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By Colin Smeeton
Barbara Crawford was last week given a rousing send off when she retired from teaching at Shiskine nursery after 22 years.
The event was marked by pupils and staff on Wednesday last week when on her final day at the school pupils said their sad goodbyes and presented her with flowers.
On Friday, friends, family, parents and past pupils held a special celebration at Shiskine Hall in recognition of all of the hard work Barbara has contributed over more than two decades.
Along with fun games and snacks, and presents from Barbara, the children heard from colleagues, past and present, all praising Barbara for her invaluable contribution that she has made over the years, not only at Shiskine primary itself, but also in the lives of all of the young children who have attended the school.
Mairi Duff, who worked alongside Barbara for many years, said: ‘Barbara has been able to turn her hand to almost anything, from end-of-term concerts to nativities, from wake and shake to running marathons – a multi-talented lady who will be missed by all.
‘Barbara has a big heart that has shaped lots of tiny minds over the years.’
In another heartfelt tribute, read out by Miss Carol Shaw, depute Jane Boyle said: ‘Barbara has, during her career, welcomed and cared for every child in Shiskine school and made every new member of staff feel welcome and valued.
‘In the nursery Barbara’s inherent nurturing nature has meant that every three-year-old’s experience of being separated from their parents, sometimes for the first time in their wee lives, was safe, happy and joyful.
‘She has undoubtedly been a wonderful ambassador for Shiskine primary, going above and beyond her remit to support the school and early years class.
‘Thank you Barbara for everything you have done for the children and adults of the school.’
Barbara will now spend her time working at the Kinloch Hotel which she helps to run with her husband, Robbie.
‘It has been a privilege and a joy; the best job in the world and I have loved every minute of it,’ said Barbara.
‘I will dearly miss all of the children, my colleges and friends, but the time is right to move on and I am sure that Robbie will appreciate the help.’
Pupils at the school, which has a roll of 31 pupils this year, also held a dress-down day on the last day of term on Friday which raised £70 for the Arran charity ArCaS.