College Principal’s Report

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Thank you to my Executive Team

I would firstly like to thank my incredible Executive Team, my three Campus Principals Mr Andrew Batchelor, Mrs Julie Cain and Mr Ian MacLeod and my Business Managers Mrs Kari Simmons and Mrs Linda Westgarth for their dedication and hard work over the last term. We have been meeting on a daily basis to discuss school operations and I couldn’t do my job without their fantastic support! The Executive Team contributed to the items written below.

 

Year 12 Motivational Letters

Recently all of our Year 12 students received an individualised thank you letter with comments from some of their teachers. Thank you to the Senior School team for organising our Year 12 Motivational letters for our students and special thanks to Mrs Narda McLennan for compiling these letters. Some student responses were:

“Thank you for the email this is beautiful!” – Jennifer S

“Thank you so much for sending this through, it really made my day :)” – Jennifer C

“This is incredibly thoughtful idea and has made many year 12 students days and weeks, it means a lot!   Thank you to everyone who was involved in organising it :)   – Ebony G

 

Year 11 Presentation

Thank you to Mr Paul Graham Manager of Student Wellbeing, Mrs Kerri Haworth Student Wellbeing Coordinator and our Wellbeing Team who hosted a presentation by Mr Brad Felstead, called Study Calm on Monday 24 August to our Year 11 students. The presentation helped teach students a range of meditation, mindfulness and positive thinking strategies that can help them coping with the extra stress and worry that COVID 19 has brought, reduce anxiety levels in relation to their study, home life or personal relationships, help them maintain concentration, improve their sleep patterns and help them build their resilience.

 

Year 10 Presentation

 On Tuesday 25 August our Student Wellbeing team hosted a special guest speaker, Mr Trav Munro. Trav spoke to the students about identifying their values, using positive self-talk to improve their mental health and how to help them understand their current mood and emotions to get through the current lockdown and make the most out of the remote learning experience. Thank you to everyone involved.

 

MWSC Virtual Cross Country

Congratulations to the students and staff of MWSC on what can only be described as an unbelievable effort during last week’s virtual cross country.
Our school walked or ran a total of 9,015.33kms. We travelled through Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, and the Northern Territory and into Western Australia, where our journey came to an end in Port Hedland. What an amazing effort by the entire school community. Well done!      I would also like to congratulate our individual winners:

Year 7 Results

1st Place – Flora P
2nd Place – Arushi M
3rd Place – Andrew D

Year 8 Results

1st Place – Athan M
2nd Place – Jesse K
3rd Place – Alannah R

Year 9 Results

1st Place – Viola H
2nd Place – Jocelyn S
3rd Place – Tom H

Year 10 Results

1st Place – Charlotte W and Nima M
2nd Place – Haidee K
3rd Place – Bowen C

Year 11 Results

1st Place – Yuke Z
2nd Place – Amrith S
3rd Place – Thidas G

Year 12 Results

1st Place – Izabella P – Year level and overall student winner
2nd Place – Emlyn B
3rd Place – Breanna M

Staff Results

1st Place – Ms Boughen
2nd Place – Ms Geros
3rd Place – Ms Williams

Congratulations to Mr Danny Gwynne our Junior Campus Sports Leader, on this great initiative and for entertaining us with fun video clips during the week!

 

Parent Teacher Conferences

Last Wednesday 9 September the college ran another successful parent teacher conferences via WebEx. Feedback from parents and staff was positive. Thank you  to all involved in organising the event and to the teachers who provided feedback and advice for parents/ carers.

 

RUOK? Day

Thank you to Mrs Mia Walduck our Chaplain and the Student Wellbeing Team for publicising the RUOK? Day last Thursday 10 September and for promoting a resilience activity last Friday. We appreciate all of your efforts in supporting our students over this challenging time.

