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No wrongpath compilation

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No wrongpath compilation

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No wrongpath compilation

  1. 1. #nowrongpath #StronsayDestinations
  2. 2. #nowrongpath #StronsayDestinations Foreword I hope you enjoy the life stories outlined in this book as much as I have. It is wonderful to read how previous students from Stronsay Junior High School have gone out into the world of learning and work and contributed so much to society. Although a small island school, the community of Stronsay has nurtured and guided its children to make the most from opportunities available. Living on an island is always diverse due to weather, transport and everyday life. However, success is always down to hard work and dedication by the pupils with the support of parents, staff and the whole community. Working together has been the key factor in giving the students the skills to embrace life’s opportunities. They say the first step in a journey is always the hardest and it is a great privilege to read where these first steps have led our young people. Andrew King
  3. 3. #nowrongpath #StronsayDestinations Diane Smith I attended Stronsay Junior High School from August 2003 until June 2014 covering my years from Nursery to S4. I was given a number of opportunities during this time including learning to play the cello, fiddle and guitar which led to me completing nine qualifications with the Royals Boards of Associated Music for practical and theory; as well as joining the local band, the Stronsay Silver Darlings and taking part in producing all four of the CDs. I was also provided with a number of sporting opportunities including competing at local competitions on the Orkney mainland and in the Isles as well being a Young Ambassador for sport attending and presenting at conferences around Scotland. After S4, I left for the Kirkwall Grammar School with one National 4, six National 5s and one Int-2. While attending the Kirkwall Grammar School, I stayed at the new Papdale Halls of Residence with other kids from the Isles and made a lot of friends whom I still regularly see and keep in contact with now. After completing S6, I left with another National 5, six Highers and one Advanced Higher and absolutely no clue what I wanted to do. I enjoyed school and was good at school so going from the same routine every day to something completely new was very daunting. I liked the idea of going to University but because I didn’t know what I wanted to do, I found it a waste of time to go and study something that had no meaning to me. My best option was to go out in the workplace and work out what I wanted to do. In August 2016, I started the Employability Fund Programme at Orkney College which saw me complete a number of work placements around different Orkney companies and organisations. This included administration placements at NHS Orkney and in the North Walls Community School; a placement in the Papdale Nursery and the Papdale School kitchen; a placement working at the Salmon factory and an auxiliary nurse placement at NHS Orkney. This programme was great for me as it gave me the chance to go into different workplaces and see what I liked and what I disliked as well as allowing me to learn new skills and meet new people. I really enjoyed the placements and had made a good impression on NHS Orkney which eventually led to me being offered a Modern Apprenticeship in the Health Intelligence and Clinical Governance team in February 2017. During my Modern Apprenticeship, I completed an SVQ2 and SVQ3 in Business and Administration and my contract was extended three times with me gaining more responsibility every time and extra work. In February 2019, I secured a permanent contract as the Quality Improvement Hub Support Officer at NHS Orkney. The Quality Improvement Hub is made up of a number of departments at NHS Orkney including Health Intelligence, Clinical Governance, Waiting Times, Patient Experience, Freedom of Information and Transforming Clinical Services. In my current job role, I provide PA support to the Head of Transformational Change and Improvement and the Clinical Quality Advisor as well as support to my team members through handling diaries, handling personnel files, processing forms, arranging travel and handling leave requests. In my job role, I do a lot of minute taking, arranging meetings and collating meeting papers, as well as general administration duties. A very important part of my job is to support Significant Adverse Event investigations which can be very difficult and emotionally trying at times but it is great for learning new skills and supporting my team members. The NHS has provided me with a great start to my working life and even now after gaining a full time permanent contract, it still provides me with a lot of opportunities and a lot of
