Gordon Ford, 59, a former West Lothian headteacher and council depute chief, has expressed his delight at being awarded an OBE on the New Year Honours list.
“I’m a bit overwhelmed by it all,” said Mr Ford.
“I’m incredibly flattered and feel very humble but delighted also.”
He added: “It’s a nice tribute but I do feel that there are many others more deserving than I of this recognition.”
Looking back over his career, which spanned 37 years, Mr Ford said: “I have had a fantastic career. Being involved in high-quality learning and teaching and ensuring the best opportunities for young people has always been close to my heart.”
Mr Ford’s successful career in education included turning around the fortunes of struggling schools Broughton High in Edinburgh and Inveralmond High in Livingston.
Nicknamed “super head” for his successes there, he remembered both schools fondly.
“I really enjoyed being a headteacher,” he said. “The two schools were very different but kids are the same wherever you go.”
A published author, his work Timetabling Explained is a key text for teachers.
The OBE also recognises his important contribution to development in his local community, in his role as West Lothian Council’s depute chief executive for education and planning, from which he retired in August 2011.
Having achieved the accolade Mr Ford is looking forward to his free time in retirement, which he is keen to spend with his three children and six grandchildren.
“After 37 years I would like to concentrate on my other passions – my family, spending time with my grandchildren and sport.”
True to his word, Mr Ford is now working voluntarily as chief executive of the Livingston Football Foundation, bringing sport to the young people of West Lothian.
“I’ve always been committed to the development of sport,” he said.
His wife, Audrey, 59, also a teacher, retired from her role as Balbardie Primary School’s headteacher last year. The couple now split their time between their West Lothian home in Torphichen and Michigan, where their eldest daughter lives.
Mr Ford’s achievements will be honoured at the OBE investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
West Lothian Provost Tom Kerr paid tribute to Mr Ford, saying: “It is great that Gordon Ford has been recognised in the list. On behalf of West Lothian I would like to congratulate Gordon on his OBE, it is well deserved.”
He added that Mr Ford “recognised the importance of nurturing sporting talent and providing opportunities to develop young people”.