Join the birthday party at Glenwood

1112127 SSGG glenwood 50 'celebrating Glenwood HS will be 50 years old in November with James Stewart (head boy - extreme left), Claire Pollock (head girl - extreme right and teachers Julie-Anne Close & David Young (centre, seated) - at Glenwood HS, Glenrothes
1112127 SSGG glenwood 50 'celebrating Glenwood HS will be 50 years old in November with James Stewart (head boy - extreme left), Claire Pollock (head girl - extreme right and teachers Julie-Anne Close & David Young (centre, seated) - at Glenwood HS, Glenrothes

GLenwood High School turns 50 this year and the South Parks Road school is looking for former members of staff and pupils to get in touch and join in with the celebrations.

On 5 November 1962 the right honourable Lord Wheatley opened Glenwood Junior High School, however, it had opened its doors to pupils exactly nine months earlier on 5 February 1962.

The school plan to celebrate their half century at the end of June, and are looking for people to return and recall their memories

Neil Baillie, English and guidance teacher explained more.

He said: “We are trying to get a display up of people’s memories at the school past and present.

“So we want former staff and pupils to get in touch. It will be a nice opportunity for people that have perhaps not thought about their old school for a while.

“Quite a few of our current teachers have been here for a long time, so pupils coming back could possibly see their old teachers.”

As well as looking back, Mr Baillie see a bright future ahead for the school.

“I’m sure the school will be here in some form or another in the next 50 years, he said.

“The school is always modernising and changing. The number of IT suites we have in school is amazing and all subjects use them.

“Last week our maths department took part in Word Maths Day. So the pupils that took part in that had to use the computer equipment.”

Julie-Anne Close, Craft, Design and Technology teacher since 2006, was a pupil at Glenwood from 1996 until 2002.

She said: “I think it is really, really important for former pupils and members of staff to get in touch. To reminisce and come back to Glenwood. It would be nice even for me to see people that I went to school with.

“It’s a big deal that the school is turning 50. It’s changed a lot. Some of it was different even from when I was a pupil here. But most of it is the same.

“I think in the future the school will get better for the kids. I believe it will keep getting better with technology, even just down to the type of software packages they use.

“That side of things is completely different from when I was a pupil here.”

Miss Close enjoys working at the school.

She added: “I’m proud to be part of Glenwood High. It’s a great school. We have got a lot of good kids, they are really nice and they want to do well for you as well, they work for you.

“It’s a nice team of staff we have here too. Everybody is really friendly, we all get on really well within the department and with other departments.”

Miss Close recalled returning to Glenwood as a teacher, and the mental barriers she had to overcome at first.

She said: “When I first came back here as a teacher it was a bit strange at first. The parameters obviously change from being a pupil to being a teacher.

“I was calling people Mr and Mrs! There was quite a few teachers here that I had, but you get used to it after a while. It was actually kind of nice to see familiar faces. You see people in a different light I guess.

“I was a very good student so luckily I didn’t have apologise to anyone!

“I really enjoy it being a teacher here now. I never keep it a secret that I went to Glenwood and come from Tanshall. The kids know, and even have a wee joke about it. They will ask questions too, but it’s nice really.”

Miss Close believes it helps that she was a former pupil at the school.

She said: “You can kind of understand the pupils more- coming from the same area and being a former pupil. You know what is going on in the community.

“I never thought I would come back as a teacher. My graphic communications teacher said to me on the last day here as a pupil that I would be back, and I actually took his job!

“I had popped back to Glenwood a couple of times while at University to get experience here, so I knew everyone.

“My guidance teacher is still here. My Biology teacher, PE teacher, Physics teacher and my French teacher are still here too.”

Depute Rector David Young has been looking at some of the old photos at Glenwood, ahead of the school’s 50th anniversary.

He said: “I think it is going to be sentimental for a lot of people. They will be looking back affectionately at what has happened in the last 50 years.

“It’s strange looking back at some of the old photos in the school, you tend to bracket them into generation, you can tell a generation by the styles and fashions, and how they changed from one to another.

“As a teacher, it’s about what you leave behind. We are only looking after the school and people are passing through all the time.

“In the years since Glenwood opened you couldn’t begin to calculate how many people have been here. The school plays a big part in the community, everybody remembers things that have happened in their school.”

Mr Young, like Miss Close was also a pupil at the school, from 1985 until 1991, returning in 2005 as a PE teacher, and he is now a Depute rector.

He said: “I was a pupil here and enjoyed it very much. It feels good to be back as a teacher supporting the community.

“The reason we come into teaching is to teach young people, so what better thing to do than to come back to the school where I was taught. I’m from Macedonia, so I know some of the people from here.

“It isn’t just pupil’s parents I know, in some cases it’s their grannies and grand-dads, and that’s no joke!

“Maybe because I come from round here originally and went to this school I know the area well, so you have that relationship with the pupils and their families because you know where they are coming form.

“Education is about many different things. Not necessarily just about improving their subject knowledge, it’s about improving their social skills and life skills- educating them in a number of ways.

“Although I have to stress that subject knowledge is a key driver. If you can understand that as a teacher and know the community, then you can achieve that with the pupils.”

Ian Sankey, guidance and PE teacher, has been at the school for 39 years. He started work there on 5 February 1973, Glenwood’s 11th birthday, and will soon retire ahead of Glenwood’s 50th birthday.

He looked back on his time at the school: “We had 700 pupils when I started here, but within a few years it was 1,300, now it’s back down to just over 900. So I’ve seen a lot of changes.

“The time has just came and went. I’m leaving on 30 March. I’m going now because I enjoy it. I have done 40 years here and still thoroughly enjoy what I’m doing.

“I think it’s the right time to leave now instead of when I become jaded by it. I have never got up in the morning and thought ‘I don’t want to go to work today’.

“I think this 50th year is a big milestone for the school. I have seen a lot of changes. Glenwood High School is different now but it has kept itself up to date.”

n Call Glenwood on 583 404.

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