  4. 4. #nowrongpath #StronsayDestinations challenges but it’s somewhere where I enjoy working and want to progress my future working career. My role is very flexible and accommodates commuting to work from Stronsay or Hoy which is very helpful. Looking back, I am glad I didn’t go to University and I am happy I went straight into the workplace. There is always opportunity to build up my qualifications and progress further, I just need to work hard and do my best! Ingrid Norquay Well I left Stronsay school at 14 with no real idea what I was going to do other than - hopefully - pass a wide range of o levels. While in 5th year I saw a job advertised for an admin assistant which I applied for and got. I worked in that job for 15 and a half years gaining exp in not only admin but finance and reception as well. I still do the same type of work 30 yrs later and I enjoy it! Looking back, it all worked out well for me. I chose a range of o levels so I could choose different careers if I wanted to. Jacqui Dennison I left Stronsay school age 12 went to KGS and lived in the hostel. Started working in Ayre Hotel age 17 to 27 where I covered many roles including waitressing, reception, barmaid and chambermaid. I moved to Bedford England, where i gained more experience working in pubs. I then took on the tenancy of a pub and bought and ran the freehold of a pub in Great Yarmouth. Age 43 I returned to live in Kirkwall and went back to college where I achieved an HNC in Tourism and a degree in Scottish Culture Studies. I worked in the tourist office in Kirkwall for a season and with Adult befriending through Voluntary Action Orkney and then in Stronsay with the development trust for 18 months. I now enjoy providing home care for the elderly and have been back to Stronsay to work with the HomeCare team a couple of times. Karen Esson I went to KGS in 1958/59 after primary school in Stronsay. Was there 1 year then moved to Stromness Academy when we moved to live in Dounby. After that it was Aberdeen Training College (TC) for three years teacher training. Started my teaching career in Aberdeenshire for two years, then Papdale Primary for almost two years. Transferred to Dounby where I 'settled' until retirement in 1997. Rhoda Walker Born at Cleat in Stronsay in 1963 and grew up at Whitehall cottage/ Farm. Went to school on Stronsay until 3rd year when I went in to the KGS Hostel (our class was the first one to get to stay in Stronsay until 3rd year). Did 3 years at KGS. Went to nursing college in Aberdeen in 1982 to do Registered Sick Children’s Nursing. Then in 1987 I went to college again and did Registered Nurse training. Moved back to KIRKWALL in 1989. Worked with NHS Orkney since 1992 until now. Worked as staff nurse, project nurse and then senior management until became Director of Nursing, Midwives and Allied Health professions in 2007. In 2013 took up secondment as clinical programme lead/ project manager for the new hospital build.
  5. 5. #nowrongpath #StronsayDestinations Brian Vickery I was at Stronsay school from 1983 until 1989 when we left the island aged 12. I attended Treorchy Comprehensive school in Rhondda, South Wales, until I was 16 before attending Llwynipia College and doing Carpentry. I have had numerous jobs over the years which include working on building sites, factory production, mobile engineer, vending machine operator etc. Now I work part time as a delivery driver in South Wales for Iceland foods. Carl Knight I was at Stronsay School from 1986 to Xmas 94 when I went to Inverness college to study engineering. I currently run my own business in Newcastle. Cassie Adams I arrived on Stronsay, started S2. I stayed until S4. Went to KGS for a year then went to college and studied childcare. I worked in a few different places -Stronsay swimming pool, Bar work, Peedie breeks, Enable, Child Contact Centre, now I have full time employment at Papdale Nursery as an Early Years Practitioner. Craig Stout At School I was very interested in Sports, and the school helped a lot with this, enabling me to take P.E as a Standard Grade although it was not an option prior to me asking. Alongside, I took, 3 Sciences, Maths, English, Craft and Design, French and Geography. From then I went to KGS for two years before moving to Edinburgh where I am currently studying my final year in BSc Agriculture. I am doing this to further my own knowledge of farming but also opens up other options into different careers as a back-up plan. Verona Peace Moved to KGS in S2. Went to college in Thurso. Back to Ork where I worked in Evie Primary and the Kirkwall hotel before moving to Pitlochry. There I worked in a private school for a few years until it closed. I managed a nursery for 1 year until it closed (seeing a pattern here...I must have been a jinx!) Then did supply in rural Perthshire. I then got a job at another preparatory school for 8 years until Ribh was diagnosed with arthritis and I resigned. During her illness I picked up wee jobs here and there until I moved to Peebles pregnant with Cian in 2012. I then started a couple of MLM businesses (Pampered Chef and My Secret Kitchen) as I raised the two kids. I now am Partnered with an amazing company helping people save and make money with Utility Warehouse. I am a Team leader and thoroughly enjoy it.
