Holger Kuhn is the guardian of the Protestant school

No murmuring voices, no full classrooms, no hustle and bustle in the corridors and schoolyard. School is on hiatus. It’s vacation. The classrooms are empty, the school is deserted. This is also the case with the Protestant school of Neuruppin.

But not entirely: when others go on vacation, Holger Kuhn is at work. The 61-year-old is one of the two tutors at the school.

Purposely walk through the empty corridors, holding an old bucket that once held street salt. In it he carries his most important tools: a pair of pliers, a screwdriver, a drill and some screws.

Repairs in the evangelical school of Neuruppin

Before the school starts again, Kuhn has to make some repairs. “My list is still long,” says Holger Kuhn. He wants to do small paint jobs, remove chalk scribbles in the schoolyard. The door to a built-in closet in one of the classrooms was said to be loose and all student lockers had to be screwed to the wall.

Holiday season. The classrooms are empty. Caretaker Holger Kuhn thinks it’s perfect for tidying things up from scratch.
Source: Judith of Plato

“The children go up on the lockers. Just before the holidays, one even fell ». Fortunately, nothing happened. Now fix the vulnerability. He doesn’t bother with all the nonsense of the students, which often gets him extra work. “We were all young once and that’s it,” says Kuhn and laughs. He likes students, he is himself a father of three and a grandfather of three. “With 1,200 students, something always breaks.”

From the shipbuilder of Rostock to the caretaker of Neuruppin

Kuhn has only been a keeper since 2019. “I actually come from manufacturing, not education. But I wanted to do something more social ”. The job posting for a school janitor came at just the right time. Friends who also worked on the job introduced it to him. Before that, Holger Kuhn worked as a glass facade joiner and shipbuilder. “I’m originally from Rostock, but it’s been a long time,” he says. To engage one of the lockers, he had to climb halfway inside. This is part of the job.

He has lived in a local forest for 40 years. “I also came here for the forest house. I love the forest “. She also lives this love as a keeper – as best she can: in the school garden. There is a landscaped pond, beds and even bees.

Holger Kuhn’s daily life at school

Holger Kuhn’s days have a clear structure: every morning at 7 am, Kuhn opens the doors and turns off the alarm systems. All alarm systems and all doors. The second part of his working day takes place after school: in the evening he is the last to go out. Then he wanders the classrooms again, checks that the windows are safe, and pulls the blinds down. It takes him over an hour.

With 1200 students, there are several repairs to be done. As the caretaker, Holger Kuhn is the first point of contact.
Source: Judith of Plato

He has a lot of contact with the students, but he doesn’t know all their names yet. He would much rather invent his own nicknames for them. “Over time you get to know the students a little and notice their particularities. There is the one who is always late. The one who also likes to help or the one who – let’s not say cheeky, but is very sure of himself “.

Lots to do at Neuruppin Evangelical School, despite the holidays

Seeing them drop out of school is a nice change. “During the holidays I always do most of the work.” Only then does Kuhn have to pay no attention to the lessons and he can screw, hammer, clean and mow – as loud as he wants. Another plus: everything goes much faster. “Otherwise the students sometimes want to help with something. It’s cool and fun, but not particularly effective, “says Kuhn with a smile.

One of Holger Kuhn’s favorite pastimes: working in the school garden. Actually, he wanted to be a forest ranger.
Source: Judith of Plato

However, he likes to entrust the tasks, especially to professionals: “In this job you have to distribute the work. Otherwise you can’t keep up.” For example thorough cleaning, maintenance of technology and elevators, control of the lighting system , the laying of the new floor, the painting of entire classrooms. There are external people responsible for all this, whom Kuhn coordinates and brings into the school. If possible, during the holidays so that they do not disturb anyone during the lessons.

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Two weeks go by quickly. Too fast to do everything. However, Kuhn is looking forward to seeing the children and young people again. The lockers are already waiting for you.

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