This Is Your Life for Midhirst principal

This Is Your Life Mr Principal

TARYN UTIGER
Last updated 05:00 03/06/2014
Stuart Beissel
Charlotte Curd/FAIRFRAX NZ
TOP PRINCIPAL: From left, Stuart Beissel, Rhiannon Higgs, 12 and Brianna Roberts, 5, celebrate his 25 years at Midhurst School.

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After five months of being kept in the dark, Stuart Beissel has finally discovered what his staff were secretly working on.

Behind closed doors at Midhirst School, staff had been tirelessly planning a This is Your Life for their principal to celebrate his 25th anniversary at the school. And on Sunday when he walked into a room filled with hundreds of his former staff and students he was clearly surprised. "I thought I was just going to a luncheon in the library," he said.

"I'm a bit nervous," he said as he made his way on stage.

Board of trustees member Rawinia Henderson said the school had decided to do something outlandish for the milestone.

"We had to make it extra special for this man who means so much to so many to us," she said.

"And the scale of this is an indication of the type of person he is.

"It really shows the magnitude of love people have for him."

It had taken staff nearly five months to organise the event and Henderson said it was incredibly hard to keep it a surprise.

Beissel would check over the school newsletter and then staff would slip fliers into the envelopes so they could keep parents up to date with the festivities.

Beissel's former students sent wishes and videos messages from America, Rarotonga and Australia.

School secretary Debbie Carter, who helped organise the event, said Beissel started as principal in 1989 and had been instrumental in leading the school forward. He was there when the old schoolhouse was moved, when the playground was set up, and he always managed to keep up with the ever-changing technology, she said.

"Stuart you promote a positive and harmonious atmosphere at our school."

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