Hero photograph
Photo by Sally-Ann Goodman

Farewell Mr Holstein

Andrea Griffin —

As you will have heard Mr Holstein is moving on to new adventures

Mr Holstein has given over forty years of service to education in Christchurch, starting in 1980 as a teacher at Hillmorton. From there he moved to Riccarton where he was Deputy Principal and then Principal from 2006 onwards.

We have been fortunate to have him as our Principal for eight years.

The students will have heard many inspiring character-led assembly talks from Mr Holstein. He will have talked to many students about his favorite films, the Star wars and ice age references have resonated with many.

Coach Carter -his favourite film is a film that epitomises uniting people and setting high standards. This is what Mr Holstein is all about. He is a true values-led person. He believes in and models our Burnside values.

Many of you will know the dedication that he puts into his job. Despite the size of our school he attends as many sporting and cultural events as he can. He is a supporter of all endeavors. He is the champion of all students. He loves and covets the trophies and awards that the students bring back..

What many of you may not know is his dedication to education has been city-wide. He has been president of the Canterbury and west coast Principals Association for 7 years. He meets with and leads all of the secondary Principals city-wide. He brings people together and is highly regarded by everyone. Principals across the country are envious of the collegiality between Christchurch Principals and this is due to Mr Holsteins leadership.

In 2019 he was awarded the prestigious Woolf Fisher Fellowship. Unfortunately due to Covid he was unable to take up some of this award. He will be traveling more next year to honor parts of this award.

You may also not know what an avid sportsman he is and the contribution he has made to sport, both in Christchurch and New Zealand. In his earlier days he was a top rugby player, he was awarded Canterbury rugby colt of the year as 1st 5/8th. He played for New Brighton and the University of Canterbury.

He has coached numerous teams, Canterbury women, South island secondary schools, New Zealand Secondary schools, Canterbury U18 and Under 19 teams. He has been a top volleyball coach for Hillmorten and Riccarton and even coached the Riccarton team when he was Principal.

Mr Holstein has been instrumental in finding and developing the cultural narrative behind Burnside High School. He has woven his talks with historical Burnside references. He has taught all Year 9 students in their Social studies lessons - focussing on turangawaewae - our place.

Mr Holstein has helped drive our wonderful Burnside experience, a key part of this is embracing our diversity and ensuring that Burnside is a safe place for all nationalities, gender identities and cultures. In his time here the acknowledgement of our biculturalism, use of Te reo and te Ao Māori has grown exponentially and we have appreciated the forward thinking that continues to grow this important area today.

Mr Holstein is someone who has made a difference to so many lives, someone who has dedicated himself to education, Somebody who touches peoples hearts and minds.

Education is all about people… its not the buildings that make the difference - it is the people

He tangata, he tangata, he tangata…

Mr Holstein, we want to thank you for everything that you have done for us.

Andrea Griffin

Associate Principal