 

Junior Campus Assembly

On Wednesday 16 September we held a Junior Campus Assembly for all Year 7 and 8 students and staff to come together and celebrate the successes from remote learning this term. It was a really positive and uplifting experience with so many great contributions and recognition of all of the fantastic work our students and staff have been doing during challenging times.
Mrs Wade shared the inspirational story of Turia Pitt and some key messages that certainly resonated with our students. Mr Simon focused on wellbeing, learning and preparing for the end of 2020 and start to 2021. Mr Barca celebrated the Home Group program that has run this term with some great connections and activities undertaken including input from our Year 8 Student Leaders. Ms Mott gave some clear wellbeing strategies for students over the upcoming holiday period including a focus on having a break from their digital screens. Miss Leszczynski celebrated our students who participated in the University of Melbourne Mathematics competitions and our Creatember initiative that some of our Student Leaders have run.
We also had the opportunity to watch some of the wonderful student and staff videos that put a smile on everyone’s faces!
Our Junior School Year Level Coordinators: Ms Rogers, Mr Johnston, Ms McCracken and Mr Quiambao recognised our students who have clearly demonstrated our iLEARN Values during remote learning. They also recognised the efforts of our students who participated in the Virtual Cross Country event organized by Mr Gwynne.
Thank you to all of these staff for presenting to our students and being part of such a positive campus assembly.

 

General Achievement Test (GAT) – Information Session

On Thursday morning VCE students attended a session on the GAT. Students received information about the GAT itself, the importance of completing the GAT to the best of their ability and tips and strategies to approaching the exam. A number of staff presented information to the students, special thanks to Ms Jane Abley, Mr Mike Thorburn and Ms Clare Challenger for sharing their knowledge and experience. Thanks also to Ms Lisa McKiernan and Mr Matt Cara for presenting, organising and overseeing the session.

The GAT will take place on Wednesday 7 October. Information will be sent to students beforehand. It is important that students note the time of arrival for temperature checking and come prepared with masks, dictionaries, pens etc. Please follow up with your child to ensure they have this information.

 

Year 9 Wellbeing Day

Friday 18 September saw our Year 9 Students participate in a Wellbeing Day.  The day covered a wide range of topics giving students plenty of tricks and tips on wellbeing.   The presenters included comedian Mr Declan Fay, the college Nurses and a yoga teacher Ms Simone Cosgriff.  Thanks to the Wellbeing team, in particular Mrs Kerri Haworth, for making this happen.

 

STEAM Centre Design Process

The new STEAM Centre design process has started with our architects, BKK Architects.  The initial meetings have been very positive, with BKK building their understanding of the college and our vision for the STEAM centre.  We look forward to continuing to work through the design process with BKK in the coming weeks and months.

 

2020 VCE Leadership Awards

Thank you to Ms Hayley Dureau Head of Student Voice for nominating Jennifer C of Year 12 for the 2020 VCE Leadership Awards. The awards are coordinated by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) to recognise VCE students for their leadership, initiative and involvement in extra-curricular and community activities. I am pleased to announce that the VCAA has selected Jennifer as a winner of a VCE Leadership Award. This year’s VCE Leadership Award Ceremony was held today and I watched Jennifer receive her award online. Congratulations Jennifer!

 

Monash Tech School

During this term some of our Year 7 students participated in the Monash Tech School program virtually around the theme of ‘Can you Fold It?’ which introduced students to the science behind pathogen structure and function, drug discovery and design and proteins. Thank you to Ms Georgia Mangano-STEM Coordinator for organising this opportunity for our students.

 

Mount Waverley SC Teachers supporting others

A number of teachers from the college have been presenting professional development for teachers, at various network and department meetings and conferences and student revision lectures. Congratulations to the following staff for their work and contribution; Ms Hayley Dureau, Ms Jane Carter, Mrs Debbie Sekula, Mr Peter Soutar, Ms Amanda Reed, Mr Matt Hall, Mrs Stephanie Thomas and Mrs Julie Cain. It is pleasing to see the expertise and experience of our staff recognised.

 

Student Wellbeing Website

Our brand new Student Wellbeing Website is up and running for students and contains many excellent resources designed to empower and support them with their wellbeing. If you haven’t yet had the opportunity, please have a look as it will support your work with our students. Thank you to Mr Paul Graham for his work in putting this website together, well supported by the rest of the Student Wellbeing team.

