then the deputy principal and finally the principal. In this position, she has worked tirelessly to improve the school environment, to appoint committed and highly competent teachers, and to ensure that the school retains its friendly and welcoming nature. This is a school where teachers and students can simply be who they are: those who love reading can sit in the quadrangle and read; those who are gamers can go on a camp together; those who love the arts can display their talents; those teachers who have a special dream or a wild idea can follow it and realise it.  

We tend to take these daily wonders for granted until the people who make them possible leave us. This week we say farewell to Mrs Mitchell. How can we express our gratitude to her?

Please write a comment in which you describe what you most appreciate about Mrs Mitchell or about the school where we work, learn, make lifelong friends and pursue our varied endeavours.

For instance, I am deeply grateful to have worked for two principals whose kindness, integrity and decency are beyond question. I am particularly thankful that  Mrs Mitchell allowed me to travel to Germany on two occasions to complete courses with the Goethe Institute in Frankfurt and Munich. Most of all, I appreciate having the opportunity to teach in this school. Your class, like many others that I have encountered, fills me with pride and delight — and gratitude.

Kind regards,

Ms Green

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25 Replies to “G is for Gratitude”

  1. What I love about the school is that the school is an ancient, wonderful, strong building and the teachers who teach here offer a fun (though sometimes boring!) education! The thing that I most love about the school is how you make more friends!

    P.S. Mrs Mitchell has never stopped smiling.

  2. I am grateful for Ms Mitchell’s positive attitude towards everyone and everything. She makes our school much happier and a more productive environment to be in.

  3. I’m grateful for the safe and friendly environment we have at this school and I’m also grateful that we can have such nice, encouraging teachers.

  4. I’d like to thank Ms. Mitchell for making this school a wonderful, warm and welcoming place for me to start my high school journey.

  5. Although I have not been at this school for long, I have found that Mrs Mitchell shows great persistence and care for the school and everyone in it. She has a great deal of dedication towards her work and I am grateful for everything she has done to make everyone feel comfortable. Thank you for everything you have done for our school community in the past 20 or so years, Mrs Mitchell – we shall miss you. Bethany-8B

  6. I’ve only been here for nearly a year but I’m very thankful to Ms Mitchell for helping our school throughout the years and making our school population grow.

  7. I’m grateful because I have friends here. This school is cheaper than private schools and we have understanding teachers.

  8. I love that I can come to school everyday and it is always a safe environment; I have never felt threatened or felt unsafe 🙂

  9. I feel feel very grateful that I had such a wonderful principal to guide me through my first year of high school. Mrs Mitchel has created a safe and healthy environment for everyone to strive for their best and that is what I’m most grateful for.

  10. I am thankful to Mrs Mitchell for making our school an amazing place to thrive and grow. I am so thankful for all the opportunities that are available here. Mrs Mitchell has done so much for our school and I don’t think it will be the same without her. Thank you, Mrs Mitchell, and I hope you enjoy your retirement.

  11. This school has given me a sense of belonging. Most teachers and pupils are thoughtful, helpful and kind-hearted and I feel wanted here. Thank you, Mrs Mitchell, for putting so much effort into making this school such a superb school; all that energy was not put to waste!

  12. I am grateful for the many opportunities and the variety of subjects that our school offers. I am also grateful for the encouraging and wise teachers at this school. All the teachers that I have had have always helped me when I needed it and pushed me when necessary. I am grateful for this school and what it has done to help further my education; so far I have really enjoyed being at this school and look forward to the years to come.

  13. I am grateful for the many opportunities that our school offers – from clubs to subjects that are all fun and unique. Thank you for all the hard work and effort you have put in our school to help us grow and learn.

  14. Mrs Mitchell , I thank you for the amazing work you’ve done for this school and especially that you have made it a better place for students to thrive for success. Your retirement is not just a big loss to us, but a big loss to the nation. Principals like you are the real assets who make ordinary children grow up into outstanding citizens. Thank you so much and happy retirement!

  15. I appreciate the amount of work and effort Ms Mitchell has put into the school. Everything she has done has been very successful and useful.
    – Erin 8B

  16. I am grateful for all the opportunities that the school has to offer from an amazing engineering program to an awesome art program.

  17. What I appreciate most about Mrs. Mitchell is her determined attitude towards us. Last year when I was in Year 7, we’d go for the Year level assemblies. During each of them she would always repeat the same line: Ability + Effort= Achievement. She would address this statement to everyone. One day I asked her what this meant and she said: “You already have the ability; you just need to put effort into it, then you will achieve your goal”. I have always remembered what she said to me. So in anything I do I always remember, I have the ability – I just have to put in the effort.

    And although she might leave, her words still live on through me and you.

  18. What I like about this school is that it offers all these learning opportunities that will help shape me into the best I can be.

  19. What I most appreciate about Mrs Mitchell is her superhuman ability to always keep smiling. I have been baffled by how she can look so excited and happy even on Period 6 on a Friday. She continuously strives to make this school a better place and makes sure that no one becomes stressed or takes on too much pressure, from students to staff.

  20. Thank you Mrs Mitchell for always smiling and encouraging everyone to reach for the stars. I love walking into school, knowing that it’s a safe and happy environment, where I can really be myself. You are always trying to make the school a better place for everyone. We will miss you dearly!

  21. I am grateful that there is this great school with an excellent environment with great teachers and a great principal. I am grateful that this school offers the opportunity for anyone to become what they want and for all the opportunities we get. We will all miss Mrs Mitchell. Thank you.

  22. When I hear ‘Kate Mitchell’, I think of her as one of the saviours of Box Hill High School, from some of the school’s roughest times, and I am devastated that she is leaving. At first, I was worried that the school might go downhill, but then I realised that Kate Mitchell has put this school in such a good position that the only way BHHS is going is up!
    Thank you Mrs Mitchell for shaping this school into what it is today! 😀

    PS: Have a nice time in retirement!!

  23. Mrs Mitchell strives to make this school the best in can be. She helps anyone in need and help make this school what it is today. This school pushes its students to the limit yet provides a friendly environment for everyone. Thank you, Mrs Mitchell, for all you have done for this school; you will always be a sensational role model.

  24. Although I’ve only been at this school for 1 term, I am already feeling like this is the right school for me. I am grateful for the teachers and staff, and the wonderful education they offer, the facilities, and the students, who have helped me fit in so well. And though I don’t know much about our principal, Mrs Mitchell, I do know that she has made many valuable contributions to this wonderful school, and that she has the perplexing ability to smile continuously, despite any circumstances. I know she will be sorely missed at this school, but she will be remembered for the things she has achieved, and making this school 5th best in the state. Thank you so much, Box Hill High School. We will continue to thrive for years to come.

  25. Mrs Mitchell is a really good role model to me, she is an excellent leader towards others and puts her all into everything she does. She co-operates well with the students and staff as well as making the school even better each year. Her contributions to the school and the achievements she has made will never be forgotten. Thank you, Mrs Mitchell, and I hope you have a nice retirement! 🙂

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