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St. Pius X High School

History

 
On January 27 1959, St Pius X College, staffed by Diocesan Priests, commenced at Tighes Hill.  In 1960, the then Bishop of Maitland, Bishop Toohey, exercised tremendous courage and vision in acquiring the old Lustre Hosiery Factory in Adamstown (shown below) and converting the existing building into a school.  The School opened at this new site on 5 December 1960.
 
 Factory Wing Lustre Factory.jpg



The official opening of the College and the blessing of the new building was performed by Bishop Toohey on Sunday, 19 March 1961.  In that year the school badge was also adopted, incorporating the Coat of Arms and Crest of St Pius X.

 
In 1967 St Anne’s High School, a senior school for girls, opened adjacent to St Pius.  From 1967 to 1983, the senior boys from St Pius often shared classes with the girls in the senior school.
 
Fundamental change was initiated at St Pius X in 1983.  The initial intake of girls into Year 7 and the transfer of Year 11 to St Francis Xavier’s College, Hamilton, were the first stages in a restructuring program which resulted in the school becoming a fully co-educational Junior High School in 1986.  A further part of the restructuring was the closing of St Anne’s at the end of 1985.  From 1986 onwards all senior Catholic students in the Newcastle area attended St Francis Xavier’s College at Hamilton.  St Anne’s is remembered in the name of the courtyard outside the Administration Building, now called the St Anne’s Courtyard.
 
The buildings that once housed St Anne’s are now part of St Pius X High School.  The old St Anne’s Library was used as a Hall for Year Assemblies and meetings and was originally called the St Anne’s Hall.  This name was changed in 2008 to Sr Marie Hall in honour of Sr Marie Therese Fahey, a Josephite Sister who had a long relationship of service with our school.  A tribute to Sr Marie follows this brief history of the school.  Sadly, Sr Marie Hall was destroyed by fire on June 30 2012 as a result of arson.
 
The following table shows the names of the Principals past and present.
​Fr J Newton 1959-61
​Fr V Dilley 1961-67​
​Fr P Helferty 1967-72
​Fr T Brennan 1973-83
​Mr R Kelly 1984-85
​Mr A Peart 1986-92
​Mr K Rodwell 1993-94
​Mr K Walkling 1995
​Mr J Haskal 1996-2005
​Mr R Emery 2006-
  
 
The first lay Principal of the school was appointed in 1984.
 
In 1989, the school survived the Newcastle earthquake suffering serious damage to several of its buildings.  This took a number of years to repair.
 
2006-2009
Mr Robert Emery commenced as Principal of St Pius in 2006.
 
The Executive structure of St Pius was re-structured in 2007 to provide a second Assistant Principal from the start of 2007.  Mr Stephen Dunn commenced as Assistant Principal, Dean of Studies, in 2007.  Mr Stuart Roff, Assistant Principal at St Pius since 1989, became Assistant Principal, Dean of Students.
 
Since 2006 much planning and effort has been directed towards improving the facilities and resources at the school.  New roofs were added to the Dilley Wing and Sr Marie Hall (then called St Anne’s Hall) in 2007 and to the Staff Room Block in 2008.  Also, in 2008 a tarred road was built across the top oval.
 
In 2008-2009, the Federal Government’s Digital Education Revolution program, enabled the school to purchase and deploy 219 extra computers.
 
In 2009, a security fence was erected around the whole school boundary, except for the bottom sports fields bordering Northcott Drive.  This fence (costing $252,000) was funded by the school from money saved over many of years.  We also received a grant ($20,000) from Catholic Church Insurances to help with meeting the cost.
 
Also in 2009 the school received National School Pride funding from the Federal Government and spent this on a number of important projects: landscaping of the entry to the school off Fletcher street and elsewhere; painting, carpeting and maintenance work in many classrooms; some electrical system upgrades; purchase of resources for the setting up of the VET Entertainment Industry Course which commenced in 2009; refurbishment of a disused boys change room into a Marine Science Lab; Refurbishment of a disused toilet block into new classroom space for PDHPE; update of signage around the school; repairs to the Canteen covered area; and additional security fencing works.
 
2010-2011
In 2010-2011, further DER funding enabled a substantial improvement to computer network infrastructure, including the installation of a school-wide commercial grade wireless network and the purchase and deployment of a further 250 new computers. In 2010 the school internet connection was upgraded to a fast fibre optic broadband connection direct to the school site, with a speed of 20 Mbps.
 
In 2010, a large storage area was refurbished as the new Gymnasium and plans were commenced for creating a sports and whole-school assembly area in and around the existing Bus Shelter COLA.
 
