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NEWS AND PUBLICATIONS > Boarding > Celebrating One Teacher's 30-Year Legacy on a Tight-Knit Boarding School Community

Celebrating One Teacher's 30-Year Legacy on a Tight-Knit Boarding School Community

Kate Kovacs unwavering dedication, community mindedness and progressive vision as Director of Boarding at LN has cemented boarding as 'the heart' of the Loreto Normanhurst school community.
12 Oct 2022
Mrs Kate Kovacs, Loreto Normanhurst Director of Boarding
Mrs Kate Kovacs, Loreto Normanhurst Director of Boarding

As Australia’s education sector prepares to mark World Teacher’s Day on Friday 28th October, leading independent, Catholic girls’ school, Loreto Normanhurst is proud to recognise one teacher’s 30-year school service commitment and legacy to generations of Loreto Normanhurst boarders.

Since commencing at Loreto Normanhurst in 1992, Mrs Kovacs has served in various boarding roles including her current role as Director of Boarding since 2012. She proudly embodies the notion that the transformation of education begins with teachers, and has made several esteemed contributions during her time within the Loreto Normanhurst community, including:

  • Guiding the evolution of boarding at Loreto Normanhurst to ensure a progressive boarding model, including the successful transition to a fully flexible boarding model in 2017, to better cater to the varying needs of boarding families. ‚Äč
  • The continued growth of Loreto Normanhurst’s Bursary & Indigenous Scholarship Program to give greater accessibility to regional girls to receive a holistic Loreto Normanhurst education.
  • Leading the tailored Social and Emotional Wellbeing Program for boarders, including the introduction of ‘community weekends’ and a fully vertical house system to mirror the School’s Pastoral Care structure and emphasis on the inextricability of belonging and wellbeing for girls in her care.
  • Diversifying the boarding enrolment mix by connecting students from all over Australia and the world. 80% of Loreto Normanhurst boarders are from rural NSW, with the remaining comprising of girls from the Sydney basin, interstate, as well as ex-pat and international families.
  • Building a greater sense of community within the current student and alumnae boarding network through boarding-specific events and the introduction of the annual Principal’s Country Road Trips to key catchment areas in regional NSW.

Mrs Kovacs steered the Loreto Normanhurst Boarding community through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and provided crucial stability for boarders and their families during two extended periods of lockdown and remote schooling.

The leadership demonstrated by Mrs Kovacs during the pandemic reflected her exceptional understanding of the unique struggles faced by the boarding community, particularly for the school’s large community of country boarders, who have also been greatly impacted by a 10-year period of severe drought.

“My priority has always been to stay updated and personally engaged with the challenges faced by Boarders, including drought, flood, the impact of COVID-19 and distance, so as to be able to best support our boarding families,” said Mrs Kovacs.

Mrs Kovacs attributes the success of her boarding vision and ability to deal with challenges largely to the generous support of fellow school leadership staff.

“I am a firm believer that dealing with any challenge is made easier with a team, or many teams, working closely together in support of one another. This also extends to the ability for teachers to enact impactful change within their classroom, a department or even at a school-wide level,” said Mrs Kovacs.

She continues, “I have been incredibly lucky to work alongside wonderful principals. Women who have embraced change, had amazing vision, and have always had the mission and values of the IBVM sisters and the students at the heart of all they do.”

In sharing her advice to the next generation of early-career teachers seeking to transition to more senior roles, Mrs Kovacs advocates the importance of taking on leadership opportunities.

“My advice to early-career teachers would be to put your hand up for opportunities, get mentors and offer to mentor wherever possible. It is crucial to learn about other areas of the school, make connections, and give everything a go. The more you are able showcase an aptitude for taking on extra responsibility, seek advice and critique your work regularly, the more leadership roles that will come your way,” shares Mrs Kovacs.

Steadfast in her dedication to the future of Loreto Normanhurst boarding, Mrs Kovacs is championing the development of a new purpose-built Boarding School. The new Boarding School will deliver increased student accommodation, flexible communal spaces and will reflect the school’s vision for a modern, ecologically sustainable home for boarding students.

Speaking of the new Loreto Normanhurst Boarding School, Mrs Kovacs said:

“The new Boarding School is a significant investment in the future of Loreto Normanhurst and boarding. It will allow us to continue to provide a boarding program that provides relevance to the life experiences of the boarders and families who choose our school. Boarding is at the heart of our school, and the girls’ new home will provide future generations with the opportunity to continue the boarding story for another 125 years.”

The new state-of-the-art boarding school was unveiled as part of the schools’ 30 Year Master Plan and is due to commence construction in 2023 with the aim of welcoming boarding students to their new home in the 2025 school year.

New Loreto Normanhurst Boarding School

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