End of an era as Stan bids farewell

ONE of Peterhead Academy’s’ cherished members of staff said goodbye to his fellow staff and pupils before he retired last Friday.

By Carla Duthie
Tuesday, 12th July 2011, 12:11 pm

Stan Cordiner, a guidance teacher who has spent 35 years teaching at the town’s academy was well known by both young and old for his dedication to pupils.

Taking on the role of guidance teacher in 1984, Stan took both a fun and respectful approach to the job and to this day believes that he has had one of the best jobs in the school by far.

Speaking to the Buchanie he said: “Working at the academy has been a fantastic experience, I can’t quite believe how quickly time has gone by.

“Both the quality of the staff and kids here at the school has been excellent and my guidance colleagues have been a dream to work with.”

Having always been head of the school’s Arbuthnot House, Stan has taught two generations of family members over the years.

“I’ve always said that as soon as someone came up to me and said ‘you taught my grandad or grandma’ I’d be out of here in a shot, luckily that day never came!”

Anyone who has been a pupil at the academy will know that the staff in guidance room 2 were always up to mischief including the odd prank, Stan usually being the one on the receiving end.

“There’s been many times that the joke’s been on me, but it’s part of the job. We had an equal amount of both fun and work, and the guidance staff at the academy are a first class team, I think a bit of fun is the key to a good relationship. Likewise with the pupils, trust and respect as well as a bit of banter made my job easy and fun at the same time.

“I remember a former pupils coming into see me and he was absolutely distraught. Here was me thinking that perhaps he’d had a loss in his family, however I was shocked yet relieved to hear him say he’d been dumped by his girlfriend. He was a first year pupil and was so upset I assumed they’d been going out for a while, however when I asked him how long the relationship had been going on I struggled not to laugh when he told me it had been two days!”

Stan and his wife Rita have three children who were also pupils at the school, but he was strongly advised not to speak to the them in the corridor, slightly different to the reaction he gets from his grandson Austin when he saw him in school lately.

“I would have to walk in the opposite direction from my children, Marita, Adelle and Bruce but I’d get a cheery - ‘hello granda!’ from my grandson Austin.”

One of Stan’s most cherished moments at the academy is when he opens the Buchanie to see his pupils’ graduation photographs.

“The Arbuthnot kids have been a delight, there’s been some trials and tribulations but I’m confident that the bulk of them have been top class kids. It’s been an on-going highlight to see some of the 5th and 6th year pupils’ photos to appear in the Buchanie when they have graduated. To think I’ve played a small part in their success is fantastic. I’ll miss working at the school, but I still feel good about the job and I’d rather leave feeling positive than dreading coming to work.”

One of Stan’s colleagues who has became a good friend over the years is sure to miss him.

Allister Stachan, also a guidance teacher at the school, said: “Stan has had a formidable career at Peterhead Academy, his faith has been uppermost in the way he has conducted his life in school and he has certainly kept the guidance team on the straight and narrow many times. We will all miss his sense of humour and both his diligent and conscientious approach to everything he does.”

Stan was treated to many cards and gifts from past and present pupils, and an afternoon tea was organised on Friday where colleagues, friends and family got together to celebrate.