A Master Plan for the refurbishment of the school buildings and facilities was developed over 2010-2011.  This Master Plan included three main stages of major refurbishment and development.
 
St Pius held a residential staff Professional Development Course in March 2011.  The focus was Developing a Sustainable School and was run by Catholic Earth Care.  All staff attended the course and over 60 staff stayed at the venue, the Mercure Hunter Valley Gardens, the night before and attended a Staff Dinner.
 
In 2011, new VET Courses came online.  Hospitality and Hairdressing were run at St Pius in Year 10 for the first time.  Hospitality was run in the Food Tech Rooms on campus while the Haidressing course was run by Jayne Griffiths at her Salon in Hamilton.
 
2011 saw the commencement of work on Stage 1 of our Master Plan - the refurbishment of the Factory Wing of the school.  This was funded by a combination of sources: a Catholic Block Grant Authority (CBGA) grant; funding from the Diocesan Family & School Building Levy (DF&SBL); a Trade Training Centre (TTC) grant for a Hospitality Kitchen & a Hairdressing Studio; CSO funding and a large contribution from the school.  Stage 1 provided state-of-the-art teaching facilities in the Factory Wing, including a 577 seat Theatre, a Theatrette, Hospitality Kitchen, Cafe, Hairdressing Studio, two Art Rooms, a computer room, a Drama Room, two Music Rooms, a Recording Studio, five general purpose classrooms, several open plan teaching & learning spaces and two staff offices.  The Administration Block and Canteen were also refurbished as part of this project.  Kingston Building Australia is the company which carried out these works.  They have done an excellent job.
 
In September to November 2011 the Bus Shelter COLA was extended and refurbished to provide an assembly area/PE covered area.  This work was funded by the CSO and undertaken by Kingston Building Australia.
 
Also in 2011, the school installed a solar power system for the school, courtesy of a National Solar School Program grant and commenced work on the development of a wetlands area on campus.  The latter proved difficult to complete due to the fact that the driver of this excellent project was not a permanent member of staff.  This project has been placed on hold.
 
2011 saw the final School Certificate Examinations.  St Pius gained its best results ever in these exams.  The highlight was that four of our students gained five First Place in the Diocese Awards out of a possible 10 Awards conferred.
 
2012-2013
2012 started with a hive of activity as Year 10 students became the first students to be issued with 1:1 laptop computers under the new Diocesan 1:1 Laptop Plan devised by the CSO.  The building work on the Stage 1 Factory Wing project was completed by the end of May and the whole-school electrical upgrade was completed by the end of June.  The school moved into the new Factory Wing in Week 2 of Term 3.  These facilities are awesome!
 
2012 saw our first Vietnam Immersion Experience take place for Year 10.  Forty-three students and six staff were involved in the three week experience.  Students and staff worked extremely hard on several projects for the parishes and villages they visited.
 
Sadly, on June 30 2012 Sr Marie Hall was burnt to the ground by arsonists.  This dreadful act of destruction perpetrated against our school brought a huge outpouring of grief and also support from our school & local community.  We lost everything inside the building with the exception of a few archived records.  The most significant loss was that of the old Year 10 group photos from previous years.  Many of our official school archives were also lost.
 
The first official hiring-out of our new Theatre occurred in September 2012.  "5 Minute Call Productions" a local, professional company owned by Mr Don McEwen staged "The Elephant Man" from 7 to 15 September.  The show was absolutely brilliant and received very good reviews.  The fact that this was the first non-school show in The Factory Theatre was entirely appropriate since Mr McEwen worked tirelessly to assist the school with the development of the Theatre from its beginnings.
 
Mr Tony Worner joined the staff of St Pius as Ministry Coordinator in 2013.  Mrs Simone Kelly, who had been Ministry Coordinator up until early 2012, performed the role of Acting Religious Studies Coordinator for most of 2012 (relieving for Mr Leo Drinkwater who was on leave) and commenced 2013 as the Religious Studies Coordinator.
 
St Pius underwent a School Evaluation and Development (SEVDEV) inspection by CSO during 2013.  Faculties were involved in inspection activities throughout the first three terms and then the whole-school panel visit occurred in September.  All stake-holders, parents, students, Parish, CSO and staff, were given the opportunity to have input.  The school received a very favourable report from this process.
 
Building work on Stage 2 of our Master Plan commenced on 3 June 2013.  This work is being done by J & J Killelea Constructions Pty Ltd.  A long-overdue new toilet block was completed in October 2013.  Work on the remainder of Stage 2 is ongoing into 2014.
 
Planning for the replacement for Sr Marie Hall commenced in October 2013.
 
