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 School History

Introduction:

Stories are a very sacred part of the life of a school.  They tell us of the people, places and events that have helped shape and influence where the community is today.  Sharing the story not only reminds us of what we have to celebrate, but also challenges us to look forward with optimism to see where the story may lead.
 
We are all an important part of this story.  Each one of us has and will continue to play a role in shaping where the story continues to go.  It is a story we share – something that unites us with a common belief and vision. 

Our Origin:

It was the vision of Rev Father Basil Meaney, the then Parish Priest of the Noosa District Catholic Parish and many parishioners, that led to Saint Thomas More being established on land originally inhabited by the Gubbi Gubbi people at Sunshine Beach.
 
Following purchase, Fr Meaney and Brisbane Catholic Education invited the Marist Brothers to work with a steering committee of Parishioners, to establish the school in conjunction with Brisbane Catholic Education. Brother Mark May was the foundation Principal and Brother Brendan Maguire was a member of the foundation staff.
 
STM3.pngThe school buildings were proudly designed by local architect Mr Maurice Hurst and reflect a coastal climate with adequate natural light, ventilation and widely covered pathways.

STM School History – Timeline

1990 – St Thomas More welcomed the first students on Tuesday 30th January, 1990.  A total of 92 students from Pre-school to year 5 were enrolled.  Br Mark May was the foundation principal.
 
STM1.png1991 -   207 students and 15 staff members made up the STM community in 1991.  Work began on stage 2 of the building program in June and the school was awarded an excellence in design award.
 
1992 – 1992 was marked by the formulation of the school mission statement.  Stage 2 of the building program was opened and blessed and included the administration block, undercover area, tuckshop, library and a further 2 classrooms.  The successful fete cleared a profit of $25 000.  The school’s total enrolment was 300 from Pre – year 7.
 
1993 – With a student body of 380 students and 15 teachers, 1993 was a year of much excitement with the building of the school oval.  Parents, staff and anyone close at hand laid turf on the oval over 2 working bees and some school time.
 
1994 – The children did their bit to raise funds by participating in a walkathon.  The new parish centre was built and blessed.  The book week theme was ‘A carnival of books’ and Marcellin won the senior swimming carnival for the first time in St Thomas More history.
 
1995 -  The first School aerobic team began training and won a gold medal at Queensland Primary school championships. The junior and senior band performed in the Catholic schools musical festival and the schools first disco for years 4-7 was held to raise funds for the graduation.
 
1996 – On Friday 22nd November this year stages 4 & 5 of STM were officially opened and blessed.  Maurice Hurst, the architect for STM received a commendation for his design of the school and the school farewelled Br Brendan who was a foundation staff member.
 
1997 – Now in its 8th year, STM had 487 children passing through the gates each day.  The fete and grandparents day were a great success, as was the “Kaleidoscope of Art Show” open day.
 
1998 – New Macintosh computers and printers were purchased and a computer lab set up.  Internet access was connected to a new library computer and the carpark at the front of the school was completed.
 
1999 – By 1999 the Student population had reached 514, with a staff of 44.  The mural to honour Marcellin Champagnat was completed and Archbishop Bathersby and David Hutton visited the school.
 
2000 -   Construction of Extra Library Space & 2 of the  Year 7 Classrooms. We farewell the foundation Principal, Brother Mark and welcome Brother Daniel as the new school principal.  Brother John Wells also joins the staff at St. Thomas More School.
 
2001 - Final Year 7 Classroom Completed & officially opened
  
2002 -  Parish Priest Fr. Meaney  retires from the ministry at the end of the year.
 
2003 -  Our new Parish Priest Fr. Mark Franklin commences in February.
The Maurice Hurst award is presented to a student in Year 6 each year.
 
2004 - After many years of work by the Steering committee St Teresa’s Catholic College opens in temporary buildings at the St. Thomas More site at Sunshine Beach. 
 
2005 - Brother Brendan (our foundation staff member  and APRE) passes away in Sydney.  The Brother Brendan award is now presented to a student in Year 4 each year.
 
2006 -  Official Opening of our Prep Classrooms in readiness for 2007.
New Playground is constructed for the Junior school
 
The St. Thomas More Pastoral School Board is established.
 
We farewell Brother Daniel from our school as he heads to St. Joseph’s  Murgon.
 
2007 - Our 1st Prep students will commence and we welcome our new Principal Mr. Ian Davis to our school.  Brother Mark May, our foundation principal passes away  in Canberra.
 
2008 - Enrolments have increased with 3 Prep Classes -  School Enrolment is 611
 
2009 - The Federal Government offers BER funding to Primary Schools in an effort to create work -  St. Thomas More receives over $3m to build a Multi-Purpose Building, extend library, extend staffroom and incorporate small group withdrawal area. A fourth Prep Class is offered to cater for the large numbers - 82 Preps enrolled and total School Enrolment is 625. 
 
2010 - The Champagnat Centre (Multi Purpose Facility) and Library Extensions and Extensions to the Staff  Room is opened on 5 August
 
2011 – After much consultation the decision has been made to move the school to 4 classes per year level.
 
2012 – The Fourth Prep Room and an extra classroom in the current year 7 block are built.
Mr Ian Davis, principal, is farewelled to commence work with Brisbane Catholic Education Year 7 transition. 
 
2013 – New Principal, Mr Patrick Colley commences. Renovations to the Administration building commence end of the year and are completed in early 2014.

2014 - Glen Bucklar joins staff as APA. Last year for Year 7 at St Thomas More.

2015 - School celebrates its 25th Anniversary.
iPad 1:1 program introduced into years 5 and 6.