Bo’ness Academy headteacher set to retire

David Mitchell is  retiring at the end of the term
David Mitchell is retiring at the end of the term

After spending over a decade being head teacher at Bo’ness Academy, David Mitchell is set to retire at the end of the year.

For 13 years, David (62) has been the decision maker for the school but December 22 will be his last day.

He said: “Bo’ness Academy has been a different school to anything I have ever taught at.

It is at the centre of the community and has been a marvellous experience for me to teach these wonderful and polite pupils.”

David started his career as a geography teacher at St Modan’s High School in Stirling where he progressed up the ladder to guidance teacher, head of guidance and finally assistant head.

In 1999 he moved to Denny High School where he was depute Head until 2002 when he moved to Bo’ness Academy and was appointed acting headteacher until given the post permanently in 2003.

He said: “It was never my plan to finish as a headteacher, I just took the opportunities when they came and slowly made my way up the ladder.”

David has reflected back on some of his most favourite moments during his tenure and believes there are far too many to choose from, however one did stand out from the rest.

He said; “We always put on an excellent Christmas show in Bo’ness Old Kirk and I remember one time a fourth year boy who had recently joined the school, who had physical disabilities, went on stage and sang solo in front of a full hall.

“To see someone have that confidence and know that the school had made a difference to his life was an amazing feeling.” 
Looking back on his legacy David is happy with what he has achieved in his time.

He said: “It is an incredibly busy day job and I believe I will leave the school in a happy position, with the pupils having access to many opportunities.

“The kids are amazing at this school. Visitors would always tell me how well-mannered they were.”
The Academy is now regarded as an international school, with links to China and Europe and David believes it is a huge step forward for the school.

One thing he will miss is being the decision-maker.

David said: “Every day I had to make decisions, big ones and small ones. People would look to me for an answer. That is what I will miss most about the job.” 
David will be taking up an honorary position with School Leaders Scotland and plans to properly retire in three years time.

He said: “My wife Christine will retire soon so I will wait and we will do it together.”

David is looking forward to spending time with his children, Andrew (24|) and Charlotte (22).