Special send off for school head teacher

Ken McGowan with Balmedie pupils Zoe and Arron
Ken McGowan with Balmedie pupils Zoe and Arron

Pupils and staff at Balmedie School bid a fond farewell to their retiring head teacher on Friday.

Ken McGowan has been in charge of the school for the last 12 years but decided that it was time to retire.

A special surprise assembly was held on Friday morning to mark his final day.

Pupils sang ‘Letter From Retirement’, a unique spin on The Proclaimers’ hit ‘Letter From America’ andMr McGowan told everyone that it was “the best assembly ever”.

Speaking to the Times, Ken said: “This school is fantastic and that’s really down to the team of teachers, pupils and parents - everybody comes together and it’s very rare that that happens.

“This is definitely the best school I’ve worked at, I’ve really loved it.

“I’ll miss the folk I work with, the kids and the whole school community but it’s time to retire and I’m going out on an absolutely amazing high.”

Ken hails from the south of Edinburgh but made the move to the north east 34 years ago.

He added: “The north east definitely feels like home as I’ve had and raised a family here.”

Ken has worked across Scotland, working in schools in Shetland and Peterhead before starting at Balmedie.

A highlight of Ken’s time at the school was when it became a Comic Relief Ambassador after pupils and staff managed to raise over £21,000 for Red Nose Day.

As for retirement, Ken plans to spend a lot of time with his three young grandsons.

He added: “They are the apple of my eye.”