 

Term 4 Program

Please note commencement dates for Term 4 (unless otherwise advised)
Monday 5 October – Continue remote learning for all year levels
Wednesday 7 October – Year 11 & 12 students studying Unit 3/4 subjects to attend the General Achievement Test (GAT) at the college.
Monday 12 October – Year 11 & 12 students to return to on campus learning. Years 7 – 10 to continue remote learning

 

Great Support

Thank you to the Junior, Middle and Senior Sub School Teams and our Wellbeing and Careers teams for their work in supporting our students across this period of remote learning. We are lucky to have such caring and dedicated staff at Mount Waverley Secondary College and it is just another thing that makes our college so special.

 

Happy Holidays

It has been a busy and challenging term but I would like to thank all of my wonderful students and staff for their outstanding efforts during this time. I am very proud of everyone’s achievements whether it was during onsite learning or remote learning. We have achieved and will continue to achieve some wonderful things and we are learning a lot on our current journey. A great quote from Helen Keller “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”.

Take care everyone and I look forward to seeing you next term.

 

 

Mrs Karen Wade
College Principal

 

Head of Senior School’s Report

Mount Waverley Secondary College - Senior Campus
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I would like to congratulate our VCE students for the amazing things they have achieved this term. Students across all subjects have been completing online assessment, including our Language students completing oral assessments, Music students rehearsing online, Technology and Arts students completing portfolios, and Drama students working hard on their solo performances.

Although this term has been challenging the Senior School team is very proud of the resilience our students have shown as they continue to give 100% effort in their approach to their studies.

 

A message for our Year 12 students from Ms Hill and Ms Kosach

A huge shout-out to all of our amazing Year 12 students who have faced massive challenges and changes put to them during the Covid-19 pandemic with grace and resilience.  We thank you for the way you have dealt with remote learning during both terms.  You as a cohort have seen more oddness embedded into your 12-year educational journey than any other.  Because of this you have developed a flexibility that you probably did not know you had.  The next couple of weeks you will be concentrating on preparing for your final exam but it is also a time for you to celebrate all the good you have done amid all the uncertainty.  Give it everything you’ve got, you are nearly there.  We are behind you, cheering you on to the finish line!

 

A message for our Year 11 students from Ms Phelan and Ms Bear

What a year! This was not an easy way to begin your VCE journey, but you have handled it with resilience and tenacity. You have demonstrated a commendable work ethic during remote learning, and have made your coordinators, and all of your teachers proud. We were happy to see so many of you reach out for help when you need it, this is a sign of bravery and strength! Hopefully this year has taught you some things about yourself, and what you’re capable of. Hopefully it has given you a different appreciation of school, and hopefully you are excited to approach year 12 with this new insight and perspective on school & life!

We have collectively learnt we don’t know what’s around the corner, but we do know that we have each other to rely on for support, for motivation and for normalcy. As a cohort, you have been amazing, and succeeded despite such an unprecedented situation. We are excited for you all to embark on year 12, and we are positive you will excel and continue to achieve success, whatever that may look like for you. Well done!

 

Term 4 is a very important term for our VCE students. Our Year 12 students start to prepare for their final exams, whilst our Year 11 students start to prepare for their transition into Year 12. During the holiday break I encourage VCE students to switch off your devices, reconnect with friends and family, recharge your energy levels, and return ready to work hard in the final race to the finish line.

On behalf of the Senior School team I would like to wish everyone a restful and safe holiday break.

 

Key Dates for Term 4

7 October: GAT Examination
9 October: SEAS Application due (Year 12 Students Only)
26-27 October: Year 12 Revision Program
28 October: Year 12 Celebration Morning, Year 12 Graduation Evening
10 November-2 December: Year 12 VCAA Exams
9-26 November: Year 11 Exams
30 November-4 December: Early Commencement Program

 

 

Ms Lisa McKiernan
Head of Senior School

Head of Junior School’s Report

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It’s been a huge term and we are extremely proud of the efforts of all Junior School students throughout remote learning.

On Wednesday 16 September we celebrated some key achievements from the term at a Campus Assembly. We welcomed our College Principal Mrs Karen Wade who spoke to students about focus, perspective and getting through challenges.

