Longest-serving teacher steps down

Rosemary Mitchell is retiring from Lasswade High. Picture: Scott Louden

Rosemary Mitchell is retiring from Lasswade High. Picture: Scott Louden

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Rosemary Mitchell – deputy head teacher, longest-serving member of staff and former pupil – has retired from Lasswade High School, Midlothian.

Rosemary Mitchell’s retirement from Lasswade High marks the end of a direct link with the school dating back more than half a century.

She attended the school as a pupil from 1963 until 1969, then returned in 1973 to teach English before becoming deputy headteacher in 1996.

By the time she stepped down, the 63-year-old was the longest-serving member of staff.

It was also through the school that she met her husband Colin, a fellow teacher, who remains a deputy head there.

Rosemary, who lives with Colin in Musselburgh, said despite stepping down as deputy head she would still be keeping up with the school.

She said: “Although I have retired I’m still involved in lots of things at the school. I can’t imagine not being.

“I would hate to sever my ties with the school as it has always been more than a job – it has been my life really. It would be a terrible wrench to just stop.

“I could have retired on a full pension at 60 but I really enjoyed working at the school. I spoke to the headteacher about winding down and he was happy for me to stay involved.”

With more time on her hands, Rosemary plans to do some travelling, particularly with Colin during the school holidays.

But Lasswade school will always be close to her heart. She added: “It’s a fantastic school and we have some amazing young people there. They are so interesting and fun, and good-natured, and I’ve had some fantastic colleagues as well.

“It’s rewarding when you see kids get on in life, no matter what it is, whether they go on to be doctors or hairdressers. It doesn’t matter as long as they are happy, and I think Lasswade gives them a really good start in life.”

Rosemary played a key part in the school’s move to its new building in 2013 and spoke enthusiastically about the new Lasswade High School Centre. “The views from the classrooms are amazing and the rooms themselves are so light and bright. The facilities are second to none – fantastic. I think it’s just the best.”

She is also enthusiastic about developments in education since her own says as a pupil.

She said: “Kids who are not academic get a far better deal than they used to.

“I had a fantastic education but kids who did not excel academically were left behind in some ways. That’s not the case now because there are so many vocational courses. We have a hairdressing salon and construction skills at the school.

“Kids can go on to careers that are vocational rather than just academic and I think Lasswade balances the two very well.”