02 Dec 2020

From the Principal

Dear ISMS families,

Welcome to the last newsletter of 2020.  What a year it has been!  I thank all ISMS families for their steadfast support of our school through a most unusual and difficult year.  Your steady and deep support and flexibility have helped our staff enormously to maintain with you as consistent as possible an education for the children.  Thank you.  The final day of the 2020 School year is next Thursday 10 December.  I wish you and your family a wonderful holiday and festive season.  School resumes in the new year on Wednesday 27 January.

Staff News

I know that the entire School community will join with staff and students in congratulating staff members Rebecca Khoury and Sam Laming who were married on Friday 20 November in a beautiful beach ceremony.  We wish them well for their future lives together.

I remind families that Deputy Principal – Academic, Catherine Harding, will take well-deserved long service leave for the duration of Term 1, after twenty years of steadfast service to ISMS.  We wish Catherine well for this time of refreshment. Orana Director from the beginning of next year is Adelaide Jones, who joins us from Montessori East School in Bondi where she has taught for the last four years.  Adelaide’s joining us will enable Catherine to concentrate upon her Deputy Principal duties and other teaching responsibilities upon her return from leave.

Irene Diamant, who has taught at ISMS for over two years now, will take on the role of Kiah Director from the beginning of 2021, replacing Loretta Burgess who returns to Melbourne and will take up a position at Melbourne Montessori School.  Irene has taught Kiah children regularly this year, so I’m sure they look forward to Irene being their permanent, full-time Director.

ISMS Holiday Care

I remind families that ISMS holiday care will operate from 11 – 22 January 2021, inclusive, the two weeks immediately prior to the children’s return to School for the new year.  Details regarding holiday care will be provided via email soon. 

Meet the Staff – Toni Lehtsalu

Shortly before the end of Term 3, Student Services Administrator, Toni Lehtsalu, joined our team, replacing Kristine Shields upon her return to New Zealand.  Toni is the first contact for most who contact the School, either by phone or in person, and is situated in the School Reception area.  Please take the opportunity to ‘meet’ Toni in today’s ‘Meet the Staff’ feature, following.

A Final Thank You

I reiterate my thanks to the entire ISMS community for their support throughout the year.  Your welcome of me when I joined the community just over six weeks ago has been warm, indeed.  In addition to our wonderfully supportive ISMS families, I thank the School Council President, Tara Taylor and the members of School Council for their mighty work through this year of uncertainty in steadily navigating our school strategically.  I thank our Parent Liaison representatives, who have worked hard behind the scenes to maintain a sense of parent community and connection.  The staff also deserve our profound thanks, for maintaining positivity, warmth and professionalism through an ever-changing landscape this year, and for admirably responding to the challenges of off-site learning for the children.  Finally, I thank the children, who in many ways have maintained a sense of normality for all of us in an abnormal year.  Their freshness, love of life, propensity for fun and laughter and their innate desire to learn have inspired us.  Thank you for entrusting your children to our care.  To those who will leave the nurture of the School at the end of this year, we wish you every success and happiness in your next adventure; and to those who will return after the holiday period, we look forward to a new and wonderful year together at ISMS in 2021.


Michael Dunn

Acting Principal

Our Mailing Address is:

Inner Sydney Montessori School
44 Smith St
Balmain, NSW 2041