Ms Danielle Mott, our Student Wellbeing Coordinator, gave our students some tips for the holidays such as the importance of relaxing, completing a digital detox, trying a new skill, decluttering and going outside. Thank you Ms Mott and the Wellbeing team for your support and hard work throughout the whole term!

Ms Grace Leszczynski, our Student Activities Coordinator, presented some awards for our recent ‘Videos for Smiles’ competition. Congratulations to Nathan S in Year 7 and Isabella in Year 8 for taking out the prizes!

We also acknowledged some Year 7 and 8 students who participated in University of Melbourne Mathematics competitions. Well done to Benji, Eunice, Austin, Maya, Sara, Sesandi, Sanuli, Aanya, Emma, Maryam, Adith, Phuong, Senuli, Sarah and Suha (Year 8) and Riveen, Emma, Zachary, Desmond and Jiacheng (Year 7).

Maya and Farah, two of our Year 8 leaders, spoke about the recent Creatember event that the Student Leadership Team have organised.  They shared some great creations that our students had devised (see below). The event will continue until the end of the month to encourage even more creativity!


Thank you to Ms Grace Leszczynski and Mr Nic Barca for their work with our Year 8 Student Leadership Team throughout the term.

Our Junior School Coordinators presented awards to some students in each year level who had consistently demonstrated our school values this term. Well done to:

Year 7: Tyrone (Integrity), Vince (Learning), Marcus (Excellence), Jacob (Accountability), Lalita (Respect) and Vinuki (Nurturing)

Year 8: Zali (Integrity), Natharie (Learning), Avril (Excellence), James (Accountability), Austin (Respect) and Matt (Nurturing)

Thank you to our Coordinators – Mr James Johnston, Frau Jo Rogers, Mr Mark Quiambao and Ms Rachael McCracken – for their support, kindness and hard work throughout the term.

In Term 4, we have three main areas of focus:

  • Wellbeing – taking care of our mental and physical health, and re-connecting with others
  • Learning – ending the academic year on a positive note and returning to face-to-face
  • Preparing for the end of the year and 2021 – being optimistic and ready for change and new opportunities!

We have asked our students to think about how they can get ready for and make the most of every opportunity next term, and to take small, realistic steps and actions to make the end of the year and the start of 2021 as positive and rewarding as possible.

We wish all our Junior Campus families a restful and enjoyable break and look forward to seeing our Year 7 and 8 students back online in October!

 

 

Mr John Simon
Head of Junior School

Student Voice Report

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Photo: Lessons in Lockdown Conference

2020 VCE Leadership Award

Congratulations to Deputy Captain Jennifer C who has been awarded a 2020 VCE Leadership Award by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA). The awards recognise VCE students for their leadership, initiative and involvement in extra-curricular and community activities. Jennifer has been actively involved in student leadership and student voice initiatives at school and in the broader community during her time at the college and we are incredibly proud of her achievements!  Congratulations Jennifer!

 

Year 12 Student Forum

On 2 September, Year 12s Lynn G (Captain) and Riyah A (Deputy) attended the Year 12 Student Virtual Forum with over 100 students from schools across the North Eastern Region. They heard from senior leaders at the Department of Education and Training (DET) about the latest Victorian Curriculum Assessment Authority (VCAA) information. They also heard from Mr Chris Wardlaw, Chairman VCAA, who shared a story about his athletics coaching career and Ms Cathy Freeman. DET Executive Director Mr Jeremy Beard spoke to students about the need for them to support one another and not compete against each other.

 

Lessons from Lockdown Conference

On 4 September our Year 12 Captains Jennifer C, Amit K, Riyah A, and Year 10 student Charlotte W, presented at the Lessons from Lockdown conference. The virtual conference offered academics, policy makers, health workers, educators, parents, carers, and community members a chance to connect and to engage with a wide range of narratives on the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic as we ask:  ‘What have we learnt about our systems, and how has the pandemic changed us?’

Their session titled ‘Remote Learners – teachers and students’ focused on the learnings and challenges of remote learning from a students’ perspective. Well done Jennifer, Amit, Riyah, and Charlotte, on an amazing presentation!

