End of an era for the ‘face’ of Milton school

Staff and pupils at Milton of Balgonie school give Annice a big send off.
Staff and pupils at Milton of Balgonie school give Annice a big send off.

The school bell has rung for the final time on a 29-year career in education for one of the region’s longest serving staff.

Annice Sullivan, clerical assistant at Milton of Balgonie Primary School for the last 11 years, took her well-earned retirement on December 23.

Annice has worked for Fife Council for 29 years, spending 18 years at Smithy Green Primary School in north east Fife before it closed in 2007 when she moved to Milton.

She has been described by the community as “the face of Milton” and “a ray of sunshine” for her commitment to staff and pupils at one of Fife’s smallest schools.

As the school prepared to wind down ahead of the Christmas holidays, primary six pupil Ben Horsburgh gave Annice a touching tribute at the school’s festive Christmas Service last Thursday.

During the presentation Ben described Annice as his best friend at Milton, a sentiment that was echoed by many a fellow pupil and teacher alike.

And with Annice making no secret of her love of bird watching and local wildlife, her Milton colleagues used part of the money from a collection to present her with an interactive bird box with built-in camera so she can indulge her hobby.

Headteacher Siobhan Haldane paid tribute, adding that Annice would be greatly missed by all the staff, past and present, pupils, parents and the wider community in Milton.

“With the size of the school we are understandably very close knit and throughout her time at the school Annice has been central to that and one of the main reasons why it works so well,” the headteacher told the Gazette.

“She has been at the ablsolute heart of the school community since she started here over a decade ago and while there is sadness that she is now leaving us, I speak for the whole school when I say we wish her the very best in her well earned retirement.

“And, of course, we have already told her that both the staff and the pupils will welcome her back whenever she wants to come and visit.”