Pupils, parents and teachers at Arnage School paid a fond farewell last Thursday to their Headmistress, as she prepared to take over at a nearby primary.
Helen James, who has been Head Teacher at Arnage for three and a half years, will shortly take over as the new Head at New Pitsligo.
Pupils gathered in the school hall together with parents and teachers to send Mrs James on her way, with a series of ‘good luck’ messages. Pupils each presented her with a card, before reciting a poem. They also sang a farewell song of the own composition, which recalled school trips organised by Mrs James to Balmedie Beach and the Scottish Parliament.
After accepting the children’s cards, she promised that she would be reading them all properly later “and having a good cry”. “There are moments in your life which are so special you don’t want to let them go, and this is one of them”, she told the children.
After presenting the children with books and a ‘goodie bag’, she paid tribute to the staff, joking that they “had always listened to her crazy ideas, had humoured them and made some of them happen.” Acknowledging the role played by parents in the school’s success, she said that one of the wisest pieces of advice she had been given when she started was to regard a rural school as being like a democracy and to run it like one. She would, she said, miss the parents and the children very much, but that as New Pitsligo was only just up the road, they were more than welcome to drop in and visit.
Turning back to the pupils, she urged them all to keep up what she described as their good behaviour and wonderful work. Arnage school, she said, was set to thrive. She said she hoped that in time, some of the boys and girls who are pupils currently would send their own children to Arnage, and might even invite her back to their Burns’ Supper.