Staff at Dumbarton Academy bid a fond farewell at the end of term to two much-loved colleagues who are retiring.

Principal teacher of science, Pat Latimer, and principal teacher of technical, Gus Arnott, are leaving the profession after clocking up a combined total of nearly 70 years teaching at the school.

As a newly qualified student teacher in 1982, Pat spent six weeks at Notre Dame High School, Vale of Leven Academy and finally at Dumbarton Academy before instinctively realising that the latter was the school for her.

Pat was so settled at the Academy that she stayed for 37 years, eventually becoming head of the school’s Leven House.

She told the Reporter: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my career at Dumbarton Academy which is a truly special place.

“All the pupils, parents and staff have made working here such a pleasure for me, I have met some wonderful people.

“I leave with so many happy memories and while I am sad to be leaving a great bunch I am excited for what the future holds.

“I would like to wish my colleagues all the best for the future.”

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During her time at the Academy, Pat also played a key role in the school’s Fit for Life project by sharing her love of yoga with the first year pupils over the last 10 years.

She plans to continue with yoga during her retirement, as well as going on more holidays with her recently-retired husband, Stuart, and spending more time with her family.

Gus, meanwhile, qualified and started his career in 1979 as a technical teacher at Boclair Academy in East Dunbartonshire where he was promoted to a senior teacher.

He then moved to Dumbarton Academy in 1989 where he remained for 30 years and will be missed for his calm and capable leadership.

Gus, who recently returned from his 40th trip abroad with the school, said: “I will miss the friendships I have built over the years and the great support I have received from parents, pupils and especially my colleagues.

“I am very grateful for the support I have been given over the years from everyone in the technical department which has made my career so fulfilling.”

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Head teacher, Claire McInally, who also left the school at the end of term after three and a half years in the job, paid tribute to the two long-standing members of the school community.

She said: “While we are sad to be losing two of our most loved and respected members of staff, their influence, kindness and calm demeanour will remain at the school through their colleagues.”

“I would like to express my thanks on behalf of all teachers, support staff, pupils and parents for their dedication over the years and for being great friends and colleagues.

“I know I speak for the whole school community when I say they will be fondly remembered and will be greatly missed.

“I wish them good health and happiness from everyone at the school for a long and enjoyable retirement.”