Gratitude – Andrea McNally

Often in the role as deputy you are confronted with day-to-day challenges across all stakeholder groups. My goal…

Often in the role as deputy you are confronted with day-to-day challenges across all stakeholder groups. My goal is to navigate a solution for all involved that reflects the school values and has our students’ best interests at heart. It’s easy to be distracted by these interactions, especially in the last weeks of term when fatigue starts to set in. However, I want to take a moment to reflect on the reason every staff member at St Hilda’s gets up in the morning – we are passionate about making a difference to our students’ lives. And when this is recognised, it brings pure joy.

Late last week I was reminded by a Year 8 student who left a simple note on my desk.

It read,

Dear Mrs McNally, 

Thank you for supporting me all these years, you always inspire me to be a better person. Thank you 

This random act of kindness and gratitude got me thinking of all the moments over the last term I had been included in an email that acknowledged staff by a student and or parent, and how important it was to celebrate. I share some insights into my inbox below,

I watched the Assembly via livestream and was so moved to see the spirit of St Hildas in action. Though it was through the screen I could still feel the joy and it was soulful! As always, excellence, inclusivity and confidence of the girls was evident. 


The presentation last night was like nothing I have ever witnessed.  The genuine passion and dedication the teachers and support staff have for the girls is awe inspiring. We count ourselves incredibly lucky for our daughter to have the privilege to be involved in such an incredible culture. 

Thank you. 


I wanted to take the opportunity to thank you and the St Hilda’s leadership team for championing and promoting competitive team sport in our girls from such an early age. 

It is mornings like this that remind me how privileged we are to be part of the St Hilda’s community. 

Thank you again. 


I’ve been meaning to send you an email, she had the most incredible experience, she came home full of stories, a more mature nature/attitude, and a love for journaling. 


Just wanted to send a quick message regarding your unwavering support, this last term (and over the years). We truly believe you go above and beyond the norm which makes you the special teacher/mentor that you are. We as parents really appreciate the positive impact you have had on our daughter. 


When we express gratitude, it has a ripple effect on the entire school community. It encourages others to follow suit, creating a culture of gratitude that permeates throughout the school. This culture of appreciation can have a profound impact on the overall school environment, enhancing motivation and fostering a sense of belonging for all.

I’m going to pass it forward and make a personal effort to thank those around me more often. And I’ll be encouraging the students to do the same.  There is nothing better than fuelling someone’s motivation by expressing gratitude – especially when it’s least expected.  The impact may surprise you!