But in the end, he says, “fantastic student growth” is what he’ll remember – or maybe “getting better all-the-time”.
It gives you an idea of the year that has been for the college, and DiCesare says it’s a pattern that’s held over the past five or six.
Not just in academics – though student performance is strong, he says – but also physically, in terms of learning environments and resources.
“We’re in a low-SES area so for me it’s always about providing the best for the kids,” DiCesare explains.
“We’ve done a lot of renovations and building, and not just simple renovations; it’s actually from an artistic perspective just trying to give our kids the best space to work in, and also the best space in the yard.”
Complementing that, the school has worked on knowing its students and taking a personalised approach to learning.
The payoff, DiCesare says, is visible in student morale.
“I think they feel better about coming to school when they know we’re trying to provide the best.”
He says the college continues to experience strong demand, with waiting lists of students whose parents want to get them in.
And while in recent months religion in schools has again sparked controversy, DiCesare insists his school “welcomes all” students and teachers into its community.
“We’ve always accepted different types of people, whether it’s people from different countries, or different backgrounds or different beliefs – that isn’t what we focus on as a college.
“It’s about education and we’ve always welcomed people who are different and that’s not going to change.
“We support our students when they come in, regardless of who or what they are and if that changes along the way, we’ll support them.”
The college has a diverse student body: it is home to more than 63 nationalities, and the parents of many students were born overseas.
DiCesare says the current rhetoric in the media and wider community around refugees and immigrants can be hurtful.
“The fact is, there’s good and bad in every nationality, doesn’t matter where you come from; but what we seem to do is always highlight the negatives in the media, and I think that’s really disappointing.
“And it does impact on the kids – while they appear resilient at the start, from a cultural perspective you can see they start to think, ‘well, are people thinking I’m like that?’”
DiCesare says he understands that there is some “bad behaviour” – but not everyone should be tarred with that brush.
“We should be focusing on trying to make them feel engaged in our community, not pushing them away.”
Meanwhile, the school funding wars have continued throughout 2018, with the amount of government funding provided to religious schools again being scrutinised in the media and by the public.
DiCesare says his college can’t rely on parent income and is “reliant on the government to survive” and continue providing the best for its students.
“This uncertainty and this argument around school funding, all it does is create nervousness and people aren’t sure what to do or what they can afford to do in the next year.
“All schools need to be well funded; I don’t care if it’s state, independent, Catholic. All it did was start bickering among the three sectors and that’s not good for anyone.”
He adds that political instability has a definite impact on education and suggests education could be looked after by a separate authority.
“I’d love to see us have ... an education board, something like that, that is separate from government.
“In terms of direction, I don’t think it’s good when we’ve got this change depending on ... who’s in government.”
But as to whether such an authority is likely to eventuate, he isn’t sure.
In the meantime, DiCesare says he and his college will continue to do what they do best: focus on delivering a good education to their students.