AN EMOTIONAL send off was given to modern studies teacher David Johnston MBE last Friday, after he retired from twenty years service at Greenfaulds High School.
The dedicated teacher, who is highly regarded for his commitment to the school was treated to speeches, music, cards and gifts, which even included a brick engraved with his name at his favourite football team’s stadium, from pupils and staff who were all sad to see him leave.
“It came as a total and absolute surprise that the pupils had organised such an emotion-filled farewell on my last day at the school,” said David.
“I was overwhelmed by the speeches from pupils past and present and by their cards and gifts.”
After a surprise celebration in the morning, organised by his advanced higher class, David thought the goodbyes were over and done with. However, he was later led to the school theatre under the illusion that he was meeting some visiting speakers.
As he entered the theatre, hundreds of pupils and staff surprised the former principal teacher of modern studies and religious, moral and philosophical studies as his favourite Saw Doctors song, “Michael D. Rocking in the Dail” played over a slide show of photos from his time at Greenfaulds
He added: “There have been many high points in my career. These have included charity events, tours, the modern studies club, the list goes on. It’s also been great to have had the largest Higher and Advanced Higher presentation in Scotland as well as having pupils achieving the best SQA results in North Lanarkshire and visiting Buckingham Palace. However, the farewell from the pupils surpassed them all.
He added: “I would like to thank the wonderful pupils of Greenfaulds High school for their kindness in making my last day in teaching the best day of my career. It has been an honour and a privilege to serve generations of young people in Cumbernauld.”
David’s colleague and replacement head of department Craig Scoular said: “I’m very sad to see Mr Johnston leave as he’s been an inspiration to everyone in the school as well as inspiring me as a teacher. I will miss him as a colleague and as a friend.”
Sonny Leto, an advanced higher modern studies pupil said: “We have been blessed with his teaching and he is a true inspiration to any modern studies pupil.”
Not one for relaxing, David will be joining the education department at Strathclyde University to tutor upcoming modern studies teachers
As a final surprise, it was revealed that a pupil wrote to Her Majesty the Queen to inform her of his retirement and they received a letter in reply thanking him for his work.
The effort put into the day and the emotion on display from both pupils and staff showed that David Johnston was a much loved and appreciated teacher, who will be sorely missed by all at the school.