Newbattle High’s headteacher has announced he will retire in the summer, a year ahead of the school’s move to a new £32 million home.
Colin Taylor, who has been head there for 18 years, said the surprise move was to allow a new headteacher to get to know the school before the highly anticipated move.
He said: “My feeling was that it was important for a new headteacher to come in and see how the schools works in the current building and understand the routines that we work to, and the general ethos.
“It’s obviously a great opportunity with the new school opening. There is a bit of me that would have enjoyed working in the new facilities with obviously the opportunity and challenges that would bring. However, I do feel that the time is right to bring in somebody new for that challenge.”
The retiring head has agreed to work on a minimal part-time basis assisting with the school’s move next year.
Mr Taylor has worked in education for 42 years, with his first role at Bathgate Academy as a PE teacher. He moved to Newbattle in 1980, before working in Edinburgh. He later returned to Newbattle, first as assistant head, then deputy head, before taking the top role in January 1999.
Mr Taylor said he has been pleased to see improvements in his time as headteacher and was particularly happy with the school’s drama and sporting achievements.
So how would he like to be remembered? “As somebody who was committed to putting the school at the heart of the community and ensured that youngsters enjoyed their learning,” Mr Taylor said.
Regarding his retirement, he added that he still intends to play an active role in the wider community, expects to spend more time with his baby grandson, and hopes to visit Asia and Alaska.