Karen Jebb could be forgiven had she missed my call.
As the clocks wind down to the end of term, this dynamic leader is winding up another successful year as principal of Melbourne’s acclaimed Catholic day and boarding school for girls, Genazzano FCJ College, found nestled in the leafy community of Kew.
Today is just another day in the life of Karen and she is a woman on a mission.
Today she’ll greet students and parents who’ve entrusted their daughters to the renowned ‘Gen’ education.
She’ll steer back to back meetings, cheer inter-class debating, speak at a weekly assembly, applaud the arts concert, oversee the academic and co-curricular rosters, head the panel for student awards and prepare for 2020 with the leadership team.
On this particular day, she’s also finalising the strategic plan, articulating the vision and strategy to guide the ongoing success of Genazzano.
Meanwhile, around the campus, the Genazzano community is buzzing with pride about this year’s achievements and excitedly awaits what the new year will bring.
When asked to share some notable achievements since she took the reins in 2016, Karen pauses and reflects. “There have been many achievements that we, a team of educators, staff and students are proud of.
“I am particularly proud of the launch of the Genazzano Institute of Learning & Brain Sciences, our ever-evolving sporting programs, our focus on STEM for girls and also the development of our seven new art studios.”
“These are complemented by the extensive professional development offered to our teaching staff in the Science of Learning, and are at the core of our vision for students and families; to nurture a passion for life and a lifelong love of learning.”
Karen continues, “Genazzano was recently ranked as one of the top schools at the cutting edge of change and innovation by leading academic publication, The Educator. We were recognized for our work in developing the Genazzano Institute of Learning & Brain Sciences which promotes a better understanding of brain function and health for improved learning. Most powerfully, our teachers have become researchers in their own classrooms, which has had a profound impact on learning for our students and lifted academic outcomes and student engagement.”
Karen is equally passionate about developing the College campus and grounds to support these initiatives and innovation.
“In 2020, the College capital works program will see the redevelopment of the visual arts studios and several learning centres’ of excellence, which will embrace all ages and stages of students’ creative and academic development. Our learning spaces are designed to excite and engage the senses, such as the Centre of Excellence for Sport, Health & Movement and our state-of-the-art digital classrooms that provide environments that foster a passion for life and a love for learning.”
An education at Genazzano starts at the Early Learning Centre where pre-school children embrace learning through creative and structured play.
This provides a seamless transition to the Junior school through to the Senior school where students participate in a vast array of co-curricular activities, (more than 130 on offer) to complement their academic studies.
Karen explains “The Genazzano community is a part of our girls’ identities – it is special to be a ‘Gen girl’ and this connection to the College is lifelong. It’s wonderful to see the level of inclusiveness and participation among the students, happily engaged in their learning journeys whilst developing lifelong friendships. A strong alliance with our brother school, Xavier College affords further co-curricular activities and social opportunities.”
Karen Jebb’s vision, passion and dedication is awe-inspiring. As she guides the College through its 131st year, we are blessed knowing our girls are in the very best of hands.
Editorial by Sandra MacFarlane, published in Stonnington Boroondara Kids on 4 December 2019