Kirkland head's role: Belly dancing...and babysitting fish!
As pupils and staff at schools across Fife prepare to pack up and kick back over the summer, it is a time for reflection and none moreso than for the man who is preparing to steer the new combined Levenmouth campus into one integrated school.
Ronnie Ross will take over the helm as head teacher of the combined school where he hopes to bring together the best of both Kirkland and Buckhaven High Schools.
“I want to acknowledge all the great work that has gone on at Buckhaven. We have worked closely together to learn from one another take the best from both,” Ronnie said. “Levenmounth is not going to happen overnight but we will make it an excellent school that everyone across Fife and Scotland can be very, very proud of. The first impressions I have got from the staff and young people that I’ve met, definitely indicates that this is something that is achievable.
“Although they will miss their existing schools and this week is going to be very emotional for a lot of people, it’s about shaping that future in the best interests of the young people”
Ronnie moved to Kirkland as headteacher in 2004 and to date it is the best decision he has made. “I found out I had got the job in December,” he said. “And it was the best Christmas present ever!
“That is my personal top achievement to date but I am also immensely proud of the school’s achievements over the years.”
He lists successes such as gaining School of Ambition and School of Football status as well as representing Kirkland in London during a national science competition.
Ronnie admits that working with children comes with its challenges but mostly his memories and anecdotes of Kirkland are funny ones: “My favourite is still the time when a parent asked if his son could keep his fish in the school pond as it would make him feel more relaxed. We agreed to the unusual request only to have the SSPCA turn up at the school enquiring after the wealthfare of the fish after the pond had become a little overgrown. It still gets talked about today!”
He also offers up his first challenge of dealing with the press: “My experienced cluster heads had organised an event to teach the teachers about health and wellbeing. It was a briliiant day but one element was a belly dancer. The press got hold of it and they left me, the newbie headteacher, to do all the answering!”