HEAD­ING OFF

Last bell rings for prin­ci­pal

The Galloway News - - FRONT PAGE - Stephen Nor­ris

Dalbeattie High School staff, pupils and par­ents will bid farewell to their head teacher to­mor­row.

Derek Brock­ett is re­tir­ing and will shortly set off on a roundthe-world trip.

Cly­de­bank man Mr Brock­ett ar­rived at the school in 2014 – and has ex­pe­ri­enced both tri­umph and tragedy.

His pre­de­ces­sor, Su­san Bain, died in De­cem­ber, 2015, af­ter a long bat­tle with can­cer, aged 53.

Mr Brock­ett then helped pilot a suc­cess­ful move to the new learn­ing cam­pus in 2017.

But in June the same year he lost his wife Au­drey to can­cer, aged 55.

Au­drey was prin­ci­pal teacher of mu­sic at Dalbeattie and had been at the school for 20 years.

Mr Brock­ett, 56, said: “I fol­lowed my wife to Dalbeattie to work with Sue Bain as head teacher – and the rest is his­tory.

“I al­ways knew Dalbeattie was a fan­tas­tic school and com­mu­nity to come to and I was de­lighted when we moved into the new learn­ing cam­pus.

“It is a fan­tas­tic com­mu­nity fa­cil­ity which will be an as­set for years to come.”

Mr Brock­ett has been in Dum- fries and Gal­loway for 32 years and started as a drama teacher at Locker­bie Academy. He was prin­ci­pal teacher of art, mu­sic and drama there be­fore his move to Dalbeattie.

Mr Brock­ett plans to go trav­el­ling in his re­tire­ment – start­ing with with six weeks in both New Zea- land and Canada.

He said: “It will be a year for me to take stock af­ter where I have been. I’m young enough to do other things but I don’t know what they are yet.

“Every­body has their time and you know when you’re ready to em­brace the next part of your life.

“It has been an ab­so­lute priv­i­lege and hon­our to work at Dalbeattie. There is a true com­mu­nity spirit which has helped me in my role.

“It has been a won­der­ful ca­reer. I have en­joyed it.”

Coun­cil deputy leader Rob David­son paid trib­ute to the out­go­ing head.

He said: “Derek be­came act­ing head in the sad­dest cir­cum­stances. His care and lead­er­ship helped the school com­mu­nity through a dif­fi­cult time.

“He also over­saw the tran­si­tion from the old high school. I’m grate­ful to him for ev­ery­thing he has done for the school and the wider com­mu­nity and wish him a long and happy re­tire­ment.”

New chap­ter Derek Brock­ett is re­tir­ing from teach­ing

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