Dear Parents, dear Colleagues, dear NMS Students,
It is time for me to say farewell and thank you for all the support, encouragement and kindness I have received over the past three years. Being the head of a school of this size and character can be a true challenge, but at no point have I been without the clear feeling that the community here is passionately committed to the special purpose and spirit of the school. To me, in hindsight, this is the strongest point about the Nelson Mandela School, and an asset that deserves as well as requires special attention and care – just as some of the student speakers adroitly explained it to me in a first meeting.
In my term, I have focused on the creation of structures – procedural and co-operational – so that the school would be able to stride along more smoothly after a phase of rapid growth. With the aim for more lateral responsibility and initiative, there are now more groups who self-confidently claim areas they want to take care of. With the question still open of who will be the new team of principals, it is comforting to see that the school has enough faculty members who are willing to step in and provide a transition leadership team.
In addition, they are privileged, as I have been myself, to be supported and propelled by the collaborative energy of our students and parents: my sincere thanks for their open minds, fairness and confidence.
I will take this Mandela spirit with me as a precious gift and cherish it as best I can.
With best wishes to the NMS and its community,
July 13, 2016
The annual Bundeswettbewerb Fremdsprachen (national competition for foreign languages) now in its 25th year yet again was an exciting and entertaining three-day event in Hanover. This national competition has been successfully promoting children, who are avid students and users of foreign languages, since its inception in 1979. Meanwhile, it can boast an impressive number of over 15,000 young participants.
After having won first prize in Berlin Sprachenfest, Fionúir Mc Bennett, Isabelle Klopman and Zelda Waite were given the green light to represent NMS in the category TEAM SCHULE in Bundeswettbewerb für Fremdsprachen. With growing anticipation on 20 June they travelled from Berlin to the capital of Lower Saxony, which was buzzing with an influx of students from the ages of 11 to 15 years from all corners of Germany. The girls were in good hands with Ms Schulte also on board.
In order to take part in the competition the participants needed to fulfil the following criteria: create either an innovative movie, a creative theatre play or a game in a foreign language of their choice.
Fionúir, Isabelle and Zelda from NMS 9A and 9B Advanced Spanish Class created a thrilling 10-minute crime movie called Búscame.
After 10 years at Nelson Mandela School, I will begin another posting from the 31st of August 2016 as school principal of the Paula-Fürst-Schule in Berlin-Charlottenburg.
When I first began my duties as Deputy Principal of NMS in Kastanienallee, the spirit of Nelson Mandela School was still in development. Due to the different campuses throughout Berlin, the spirit of Nelson Mandela, which we now naturally know and celebrate as something obvious, only developed gradually: a sense of togetherness, courage to try out new ideas, active inclusion of new members (parents, students, and teachers) in this community, but also the strength to tolerate contradictions and the ability to openly address them. Simply put: a place to grow together amongst all the existing composite diversity.
It really humbles me, but also gives me great joy, that I was allowed to actively be a part of this growth.