THE new head teacher at Brae High School is Colin Kirkness, who was appointed to the post this week.
Mr Kirkness, 40, is an Orcadian who was educated at Kirkwall Grammar School and then went to the Scottish School of Physical Education based at Jordanhill, Glasgow, part of Strathclyde University.
After completing his studies he joined the staff at Brae High School as a PE teacher and has been there ever since, although in his first two years he taught in Northmavine primary schools as well.
Around 13 years ago, when the then Brae Junior High School became a six-year school, he got his first promotion to head of PE. More promotions followed – he became deputy head just over three years ago and has been acting head since August. He took over from Robert Grant, who has moved south after five years at the helm.
It was a logical step to apply for the head teacher’s post at the 366-pupil school which comprises nursery, primary and secondary departments, Mr Kirkness said. He has thoroughly enjoyed his time at Brae so far and has no qualms about stepping into the role, especially as he is familiar with the school. “I put a lot in [to my job] and get loads back from all the pupils.”
Even as the head teacher he still intends to teach “a wee bit”, although the demands of the new post will inevitably take him further away from the “chalk face”.
Keeping his hand in with PE teaching makes sense given his love of sport – he still plays v olleyball, although he gave up his main sport, rugby, two years ago. He also enjoys fishing and hill walking.
In his years as a PE teacher he was involved in junior inter-county athletics and hockey, but has relinquished some of these interests in the last few years due to the demands of a young family and the building of a new house.
Now he intends to focus on the new post, and describes it as being at “an excellent school, with superb pupils and a supportive community”.
He said: “We will be working together to take the school forward, continually trying to improve. Lots of things will change with the Curriculum for Excellence, although lots of the outcomes are at the draft stage.
“I’m completely delighted to accept the post and hope to do it justice.”