Derrick looks back on a job well done

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Derrick Hannan described himself as “a very happy man” as he retired from Braidhurst High after 23 years as head teacher.

A former pupil of Airdrie Academy, he began his teaching career in 1973 at Caldervale High before moving to Carluke High as principal teacher of physics and later depute head.

In 1992 he was promoted as rector of Braidhurst High, and would become Scotland’s longest serving head teacher.

Under his leadership the school enjoyed many successes including securing Charter Mark status and being established as a National Sports Comprehensive and subsequenently a Scottish FA Elite Performance School of Football.

He said: “I retire a very happy man, having led Braidhurst High for over 23 years of my life. Over that time the school has really been an enormous part of my life.

“The pupils over these years have received a fantastic education from a highly professional staff who have always given enormously of their time and talent.

“I have often been quoted saying Braidhurst is a great wee school and I really meant it very sincerely.

“I must also thank my wife Madeleine for her personal support as well as her superb input over these years and for her understanding in being married to a workaholic.

“The parents have also given great support and bought into everything I have tried to do for their children.

“Braidhurst High is a really happy school with a great atmosphere in which to be educated. Many an inspector has commented to me over the years that if they could only bottle the Braidhurst ethos they could sell it for a fortune.”

Mr Hannan isn’t the only member of staff to be retiring from Braidhurst High this summer.

Also set for a life of leisure are: janitor Jean Hogg (34 years), maths teacher Loraine Herd (33 years), senior depute head Kathryn Clarke (28 years), pupil support PT Vhairi Ainsworth (15 years), English PT Roslyn Nicol (13 years), home economics teacher Jenny Bone (12 years) and drama teacher Liz Hughes (11 years).

Mr Hannan paid tribute to Mrs Clarke: “Kathryn has been an absolute rock by my side throughout my headship and will be sorely missed by the entire school.

“She is without question the most naturally talented teacher and manager I have worked with in my 42 years in education.”