2014
St Pius held a two-day Conference with the Theme of "St Pius At Its Best" in March 2014.  All staff attended the two days at the Mercure Lake Macquarie Raffertys Resort with over 60 staff staying overnight and sharing a staff dinner.  The days were facilitated by Associate Professor Charles Burford from the Australian Catholic University (ACU) who also came to the school prior to the Conference and ran two Staff Meeting sessions in preparation.  The conference was very successful and the school now has whole-staff input into the future direction of the school.  This input will be used in the development of our new Strategic Plan for 2015-2016.
 
The Management Team name was changed to the Leadership Team to better reflect the work the team does in the school.
 
Planning for a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) student Tablet computer program was finalised early in 2014.  Years 7 & 9 were selected to commence the program in 2014 since these were also the Years commencing the new Australian Curriculum.  Teachers were issued with Tablets in April.  Training for staff on the use of the Tablets to enhance student learning is ongoing.  Year 9 students began using their Tablets in class in Week 7 of Term 2.  Year 7 commenced using Tablets in class in Week 3 of Term 3.  The remainder of students in the school will start using Tablets in class early in 2015.
 
St Pius received a $52,000 grant from the CSO in June 2014 for use in improving Teaching and Learning.  These funds enabled much needed Professional Learning for staff in the area of contemporary pedagogy.  The school ran a number of projects that will lead to greater collaboration amongst staff on teaching and learning and greater staff understanding and implementation of 21st century pedagogy.  This includes greater use of student centred-learning techniques and better teaching of so-called 21st century skills: creative thinking, problem solving, information and ICT literacy, communication, collaboration and so on.
 
The school also received $28,000 from the CSO for the investigation of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) at St Pius.  In August, the Principal, Dean of Studies and three Studies Coordinators attended an excellent PD Day on PLCs facilitated by Tonia Flanagan from Hawker-Brownlow.  Tonia also facilitated a PD Day for the whole Leadership Team in October.  The Leadership Team has agreed that the PLC process is something that we should establish here at St Pius.
 
Work continued on Stage 2 of our Master Plan and was completed by the end of the year.  This work includes: a Marine Science laboratory, two Science laboratories, a Science Staff Resource Centre, two Woodwork Workshops, an outside covered work area for TAS, a Metalwork Workshop, a TAS Theory room, three GPLA classrooms on Level 6, a new Toilet block on Level 5 (built by Malman) and beautification to the balconies of the western-most block. Decorative water-proof capping was also added to the southern-end of this block and to the western end of the adjacent (Staff room) block.  A new toilet block on Level 3 was completed as part of Stage 2 works in October 2013.
 
Fire services upgrade occured during 2014.
 
Internet speed was increased to 1000 Mbps.
 
An application to the CBGA for funding of Stage 3 of our Master Plan was submitted in early April.  Areas identified for refurbishment include: the Library, the Learning Centre (including Life Skills & ESL classrooms), the Staff Room and the former House of Hospitality area at the northern end of the Factory Wing.  Unfortunately we were not successful with this application.
 
Work commenced on the construction of the Sr Marie Centre on 2 June 2014.  This work was completed by Malman Group by the end of the year.
 
Sr Marie Centre.jpg
                                                                      Sr Marie Centre
 
The end of Term 3 2014 saw the retirement of a St Pius icon, Assistant Principal, Dean of Students, Mr Stuart Roff.  Stuart was a highly respected and much loved teacher and leader at our school and everyone will miss him greatly.  Stuart has taught for almost 40 years, the last 23 of them at St Pius.  We wish Stuart all the very best for the future.  May you have a happy and wonderful retirement.
 
                                                     Photo of Stuart for website.jpg
                                                                 Stuart Roff
 
Mrs Carmel Wright, House Coordinator of Chisholm House for many years, was appointed Assistant Principal, Dean of Students, to replace Mr Roff.  Mr Stephen Dunn will continue in his role of Assistant Principal, Dean of Studies.
 
Term 4 2014 also saw the pending retirement of Sheila Doherty, Librarian.  Sheila took leave and intends to retire sometime in 2015.  Sheila started at St Pius in the English Faculty and eventually took over the running of the Library, a role she performed very competently for many years and gave great service in many different ways to the school community.  Thank you to Sheila for her dedication and hard work over her many years here.  We wish Sheila all the very best for the future.  May you too have a happy and wonderful retirement.
 
 
Tribute to Fiona O'Donoghue 
In November 2014 the school suffered the tragic loss of Fiona O'Donoghue (Fiona Drinkwater).  Fiona was diagnosed with cancer in January of 2014.  She fought valiantly throughout the year but succumbed to the disease in November.
 
