Farewell to our Retiring Teachers

This year brings some sad news for the pupils of Invergordon Academy (but happy news for some teachers!) as four of our most loved teachers have decided to retire at the end of this term. This includes Mrs Parkin (Art), Mr Morris (Computing), Mr Scott (French, Spanish) and Mr Finlayson (Physics). Despite the sadness of their leaving, the pupils and teachers of the school share many happy memories and stories of these individual teachers and they will always be remembered  as some of the most unforgettable and outstanding teachers at Invergordon. This week there has been an event for the retiring teachers to give their fellow staff the chance to say goodbye, which was held at the Storehouse on Tuesday evening. Also, the Home Economics department went to a lot of effort in baking a beautiful cake which was decorated with post-it-notes of messages from teachers and pupils throughout the school.

As a school, we are sad to see these teachers leave us, but we hope that in your retirement you find the time to relax and enjoy not having to put up with the stresses of teaching us! We are all grateful for your service to the school and your help in teaching us and guiding us in our school journey. It will be extremely difficult to replace you all and become accustomed to life without your experience and expertise, but we wish you all the best for your future. Please do not forget about us!

Throughout the past week, the news team have gathered some goodbye, good luck and thank you messages on large sheets of paper from the senior pupils who have had the chance to get to know and become close with many of the teachers during their time at Invergordon. These posters will be given to the teachers as souvenirs and memoirs of the pupils who were thankful to the teachers for their constant guidance and encouragement. Many were messages of sadness surrounding the leaving teachers, and some pupils left messages of some of the well known phrases used by the teachers and some rather funny responses to the news that their favourite teachers were leaving. Some of the best messages have been photographed and added to this post (so pupils, you might see your message below!) and some more of the messages can be read in the article itself.

Mrs Parkin is the newest to Invergordon Academy, but nonetheless she has made a great impression on the school and the pupils that she teaches. Her many years of expertise in Art & Design have helped many pupils to grow and expand their creative and artistic skills and her refusal to accept any negativity has made a strong impression on everyone that walks in to her classroom. She is honest and encouraging and always tries to help as much as she can, while her eccentric personality makes her a teacher who is easily approachable and easy to speak to. She has a zero tolerance policy on girls wearing their ties too low and as soon as she raises her eyebrow, it is clear that she means business! For several years she has helped her students to produce an outstanding quality of work and has always been determined in showing pupils the extent of their talents. The senior students are very sad to know that they will not receive the same guidance this year that Mrs Parkin has always offered, but we hope that she enjoys her life free of the stress of the Art departments’ folio deadlines and teaching, but we also hope she comes back to visit us! (Please!)

“Thanks for all your hard work Mrs Parkin… You are definitely not a lazy pudding! Good luck!”

-Rachel Goodwin (S6)

“Mrs Parkin,

You have inspired me throughout my school years and I will always be grateful for your honesty and guidance. I am devastated that you will not be there to guide me in my Advanced Higher year, but I wish you all the best in your retirement and I will miss you greatly. Thank you for helping me to use my creativity and believe in myself and my ability. Goodbye, good luck, and thank you for everything”

-Alanis Macleod (S6)

“Dear Mrs Parkin, Thanks for all he things you taught me! I will miss you. Good Luck! You inspired me 🙂 Love Ebbonnie.”

-Ebbonnie Mahon (S6)

Mr Finlayson is undoubtedly a brilliant teacher of Physics, and has been teaching at Invergordon Academy for a fairly substantial time. He is committed in bringing his pupils the best possible education in his subject and is always friendly in encouraging his pupils. Many messages left for Mr Finlayson mentioned that he manages to make Physics a fun and exciting subject, and that he is always trying his hardest to help struggling pupils (such as me!) as well as guiding the most talented students. He is often seen coming back from the leisure centre at lunch times after escaping for a swim, and he is often heard talking about his active life, including his love of sailing. He was always well-loved by his students for his teaching abilities, but also his brilliant sense of humour. Invergordon is suffering a great loss with the retirement of Mr Finlayson, but all the same we wish him the best of luck in his future.

“Don’t know how you managed to put up with me in physics for the past 2 years. You deserve a medal! Will miss ya. Gemma :)”

-Gemma Maclean (S5)

“Amazing teacher- he made me understand Physics!”

-Kerry Cartwright (S5)

“Keep up the good singing. Iona :)”

-Iona Mathieson (S5)

Mr Scott is well-known for his witty jokes and (awful) sarcasm, but he certainly would not be the same without these, sometimes painful, personality traits. He is and has always been a wonderful French teacher; making certain that French is found enjoyable by all pupils, whilst not losing focus on educating pupils to their full potential. It has always been clear to see the friendship between Mr Scott and Mr Fernie, and their ability to amuse pupils never fails, as was seen in their recent musical performance for Children in Need. Mr Scott is also well known for his spectacular moustache and very smart dress sense as he is very rarely seen without his infamous suit! It is often the case that Mr Scott makes absolutely no sense whatsoever but it is his brilliant sense of humour that makes him such a memorable and admirable teacher that will not be forgotten easily. The recent Higher French class of which I was a part of would like to give him a massive thank you for helping us this year and we would not have been able to survive it without you!

“Bye bye from the girls in the red and pink coat you pass every morning. (Lauren & Holly) x”

-Lauren Mackay and Holly Semple (S5)

Thank you so much for all your help in both French & Spanish. Me and Beth will miss all your wind ups! Chloë x”

-Chloë Mackay (S6)

“Your sarcasm was almost as good as your moustache, Good luck!!” Ryan J”

-Ryan Johnson (S6)

Mr Morris is the longest serving teacher left at Invergordon Academy and has definitely given a lot to the school during his (long!) time teaching here. He is a very busy teacher, as head of the Computing, Science and Business Studies departments and has a very hard-working attitude and strong work ethic in his teaching methods. He has a no nonsense attitude in class, but he still finds the time to connect with the students he teaches- especially the Ross County fans! He is known as a lover of football and always manages to chat amongst the students about recent County games and everything football orientated. He will certainly be missed by his students and his teaching abilities in educating, as well as being head of his department have certainly made a great contribution to the school. He can easily be held responsible for making Invergordon Academy as great as it is today, due to the long period of time he has spent at the school, and he will be held as an important figure of the school for years to come. We all wish him happiness in his retirement and perhaps he will not disappear entirely, as somebody is bound to spot him supporting Ross County at a football game some time soon!

“Great fun throughout the years of computing. You will be missed. Good luck in the future Mr Morris 🙂 Lachlann”

-Lachlann MacLeod (S6)

“Best teacher I’ve ever had! Great memories and laughs in Computing last year. Good luck! Sophie x”

-Sophie Patterson (S6)

“See ya Morris. All the best! -Abe”

-Abe Bouliche (S5)

So there we have it, it’s a sad end for us pupils who will miss them all greatly, but it’s also a happy new beginning for these teachers.

I also went to each teacher’s classroom to take up-to-date photographs for this article, of which can be seen below, with the help from my photographer Rachel Sutherland.

Mr Morris Mr Finlayson Mr ScottMrs Parkin Message for Mr Scott Message for Mr Scott Message for Mrs Parkin Message for Mrs Parkin  Message for Mr Morris Message for Mr Morris Message for Mr Finlayson Message for Mr Finlayson

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