A North-east head teacher has received an emotional send-off from pupils and teachers as he retired.
Ken McGowan, 60, has been the head teacher at Balmedie Primary School for 12 years – but has decided to clean his blackboard for the final time.
Staff and pupils at the school made sure Mr McGowan received a proper send-off with a special assembly which was a surprise for him yesterday.
During his time at the school, the primary has raised tens of thousands for charity.
And as he called time on his tenure at the school, pupils surprised him with a performance of their own version of The Proclaimers’ hit song Letter from America – altered to Letter from Retirement.
Mr McGowan said: “I was amazed when this all happened.
“I wasn’t expecting this at all – especially the Letter From Retirement. It was a complete surprise.”
Mr McGowan, who is originally from Edinburgh, has said that one of his proudest moments at the school was the fundraising efforts for Comic Relief.
He said: “Two years ago the school raised £21,000 for Comic Relief.
“Our staff were invited down to Downing Street where they met with Samantha Cameron for the school’s fundraising efforts.
“We are a Comic Relief ambassador and in the past seven years we must have raised around £70,000 for the charity.”
He added: “Balmedie is a fantastic school and that is down to the team that we have here – the teachers, the pupils and parents.
“It is very rare that a school comes together like this.” Mr McGowan’s colleagues also paid tribute to him.
Lindsay Mackay, depute head, said: “I have been at the school with Mr McGowan for the full 12 years.
“He has played a huge part in making the school the community-spirited place that it is.
“He has been fantastic to work for and I wish him all the best in his retirement.”
Mr McGowan is planning to spend his time with his three grandchildren, who are five, three and one.
He said: “I couldn’t have asked for any more with this school. I love it here and I am going out on an amazing high.”