Fiona came to St Pius in 1996 and soon became a much loved and highly respected Visual Arts Teacher.  Fiona's passion was art and teaching art to young people.  To quote Sheila Doherty who gave the Eulogy on behalf of the school, Fiona "understood and promoted the legitimacy of Art as an intellectual and creative discipline, and more importantly, its place in establishing humane values".  Fiona was a highly professional and skillful teacher and made a positive difference in the lives of those she taught.  Fiona was a loyal, supportive and uplifting colleague and friend.
 
The school was closed on Thursday 20 November to allow all staff and many students and parents to attend Fiona's funeral.  The huge gathering at the funeral was a clear sign of the deep respect and high esteem in which Fiona was held.
 
There are no words that can adequately sum up the enormous value of a human life lived well.  Fiona lived her life to the full.  She was an inspiration to her family, to our school and to all who knew her.  Her passing has left our school community with a deep sense of loss.  She will be missed by all who knew her.  Fiona's memory will live on in our hearts and minds.  She will always be with us.
 
Rest in peace Fiona.
 
Eulogy for Fiona O'Donoghue.docxEulogy for Fiona O'Donoghue.docx - written and given by Sheila Doherty
                                                                  (right click on the link, select "save as", save to your hardrive and then open).
 
 
2015
The year started with the introduction of the BYOD Tablet program being introduced to Years 7 and 9.  This meant that all Years were now able to use Tablet computers for class work.
 
The strategic priority for 2015 is to improve the way we assist students to learn.  The Leadership Team is working to establish the concept and process of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) here at St Pius.  This is a long term goal by its very nature.
 
This year we held an official opening Liturgy for our Stage 2 facilities and Sr Marie Centre.  This liturgy was held in Sr Marie Centre and Bishop Bill officially opened and blessed the new facilities.
 
The CSO funded the upgrade of our back entrance road off Park Avenue and the road on the eastern side of the Factory wing.  This work has made a huge positive difference in terms of traffic flow and access.  The work was caried out by Site Worx who did an excellent job.
 
Another application to the CBGA for funding of Stage 3 of our Master Plan will be submitted in early April. 
 
St Pius looks to the future with much confidence, grounded in the knowledge that the foundations have been well laid by members of the school community in the past.  We look to you, the present community, to add to its proud, rich and diverse history.
 
 
School Captains & Vice Captains of St Pius X
 
Year​ ​Captains ​Vice Captains
1959​ Prefects - no captains​
1960​ Prefects - no captains​​
1961​ Prefects - no captains​​
1962 Brian Thomson​
1963​ Anthony Tinlin​
1964​ Vernon Dunning​
1965​ Brian Acland​
1966​ Joseph Tobin​
1967​ John Hodges​
1968​ Larry Keating​ Donald Fearon​
1969​ John Murray​
1970​ Kenneth Hodges​ Martin Taylor​
1971​ Leo Drinkwater​ ​Leo Walsh
1972​ ​Paul Walsh ​Peter Holley
1973​ Chris Cootes​ ​Peter Channells
1974​ Brian Marsh​ ​Stephen Murray
1975​ ​Neil Jones ​Peter Hopkins
1976​ ​Keith Drinkwater ​John Pryor
1977​ ​Peter Kane ​Timothy Pallas
1978​ ​Paul Nolan ​Philip Webb
1979​ ​Anthony Metcalfe ​Carl Lochrin
1980​ ​Anthony Pippin ​Paul McNamara
1981​ ​Bernard Wheatley ​Patrick Quinlan
1982​ ​Shane Young ​Gerard Nesbitt
1983​ ​Stephen Creigh ​Adrian McKinney
1984​ ​Paul Rickards ​Robert Prentice
1985 ​Mark Pippin ​Neil Pryor
1986​ Joanne Priestley​ Ian Bamford​
1987​ Matthew Boys​ Elizabeth Walsh​
1988​ Kristy Edser​ Andrew Walker​
1989​ Kelly Maynard​ Matthew Tamplin​
1990​ Amanda Gates​ Craig Norman​
1991​ Ricky Sadler​ Katarina Balaz​
1992​ Benedict Walker​ Prudence Drinwater​
1993​ Matthew Limbury & Ingrid Kaczor​ Raymond Marten & Linda Matkovic​​
1994​ Matthew McInnes & Brianna Butt​ Nicholas Drinwater & Rachelle Whitton
1995​ Evan Williams​ Alana Murphy​
1996​ Liam Beckett​ Anne O'Donohue​
1997​ Mark Wells​ Angela Broad​
1998​ Nicholas Mowbray​ Linda Poretti​
1999​ Robert Chaseling & Emma Dowling​
2000​ Paul Dan & Rebecca Allan​ Mason Palmieri & Aleta Lederwasch​
2001​ Martin O'Neill & Siobhan Kelly​ Owen Webber & Nadia Ali​
2002​ Samuel Arnott & Lauren Davis​ Benjamin Mahon & Sarah Johnson​
2003​ Bede Maguire & Amie Ryan​ Thomas Dougherty & Linsey Cahill​
2004​ Mitchell Beatty & Charity-Rose Kelly​ Peter Do & Natalia Muller​
2005​ Liam McNeil & Stephanie Petrou​ Jacob Kearney & Hannah Younger​
2006​ Ben Zwolinski & Caitlin Chapman​ Alois Lederwasch & Susannah Walmsley​
2007​ Joseph Walker & Lauren McNeil​ Felicity Dan & Joshua Philak​
2008​ Genevieve de Souza & Cameron Duncan​ Carolyn Barwick & Caleb Hodgson​
2009​ Joe Henderson & Isabella Batkovic​ Morgan Cherry & Jessica Harper​
2010​ Jordan Young & Marcus Cherry​ ​Samantha Long & Benjamin Willis
2011​ Rachael Scott & Lachlan Young​ Lily Ryan & Nicholas Daskalovski​
2012​ Olivia Carroll & Thomas Hawes​ ​Meg Bailey & Joel Webber
​2013 ​Abbey Dorman & Andrew de Souza ​Phoebe Cousins & Thomas Newman
​2014 ​Hannah Simmons & Declan Swain ​Alex Delbridge & Daniel Willis
​2015 ​Eilish O'Malley & Toby Lewis ​Siane Fonua & Thomas Howlett
​2016 ​Rose Lancaster & Tom Rodgers ​Sophie Dever & Isaac Clifford
​2017
​2018
​2019
  
