Farewell and thank you to Justin Krause
Found in: SCEA News | Published on: 10 December 2019
For the communities of Ellenbrook Christian College and Beechboro Christian School, the past four years under the leadership of Justin Krause have been stabilizing and confidence-building after a season of turbulence and changes prior to Justin coming on board.
As he leaves this position in the coming days, it seems very appropriate to reflect on his legacy.
For Personal Assistant to the Principal Susan Jacobs, having a calm, affirming leader who could handle a crisis with the sense of dignity it deserved and the comedic moments with a sense of wit made coming to work an enjoyable occupation each day:
“With all that is going on in each person’s life, Justin is always so supportive of all of us. I have been doing this type of work for more than twenty years, and he is the best manager I have ever worked with.”
“It’s a special bond when you work together in such a close space. Somehow, when one of us is down, the other can raise them up.”
“We have always had such a trusting relationship. Perhaps it is the cultural connection – however we do differ greatly on our support of particular rugby teams in South Africa! I support the Gauteng Blue Bulls and Justin is a fan of the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks. This rivalry was always a source of amusement for us to lighten up the mood in the office!”
Andrew Johnston, the Head of Secondary at Ellenbrook Christian College, has only had twelve months since being appointed by Justin from Southern Hills Christian College. Even in this relatively short time, Andrew learnt that Justin had a calm and unifying presence in every situation the campuses faced this year:
“He is very strong in a crisis. In those moments his words are very measured. He is assertive but completely respectful of everyone involved at each level. He will be remembered by me as the person who unified and welcomed the Beechboro students who now transition to Ellenbrook for their secondary schooling. He made this happen.”
“He also made investments in developing young leaders from the staff. He brought a level of sensibility back to the school and the community have really welcomed this. His rich background in education gave him a clear understanding of how things should be done, and he made sure that the timeless values of respect, honour and integrity were in the forefront of every student’s mind when they entered Ellenbrook Christian College each day.”
For Liana Luyt, who has spent seven years at the Ellenbrook campus and is now the Head of Primary, the ability to talk to Justin openly and learn from him was central to her professional growth:
“He is a great listener. He really listens to understand. He reflects on your words and then offers profound advice. I found him to be very approachable and he really gave me the freedom to try new things.
I was really an Upper Primary specialist, but he offered me so many great ideas in the Early Learning space.
David White, the Business Manager across both campuses, has seen more than twenty years of SCEA leaders. He recalled the last four years of Justin’s time with both schools:
“Stability is the first thought that comes to mind with Justin’s legacy. We had experienced a lot of changes before he came and he added a sense of calmness and consistency to our school.”
“Instituting the Monday morning prayer meeting was something Justin did that I really appreciated. It showed that he is a spiritual man, and it gave me a glimpse of a very genuine, thoughtful individual who cared about the spiritual side of the College.”
“The aesthetic environment has definitely improved under Justin’s leadership. He set a standard for how things ought to be done, and he had excellent workers that made it happen during his time.”
“He was not afraid of open and frank conversation on any number of issues. We needed that after what we had gone through and I really appreciated that level of conversation. To have a friend who wants to be here and serve, there is a sense of loss for sure. Gains have been made during his tenure and the Ellenbrook ship that was drifting towards the rocks is now in safer waters.”
Over at the Beechboro campus, Claire Midgley was promoted to Head of Curriculum by Justin and she vividly recalls her initial contact with Justin:
“That first memory was when he came into my class as a Year 2 teacher and he sat on the floor and listened as each child read out their Circus Performer poems. That was my first and most enduring memory of Justin. He derived such pleasure from seeing children succeed. I guess that captures quite concisely his approach to education.”
“He was very supportive of me. He is an insightful person who opened up new ways of thinking for us. He was measured in his responses and always reflected on his experiences when offering advice or help for anything. I found this very encouraging and it always helped with how I evaluated things going forward.”
Meetings as Beechboro were always pleasant affairs, with Harmony Days bringing together students from all nations and this brought its fair share of funny stories and anecdotes.
“He always brought a sense of enjoyment to our meetings. I remember laughing a lot! He could enjoy life and impart wisdom in tricky situations with a calm and very appropriate tone.”
Head of Primary at Beechboro, Mike Bolan, had seen the ups and downs across both campuses prior to Justin joining the staff in 2016, and he has the utmost respect for a leader that has helped to mentor and guide him on the path to leadership:
“He always works from the perspective of empowering his leaders and equipping them as best as possible to drive his school forward.”
“He commands respect whenever he walks into a room, like no one I have met before. He will leave here as a highly-respected and valued leader. Not a surface or superficial leader, but a strategic leader who has the rare ability to see the positives in every situation. When we would see negatives, he would see positives and be as optimistic as possible.”
Mike Bolan has seen the difference that Justin has made across the two schools and he is extremely grateful for Justin’s leadership during the past four years:
“Trust was rebuilt during Justin’s time. A higher level of accountability was established during that early period, and I came to realise that he really trusts his leaders within the school structure.”
It’s very clear from talking to just a few of the staff across both campuses that Justin Krause worked hard for those around him, cared deeply for the students in his care and will be remembered as the leader who galvanized the school communities he worked in.
The baton has now been passed to the staff that he has led faithfully during this time, and the greatest benefit of his leadership will be the generations of students who have enjoyed their schooling experiences at Beechboro Christian School and Ellenbrook Christian College.