 

 

Miss Hayley Dureau
Head of Student Voice

Student Wellbeing Report

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During remote learning in term 3, the Student Wellbeing team’s aim was to continue to provide support to students and families via email and google meets but to also focus on proactive and preventive approaches to help empower students to support their own wellbeing.

We hosted 3 guest speakers, all of whom presented webinars. At the start of the term, as previously mentioned in the last newsletter, we hosted Commonwealth gold medallist, Ms Jemima Montag who spoke to the year 11 and 12 students and parents and encouraged us all to reframe this challenging time as an opportunity to improve. Mr Brad Felstead from Felstead Education, presented “study calm” to the year 11’s. This presentation focused on using mindfulness, meditation and positive thinking techniques. Mr Trav Munro presented to the year 10’s on developing personal values and the strengths of positive self talk. The three guest speakers all provided great insight, knowledge and strategies that were useful for us all during this challenging time.

The Student Wellbeing Team also hosted a wellbeing presentation to the year 7, 8 and 9 students utilising a pre-recorded video by Laura Hingston- Australian Diver. She spoke about her journey, how to rise through adversity but most importantly how students can still dream big and set goals to achieve during lockdown.
We thank all the speakers that presented as part of the Student Wellbeing Program in term 3.

This term we also launched our new Website. The website has been designed for MWSC students to provide them with relevant health and wellbeing information, tips and strategies  as well as connecting them to support they may need.

There are 20 pages of content, with 9 original videos created by student wellbeing. There are 26 links to other useful websites such as headspace and reachout.com and we have included over 23 FAQ and answers. There is information for students wanting to know more about gratitude and mindfulness as well as how to deal with stress and anxiety.
I want to encourage all parents to ask their child to show you the website. We believe it’s a great resource for students. The website will be updated regularly to include all the latest wellbeing news and relevant information and content for students.

On the last day of term, we hosted the 2nd annual Year 9 wellbeing day.  Last year was our first year running the event and it was a great day. This year we bring the event to the year 9 students via 4  webinars.

The year 9’s started the day with homegroup and then a celebration assembly hosted by the middle subschool team. The 2nd session we welcomed, comedian Mr Declan Fay who presented to the students on goal setting and about not being left wondering what IF?.  The third session was a presentation by the college nurses who covered self care, nutrition and hygiene and finally the 4th session was a relaxing yoga and breathing session to finish the term.
We had encourage all year 9 students to attend the day.. We think it will be a great way to finish the term.

 

At the end of term 2, I provided parents/carers with some tips on how they can support their child to return to on campus learning. These tips are just as relevant this time round. It is important to support your child to get back into routine, encourage them to start reconnecting with their school friends especially over the holiday period and encourage your child to talk openly about their thoughts and feelings about returning to on campus learning whilst being prepared that they may be anxious about yet another change. Finally I encourage parents/carers to allow their child to take a break from their studies during the holidays. Yes there will be holiday homework for some, but unless they are in VCE they shouldn’t need to be studying all day every day during the holidays. It is important that you give them a break, encourage them to reconnect and get outside and enjoy what hopefully is some good weather!

Finally, I’m pleased to announce that we will be hosting Dr. Michael Carr-Gregg on Wednesday 7 October 2020 at 7:00pm via Zoom.
Dr. Carr-Gregg is one of Australia’s highest profile psychologists. He will be sharing with you his presentation on “Raising resilient kids in the coronavirus era“.. It is a must watch for all parents… So please get along. Please note the presentation will not be recorded. The zoom link will be advertised closer to the date.     Click here to view Presentation flyer.

 

Well done to all of you who have supported your child through another term of remote learning!  I hope they have a restful 2 weeks!
As always if you need any support from student wellbeing please let me know.

Mr Paul Graham
Manager of Student Wellbeing

Music Director’s Report

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Photo: Concert Band Flutes – “Sectional Rehearsal” for recording

 

Remote instrumental lessons have continued throughout the term and the feedback from the college community has been overwhelmingly positive. The wonderful music staff have endeavoured to continue the high level of instrumental teaching through Google Meet, and the musicians at the college continue to thrive.

