School pupils said a fond farewell to one of the area’s longest serving and most popular members of the teaching profession last week.
Beancross and Bothkennar primary schools’ head teacher Sandra Atkinson called time on her career after 41 years in the business of teaching and inspiring primary school age youngsters across Central Scotland.
Beancross Primary School held a tearful retirement ceremony for their outgoing head teacher last Friday when she was presented with gifts from the school’s youngest pupil, Megan Bell (4), and the oldest, Sophie Doig (11).
“It got very emotional at my leaving presentation last week,” said Sandra. “I received a beautiful vase filled with flowers and a big booklet from all the pupils, from nursery through to primary seven, with their drawings and comments like have a ‘happy retirement’ and ‘we will miss you’.
“The flowers are almost gone now, but I will treasure that booklet for a long time.”
Sandra, who now lives in Dunblane, started her career in Banchory Primary School in Tullibody before moving on to Alva Primary School a short time later. She came to the Falkirk area when she took up a post at Westquarter Primary and became depute head teacher at Carron Primary in the early 1990s.
Her first head teaching post was at Limerigg Primary, where she stayed for a few years before moving to Beancross in 2008.
Sandra said: “I always wanted to be a teacher and just went through my career, gaining extra qualifications and moving up over the years to become a head teacher. I loved being around the pupils and seeing them every day – that’s why I found the presentation on Friday so moving. I’m going to miss all the pupils and the staff very much.”
Depute head teacher Lorraine Williamson will be acting head at Beancross and Bothkennar until a replacement is appointed later in the year.
After four decades of looking after wee ones and getting them as ready as possible for the transition to high school, Sandra says she will now have time for the hobbies and things she liked to do when she was younger.
“I don’t have any set plans but I will look to do a few things around the house and really just be chilling out. I’m a big reader and have a few books I want to read. I also love music so I will getting back into that.”