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Rostrevor a perfect fit for Leonard family

Schools

Finding a school that is a “great fit” for your child is reassuring for any parent. So, for Elise and David Leonard, the discovery that Rostrevor College could meet the diverse learning, creative and sporting needs of all seven of their sons, was a great comfort.

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The Leonard family says Rostrevor has been able to bring out the varying strengths in each of their boys due to the broad range of subjects on offer as well as opportunities to develop their sons’ musical and sporting talents and their faith.

“The broad nature of the education at Rostrevor is great, especially with seven boys,” David says. “They are all very different. Some are academic, some are sporty and some are more practical. So, with all the different things that the school offers, there is something for each of them no matter what their special talents are.”

Jonathon Leonard pictured when at Rostrevor

Eldest son Jonathan graduated in 2017 and is about to complete his diesel mechanic apprenticeship at Kubpower, Summertown. Their second eldest Daniel graduated in 2020 with aspirations to study mechanical engineering.

The family is no stranger to Rostrevor as David is an old scholar while Elise’s brother, father and grandfather also attended the college.

David describes himself as not “naturally academic” but said Rostrevor encouraged his interest in agricultural science, design and tech, manual arts and gave him a “well rounded education” that set him up for the future.

An early trade apprenticeship was soon followed by a switch to farming. Together David and Elise operate Lennane Orchards at Montacute with David also providing contract mechanical pruning services to other orchardists. He is also vice president of the Cherry Growers Association of SA.

David recalls being well guided by Brother Michael Coughlin, who still provides guidance and support to his children and other students at the college today.

“He was awesome and Brother Terry Hann was another great influence who helped me reach my academic potential and my sporting goals.

“All my memories of Rostrevor are good memories – I always had a lot of fun,” he says.

“When I was in Year 3, we had a teacher called Mrs Cameron and she was good friends with Matron Duggan, so she would bring us down once a week and we’d line up outside that little door and she’d hand out Yo-Yo biscuits if we were dead straight and very polite to her!”

Elise’s grandfather, Joseph Francis Honner, attended the school from 1926 to 1929. Her father, Joseph Anthony Honner graduated in 1957 and her brother Joseph Honner, graduated in 1995.

In a recent visit to the College, the family gathered on the steps of the Rostrevor Chapel where the first of several Honner weddings was held in June 1939.

“Our faith is pivotal to our family and how we were brought up,” Elise says. The past three generations attended Rostrevor College and they passed on the faith to us. That faith formation is another reason our boys are here.”

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