Bert trained as a Physical Education teacher. After being an Assistant Teacher for 10 years he then spent 17 years as the Head of Department, Physical Education. As the Head of Department, he initiated and led curriculum change. Bert was also an integral member of the team who developed the inaugural ‘Academies’ programme. This programme became a national success and is now implemented in many schools across New Zealand. The programme offers an alternative to mainstream classes for educationally disengaged, at-risk youth. It uses the student’s strengths and passions as a pathway for re-engaging and refocusing in education, while also developing personal resilience and character.
Prior to accepting Assistant and Deputy Principal positions, Bert spent 20 years as a Pastoral Dean across all year levels. During this time, he further developed his passion for assisting students in a pastoral environment. Bert enjoys working with students and whanau to build respectful relationships. He seeks to develop connections that encourage students to make positive decisions regarding their behaviour, wellbeing and future.
Bert has a passion for sport and in particular basketball. As a player and coach, he has experienced and enjoyed success locally, nationally and internationally. He represented New Zealand for a number of years as a player and was also a New Zealand Coach at the senior men’s and under 20 men’s levels.
Bert played for the Canterbury Rams most successful basketball team, winning four national championships. Following his successful playing career, he then became the Head Coach of the Canterbury Rams and of the Canterbury Under 23 Men’s team. These teams were successful in winning a number of national championships.
Over time, Bert’s significant service and contribution to basketball and youth has resulted in several awards. For example, from Sport Canterbury an award for, ‘Thirty Years of Service to Secondary School Sport.’ Another, is the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award for Basketball’ from the Canterbury Sports Awards. From the community, Bert was nominated for the ‘New Zealander of the Year’ award and received the Canterbury Region ‘Local Hero Award.’
Bert has worked in teams throughout his educational and sporting career. He prides himself on being able to develop and establish high levels of teamwork and leadership. He is a skilled mediator and problem solver who has led and participated in a range of professional development programmes that have focused on developing pastoral, wellbeing and leadership skills in students and staff. He brings these skills and strengths to his role of Deputy Principal at Ellesmere College.