LEADING LIGHTS     Issue 2 | 2021

Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3



12 MARCH 2021

Reflecting on a life well lived   Nelson Branch

Mike Milstein 08 November 1937 to 12 March 2021

Led by his wife Annie Henry, a former Nelson Branch and NZEALS National President, members of the wider Nelson community recently gathered to celebrate the life of a much loved, husband, father, step-father, grandfather and brother. A special friend to all who knew him.

Mike was first introduced to NZEALS as a key - note speaker with Annie at NZEALS 2004 conference in Dunedin. Many NZEALS members will have strong and fond memories of their connections with Mike and Annie.

For over 15 years the Nelson Branch was very fortunate indeed to have experienced and benefitted first hand from Mike’s knowledge, experience, humility and standing as an internationally recognised educational academic. The author of 13 books and hundreds of articles his input and contribution at our meetings was very much appreciated and valued.

Na mea homai noa
Naku mea homai noa
Ka ora ai te iwi
With your gift and my gift together we will all benefit.

Dr. Mike Milstein will be remembered the most for his work that he and his wife, Dr. Annie Henry, did with resiliency. He and Annie worked with schools in helping them become more resilient. The last workshops focussed on developing parent resiliency.

Mike was a great writer, noting that everyone had a story to tell. Having been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2001 Mike began writing his own story about three years ago.

His career started in the US as a teacher and then professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo where he moved from policy analysis to organisation development during his 18 year tenure. The next step in Mike's career was becoming the department chair of Educational Leadership at the University of New Mexico. He worked for 18 years at UNM. He was one of the leaders in changing preparation programmes for US educational leaders. The internship programme he developed was a model for other universities preparing leaders for schools. Another radical change he made was the developing the use of portfolios for educational leaders in place of the traditional dissertation. The focus was supporting practitioners who could make a difference in their respective leadership roles. A few years ago all of his doctoral students in this programme honoured him one evening and awarded him with the “Great Ideas Award”, which was a tribute to the success of the programme and its recipients.

Education was his passion and love.