This year marks an exciting new beginning for De La Salle Holy Cross College Junior School as Neil Berndsen, who once attended the school, has taken over as headmaster of the school.
Berndsen took over from former headmistress, Mary Haym, who retired last year but will stay on at the school in another position.
He attended the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and University of South Africa (Unisa) and has taught in an array of schools in the United Kingdom including boarding schools, special needs schools, high and junior schools.
His teaching subjects include English, mathematics, social sciences, life orientation and physical education.
In South Africa, Berndsen taught at Unity College in Johannesburg from 2004 to 2006 where he was also responsible for the pastoral care of the school’s boys and implemented individual academic progression plans for each child.
He later joined Heronbridge College in 2007 and a year later, he was promoted to the school’s management team. In this position, he was responsible for all academic and co-curricular operations, staff management as well as policy and decision implementation in the school.
In 2009, Berndsen and his family moved to the Natal Midlands in order to teach at Cowan House Preparatory School. A few years later he became the school’s acting deputy headmaster.
“As a past pupil and past staff member of De La Salle Holy Cross College, what a privilege it is for my family to return to a school and a community that has been such a special part of our lives for so long,” Berndsen said.
He added that the current generation is growing up under ever-increasing pressures where external materialistic pursuits are often at war with inner moral values.
“I am looking forward to the challenge of protecting childhood through current and relevant teaching practices within the framework of De La Salle Holy Cross College’s established traditions and ethos.”
De La Salle Holy Cross College campus principal, Debbie Harris gave Berndsen warm welcoming words and said they look forward to having him and his family back at the school. Harris said,
“[We] are very excited for the future with you as our new junior school headmaster and leader of our learning community.”