A COUPLE from Condorrat were toasting a hat-trick of celebrations this week as they began their retirement from teaching.
Helen and Steve Crawley, from Gainburn Crescent, have recently marked their last jotters and waved goodbye to parents’ evenings and exams by retiring from their respective posts as head teacher at St Thomas Primary School in Wishaw and chemistry teacher at Our Lady’s High, Cumbernauld.
However, despite feeling sad over leaving their jobs, the couple have several other reasons to be happy after Helen was awarded the Bene Merente Medal for services to Catholic education and the community and Steve graduated from the University of Strathclyde with an LLB.
Not bad for a couple who are supposed to be retiring.
Helen, who was a teacher and acting depute head at St Lucy’s for nearly 20 years before moving to St Thomas’, was very emotional upon receiving such a prestigious award. She said: “Something like this is very special and I was overwhelmed when I received it. It was a total surprise. It was the pinnacle of my career.
“I loved my job, working in the schools and in the community and I am very grateful to have received such support.”
Former head teacher at St Lucy’s, Mary Smith said: “Helen brought St Lucy’s through a very difficult time and she did a great job. We are very different people but we worked really well together. She wanted only the best for us and the children in the school.
“That’s her hallmark. It was hard to see her leave but it was right for her to be in charge of her own school.
“She was responsible for all the good things that happened at St Lucy’s.”
Helen’s husband Steve has also marked his retiral from teaching by graduating from The University of Strathclyde with an LLB, a degree which he studied for at night and now intends to use to help him become a lecturer .
“It’s been 40 years since I last graduated, and I suppose it’s not the normal thing to do when you retire, but I’d always thought about it,” said Steve.
“I’ve taught chemistry at Our Lady’s all my life but I wanted to go in a different direction. I always wanted to do something different and hopefully I can return to the university and become a lecturer.”
The couple celebrated their success and retirement with their sons and daughters at a family dinner in Glasgow and are now looking forward to enjoying their retirement.