NOTE: If you can help complete the records of School Captain and Vice Captain, please contact the Principal with your information.
 
 
 
Tribute to Sr Marie Therese Fahey
In 2008, St Pius X High School celebrated a liturgy to honour ‘Foundation Day’ for the Sisters of St Joseph, the 125 year anniversary of four Sisters who traveled from Perthville, to establish a teaching order in Lochinvar. It was 3rd September, the birthday of Sister Marie Therese Fahey. Sister Marie always remembered the birthdays of our staff and would never forget to give cards and gifts, even after her retirement. It was one of the many ways that she helped to build community here. We recognized the selfless service lived by Sister Marie and her sisters, both past and present, in our region.
 
Sister Marie Therese was a Josephite for over six decades, a teacher and principal in the diocese for four decades, and she then ministered here at St Pius X for twenty years. Among many other tasks, Sister Marie ran the Quiet Room, weekly masses, the Seasons Program, St Vincent de Paul, archived the achievements of all ex students and friends of the school and actively participated in community days and retreats.
 
In her quiet, humble way, Sister Marie touched the lives of many people. Perhaps her greatest service to the school was the friendship she showed to the staff and students. Sister Marie served God by serving others.
 
As a lasting reminder of her legacy, a stained glass window designed by Sister Dorothy Woodward and created by Mrs Lee Howes was unveiled in the newly named “Sister Marie Hall”. It depicts symbols of her various commitments and interests. Sister Marie Therese’s memory also lives on in the name of Fahey House, one of our six school houses.
 
As an addendum to the above, sadly on June 30 2012 Sr Marie Hall was burned down by arsonists.  From the ashes has arisen a beautiful new facility which has been dedicated to the memory of Sr Marie.  The new Sr Marie Centre will be used for liturgies, Masses, school activities and meetings.  Sr Dorothy Woodward has again decorated the facility with some beautiful art work: a large cross and a work symbolising the life and work or Sr Marie.
 
                               Sr Marie A.jpg
                                 The original stained glass window in Sr Marie Hall.
 
 
                               Sr Marie B.jpg
                                The Fahey House banner decorating the sacred space at the dedication of St Anne's Hall as Sr Marie Hall.
 
 
The House of Hospitality
From 1991 to 2011 the House of Hospitality was hosted on the St Pius site at the railway-line end of the Factory Wing.  The House of Hospitality was operated by the Sisters of St Joseph, Lochinvar, and run by Sr Carmel Hanson.  Over this twenty year period the House of Hospitality provided accommodation for men with children, single women, asylum seekers, women with older children and East Timorese students studying at the University of Newcastle.  During this time it housed 969 residents.  During 2011 the House of Hospitality was relocated to a new location at the Catholic Presbytery in Broadmeadow.