For the majority of my life I’ve lived in the same house, on the same road, next to the same school. Growing up, I watched Braes High School and its now former pupils go about their lives in ways which, nowadays, would be frowned upon.
I was terrified of teenagers – mainly because of Braes High. Gangs and fighting were a normality due to “rival” communities that were suddenly merged after the closure of Woodlands High; vandalism was popular and there was a negative, nasty atmosphere surrounding our village whenever Braes was in term. However, this way was soon turned around with the introduction of a new head teacher at Braes, and from then, the school and the surrounding areas were transformed a peaceful place with little crime.
With the retirement of the person who made this transformation possible, it is important to acknowledge the miracles that she has performed during her time at Braes High School.
I rarely spoke to Mrs McCulloch in my time at the school. She had an air around her that made you respect her instantly. She wasn’t scary – she was simply of a higher authority than us, and it was through this that she implemented her changes to Braes to make it a place for the better. To allow her pupils to go to school in a friendly environment that had shared respect for both pupils and teachers was something not only I, but my peers are very grateful for.
The magic that came from Mrs McCulloch came from the sheer passion she had for the job. It was evident in her last speech, made to us at graduation, how heartbroken she was that it was time for her to retire. It was through this passion, I believe, that she managed to convert Braes into the fantastic school it is today.
So this is a thank-you to Mrs McCulloch for making Braes the fantastic, friendly place it is that we had the pleasure of attending for six years. To her predecessor: you, sir, have big boots to fill.