Three Hawick teachers set to retire after century of service

From left, headteacher Anne Carruthers, learning support teacher Kate McAllan and senior teacher Catriana Hamilton.
From left, headteacher Anne Carruthers, learning support teacher Kate McAllan and senior teacher Catriana Hamilton.
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Three Hawick teachers are set to retire at the end of the month after chalking up a century of service at the blackboard between them.

The three staff – Anne Carruthers, Kate McAllan and Catriana Hamilton – will spend their last day in the classroom at Stirches Primary School on Wednesday, June 29.

Anne, who started her teaching career at Newcastleton Primary in 1980, still loves being in class but is now looking forward to spending more time travelling.

She said: “I was a class teacher at Stirches initially, then senior teacher and in 1987 became headteacher.

“I was a teaching head for the next 12 years, which I loved, having the best of both worlds, working in class but also managing a school.

“In 2009, Stirches was partnered with Newcastleton Primary, so for the last seven years, I have been head of both schools.

“I have embraced community working and being able to widen the achievements of my pupils.

“In both schools, I have got to know families really well and hopefully made a difference.

“I have been very fortunate. Both schools have been great places to work in, with a lovely ethos and supportive colleagues. We have shared lots of highs and lows and have had great social occasions. I leave with many happy memories.”

Kate, a learning support teacher, started her teaching career 37 years ago at Drumlanrig Primary School in Hawick, later transferring to Burnfoot School, where she remained for 16 years until she was seconded to the Scottish Borders Council’s learning support service.

She said: “Finding my new position both challenging and rewarding, I decided to stay within pupil support, and I have worked in 14 schools within the Borders region.”

Senior teacher Catriana said she felt “lucky to have spent my working life doing what I really enjoy”.

Her first learning post was in East Lothian, where she worked for several years before moving to the Borders.

She said: “I did a stint of supply work, before taking on long term work at Stirches and Burnfoot schools.

“My first permanent post with Scottish Borders Council was at Wilton Primary, where I worked with pupils and their parents for 12 very happy years.

“I took my promoted post as principal teacher at Wilton in 2004.

“In 2007, an amazing opportunity came my way. The post was called newly-qualified teachers’ supporter, and for three years I organised, ran and regularly delivered training for probationer teachers and their mentors across the Borders.”

Catriana secured her post at Stirches in 2010 and for the last six years has had “the pleasure of working with lively children and the most wonderful colleagues” in the area of curriculum development.

She added: “I have taught many children over the years, and the most fabulous and rewarding thing is to have young adults come up to me and say, you were my teacher, and they look so happy.”