School’s out as teachers retire after combined 80 years

School's out for head teacher Gillian Carney

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The end of the school term on Friday June 26, brought with it a sad farewell to stalwarts of Park Primary School.

Headteacher Gillian Carney, depute head teacher Irene Bissett and pupil support teacher Carma Smith all retired at the same time after many years of service to the children and families of Oban.

With a combined service of more than 80 years, their final year of teaching did not quite end how they would have expected, with the coronavirus outbreak leading to a shutdown in March.

But to ensure the ladies received a fitting send-off, staff asked families to provide messages of thanks and well-wishes to the head and depute head teacher who have been leading the school for more than two decades.

With many responses via email, video, pupil drawings and photographs, Miss Carney and Mrs Bissett were gifted a poignant film of thanks on their final day.

All three long-serving members of staff were exceptionally touched by the messages of gratitude they received, along with thoughtful gifts and cards from families and pupils, past and present.

The school will now be led by acting head teacher, Ruth Verner, who said: ‘I will miss Gillian, Irene and Carma greatly.

‘The entire staff body will as they have provided each and every one of us with support and guidance over the years.

‘I have been lucky enough to work with Gillian and Irene as part of the school’s senior leadership team for seven years and they have taught me a great deal.

‘Their integrity, commitment and dedication to this profession over many years is remarkable, but their compassion and love for our pupils and their families is what I will always remember and will continue to ensure throughout my tenure as head teacher.

‘They will be missed by everyone but they have promised to keep in touch. We wish them every happiness as they embark upon their next adventure.’