Staff Feature: The difference a teacher can make

It is always lovely to read an email from a parent who has taken time out of their day to acknowledge the efforts of a teacher. 

Therefore, we were truly delighted when we received the below from Tara, the mother of one of our Year 10 students, Tess.

She kindly allowed us to publish her touching email here to share a well deserved shout out to Miss Carly Ranger, a passionate English teacher at the College. 

“Good Morning Carly,

Funny story…it was just a normal Friday morning. I was sitting on the couch with a coffee, waiting for the Sunrise Cash Cow to call me when I hear a piercing sound come from Tess’ room. I race in, armed and ready to destroy some ugly and ferocious feral hairy insect, only to find Tess with watery eyes and the biggest smile I have ever seen. She then showed me her latest results.

Tess read that speech to me on the way to school on the morning she was to present. I was completely blown away. That car ride was completely silent. Tess had completely captured us all with every single word. Every word that just seemed to flow into the next.

I had a proud Mumma moment right then. Not only did I reflect on the remarkable change we have noticed in Tess over the years and especially this year – a girl who they once tried to tell us had “selective mutism” to a girl who put her hand up to present first. But also with everything going on in the world at the moment I knew my daughter just “got it” and that one day she will make a difference .

Tess has never felt confident in the subject of English. She has set herself extremely high goals – aiming to complete a Degree in Aviation at ADFA, the Australian Defence Force Academy.  To gain entry, Tess needs a minimum ATAR of 85 and she will need to present herself in front of many panels. She has always been concerned that her English skills and mark may knock her down. 

Well that was her concern until this year. Carly, you have ignited a flame in Tess that I have not seen before with regards to English. She talks about your classes often. She talks with such passion and confidence – half the time I have no idea what she is talking about but I enjoy listening in any case!  

So this email is to you to say thank you. Not only for your letter of commendation that I will be sure to laminate and stick in the pool room but also for making a difference in our daughter’s life. For sharing your passion and passing that passion on. For giving Tess the tools she needs to make her dreams become reality.

At the beginning of the year Tess said to me “Mum, remember how I always said that Mrs Byrnes (another of our faves) reminded me of you?, well Ms Ranger is even more like you – passionate, nice with a side of nuttiness.” And in that moment I said; “well I think it’s going to be a good year then.” Boom! Mum was right again. 

Thanks again and I look forward to meeting you at the parent meetings next term.


Miss Ranger had the following to say in response:

“Recently in English, Tess confidently delivered a polished, well-written and affecting speech on racism that demonstrated maturity well beyond her years. Following her school years, she has set her sights to join up to the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA). As you may know, joining up to the ADFA first requires a rigorous application and a highly-competitive interview process. Using skills that Tess has learned in her English class, I am certain that she will also perform well in this process and I have no doubt she will achieve her dream. I am thrilled to receive such wonderful feedback from her mother.

I value the opportunity to collaborate and communicate with all parents and carers as we work towards helping students reach their potentials. I acknowledge the support of the highly inspirational English Department team at ESC, who all work so hard to ensure the content and lessons are engaging and valued by students and the community. They are equally deserving of such praise.”

We congratulate both Miss Ranger in assisting Tess to develop to her fullest potential and Tess herself for having a positive attitude and hard work ethic. We very much look forward to following her journey to the ADFA!