We have some exciting internal and external projects happening behind the scenes. A large number of our students will be involved in a wonderful project, Music Count Us In:

Music: Count Us In (MCUI) is Australia’s largest school initiative. It is the education program of Music Australia, working with partners around the country to support music in schools. Its genesis was in the 2005 Australian Government National Review of School Music Education which found a lack of music education in schools. MCUI is supported by the Australian Government up until the end of 2020, funded through the Department of Education, Skills and Employment.

MCUI plays a vital role in fostering music education in schools, with a presence in every state and territory in the country.  It is internationally recognised as the world’s largest school music initiative, and an important part of the Australian school calendar.  It offers students music participation and skill development, delivers much needed resources and training to teachers, accesses and supports regional and remote locations and special needs areas and provides a whole-of-school engagement activity.

The program culminates in the National Celebration Day when more than half a million students sing the same song, on the same day, at the same time – the annual Program Song. It is a song written by students, for students. The 2020 Program Song is called ‘You Won’t Bring Us Down‘, and was written by four students from around Australia in collaboration with the MCUI Ambassador John Foreman and the 2020 program Mentor Lior.

A number of our school ensembles and soloists have been working hard on remote recordings that are featured on the college website. This includes performances from some VCE Music Performance students, a recording of “Tears in Heaven” by our Senior Guitar Ensemble, and a recording of “African Spirit Dance” by our Concert Band. I encourage all students invited to become involved in these projects. Recording and performing whilst different during this remote period, allows us to master skills in recording, audio and self reflection. I encourage you to visit the Celebrating Our Students icon on the college website to listen and enjoy these wonderful performances.

 

Instrumental Music Website

We are excited to announce our new MWSC Music website is now up and running. This website makes it easy to explore everything ‘music’ at the college, including student instrumental demonstrations, newsletters, enrolment forms, upcoming events and much much more. You can access this site from our MWSC website in the Beyond the Classroom/Instrumental Music page or Quick Links tab.
Click here and have a look!

 

Re-enrolment for Instrumental Music 2021

Consent Only Due: 17 October 2020

An Compass Event has been created for all students currently enrolled in the Instrumental Music Program at the college. This is so we can plan for staffing for the 2021 program. At this time we are simply asking for an indication as to whether your student is continuing to take lessons next year. I have worked closely with the Business Managers at the college to offer payment plans to make the program accessible for all students.

It is important that this form is filled out to indicate yes or no to continuing. After due date 17 October, all non-responses will be an assumption that the student will no longer be continuing and the position may be offered to new students wanting to joining the program.

 

Mrs Tijtje Keatley
Music Director

Head of Careers’ Report

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The Careers team have been working very closely with all Year 12 students recently in completing their SEAS applications.  Thanks to all students that have attended the meetings and work collaboratively with the Careers team.

Key dates for VTAC moving forward are:

Timely applications through VTAC: Wednesday 30 September
SEAS Applications close: Friday 9 October
Scholarship close: Friday 9 October

 

Term 3 is a very busy time for both the Careers office and students, there are many priorities across VCE  and VTAC. Remote learning has added a layer of complexity to this and we would like to commend all Year 12’s on their initiative throughout the term on behalf of the Careers team we wish all students a relaxing school break.
Ms Joanne Hall
Head of Careers

Library News

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Book Week 2020 ‘Curious Creatures, Wild Minds’ 19-23 October

Let your mind and curiosity go wild, Book Week is going on-line.  There will be a year level prize for writing, and creating around the theme ‘Curious Creatures, Wild Minds’. Also, daily quizzes and random facts about curious creatures, and wild minds.  There will be more information next term.

Premiers Reading Challenge 2020

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Premiers Reading Challenge!  It was wonderful to see some of our students had completed the challenge, and we were very impressed with the calibre of readers (and writers of book reviews) we have at MWSC, especially in some of the junior levels.   Well done to all.  Prizes and certificates to come!

MWSC Library Student Newsletter – September 2020

The Resource Centre have put together some reading ideas for student these school holidays.  For some recommendation and more please click here to view Library Student Newsletter.

Mrs Whitelaw, Ms Daniels and Mr Steinkamp
Resource Centre Team

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MWSC College News – Issue 9