High School rector Colin Mair retires after 39 years

Colin Mair
Colin Mair

The retiring headteacher of the High School of Glasgow received an emotional farewell from everyone at the end-of-year prizegiving.

Colin Mair, who lives in Milngavie, has retired as rector after 39 years at the school, 11 years as school head.

In a valedictory address, Colin reflected on his early years since 1976 when he joined as a latin teacher and the school’s achievements under his leadership.

He said: “I believe this is a very special school community, originally created by the commitment and generosity of former pupils and parents.

“What we achieve is through teamwork and the strength of our school community, staff, pupils, parents, former pupils and governors working together.”

Pupils, he added, not only excelled academically, with best performance in Scotland in the highers year-on-year, but also in many other ways.

In the last year, High School pupils have achieved national awards in music, athletics, swimming, rowing, hockey and at the Mod. The school’s public speakers won the Rotary UK Youth Speaks competition, the school’s Fusion Pipe Band won the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships, and four pupils were named Scottish National Enterprising Mathematics Champions.

Colin thanked Lord Macfarlane of Bearsden, the school’s honorary president, for his “vision and determination” in re-establishing the High School as an independent, co-educational school at its new home at Anniesland with its Junior School at Bearsden.

Chair of the board of governors Brian Adair praised Colin’s “dedication and outstanding service” to the school and wished him well in his retirement.

He said: “Colin is unique. He commenced his teaching career within the High School in 1976 and leaves in 2015 having spent his whole life devoted to the school.

“By leadership and example Colin Mair has maintained and enhanced the reputation of the High School of Glasgow as the best independent school in Scotland.”

Colin received a SQA Fellowship Award from the Scottish Qualifications Authority for his contribution to Scottish education.

In retirement, Colin is first looking forward to having the time be present at many of the games in the Rugby World Cup in September. Colin has always been keen on sports, particularly rugby, cricket and supporting Partick Thistle.

In 1993, he received the scottish Cricket Writers’ Award for “services to cricket”.

One of the many retiral messages he received was from the new England cricket coach Trevor Bayliss who coached cricket at the High School some 25 years ago.