  6. 6. #nowrongpath #StronsayDestinations Wilma Stout I started school in Stronsay in 1975 and went to Kirkwall Grammar in 1984 for three years to do my O Grades and Highers. I moved back to Stronsay to work in the post office with mum and dad. Then got married and had my family. I am still living and working in Stronsay and am very happy here. Leona Stevenson I went to Stronsay School starting in Infants in 1980 until 1991 when I left aged 16. The option to take Standard Grades in Stronsay came in the year before I was due to start 3rd year, and I was so happy to be able to stay in Stronsay rather than go into KGS. At that time the ro-ro hadn't started yet and I would have had to stay in the hostel and only get home once a month, which I didn't like the idea of at all! The six standard grades available were English, Maths, Science, French, Craft & Design and Home Economics. As my year was just me & Corina Taylor (nee Knight) it was nearly like private tuition. I'm not sure my exam results would have been as good if I'd been at KGS! Some classes had the S3 and S4 pupils together and we looked forward to those for a bit more banter. We also got machine knitting with Joyce Peace once a week which was the best fun and you had a grand gansey to end up with too! I planned to go to KGS for 5th year but was really homesick and ended up leaving after a month and worked at John Fiddler's shop at the head of the pier, which now belongs to the Monks. After 2 years there I moved to Kirkwall. The ro-ro had arrived and made it a much easier transition. I did an SVQ in Business & Administration at Orkney College and after a variety of different jobs including working at Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Orkney Islands Council, and Orkney College UHI, plus some traveling, I am currently living in Western Australia, working at the Shire of Ashburton, which is the equivalent of Orkney Islands Council. My role is Development Land and Asset Compliance Support Officer, in the Property & Development Department. I think growing up in Stronsay and going to a small school gave me a great start in life and I made friendships which will last forever.
  7. 7. #nowrongpath #StronsayDestinations Gail King I started Stronsay school in 1985, aged 4 and a half, joining 4 others – 3 of whom would remain my classmates right up to the end of S4. Some of the things I remember about my time in the primary department include playing 10 green bottles, sitting on the worktop in the infant room, with Mrs Dennison (Auntie Elsie) playing the piano. I remember the excitement of the BBC computers and playing king of the jungle, then the first apple mac arriving, with the Encarta encyclopaedia CD ROM and the creation of the computer room! I remember the big TV trolley, with the TV and video recorder on it, that would get wheeled in sometimes to let us watch programmes to help us with spelling. There were lots of changes to the building during my time there, with the ‘new’ windows, the removal of the old fashioned radiators, the moving of the staff room and so on, then of course the building of some new classrooms and the swimming pool and all the associated fundraising everyone was involved in. I remember playing in the humps, the dumps and the shelter. My first school trip off the island was in P6 I think, when we went to Kirkwall for a week as it was before the days of the ro-ro. We stayed in the hostel, sleeping on mattresses on the floor and we went trampolining at KGS and horse riding! I moved into S1 in 1992, having different classes in different rooms (which wasn’t the case when I started school), including French in a portakabin where the swimming pool now is! In 1994, we went on a school trip to France, by bus, along with a school from the Inverness area! My mum became the school cook whilst I was in the secondary, after Liz retired. When I was in 3rd year, the subjects I chose to take for my standard grades were Biology, Craft and Design, English, French, History, Maths and a first for Stronsay school – Art! I remember making regular use of the darkroom in the school to develop and print black and white photos. Then in May 1996, the same time as Oasis released Don’t look back in Anger, we sat our Standard Grades, bringing to an end our wonderful time at Stronsay School. I spent 2 years at KGS doing my Highers before going on to study a BA in Marketing at the University of Paisley. Shortly after finishing my degree, I got a job with the Bank of Scotland, where I have now worked for over 16 years (no idea where that time went!), doing various different roles, under various different company names! We are now known as Lloyds Banking Group and I am currently a Continuous Improvement Assistant Manager within Commercial Banking. We work on various projects and use ‘lean’ methodology to help make our processes as efficient as possible, which in turn helps us to provide the best Customer service we can! I really enjoy my job, but can’t actually believe it is now 23 years since I left Stronsay school!! I must sound so old!! I have attached a picture of me with my girls, Summer who is 7 and Amber who is 5. We visit home every summer and the girls love to go to the pool and see the school I went to, which is so different to the school they go to with a role of around 300!
  8. 8. #nowrongpath #StronsayDestinations Kate O’Reilly I started school at the Stronsay North School (now Holmsgarth) and when that school closed I was seven when I transferred to the Stronsay Junior Secondary School. I left the Stronsay School when I was 12 and unlike most Stronsay pupils who went to Kirkwall Grammar School, I went to Stromness Academy when I stayed with an Aunt and Uncle in Harray. I travelled to school daily by the school bus and only got home to Stronsay for the school holidays. At Stromness I studied the normal choice of subjects but I particularly enjoyed the subject then called Domestic Science (but later became known as Home Economics). As a result of my interest in Domestic Science and at the age of 17, I left Stromness and continued my education at the famous Edinburgh College of Domestic Science where I studied to become a Domestic Science Teacher. At the end of a four year course I qualified as a secondary school teacher. My first teaching appointment was at Penicuik High School, a secondary school just outside Edinburgh, teaching cooking and sewing to girls and during this time I introduced cooking classes for the boys which became very popular. I taught at Penicuik for 4 years then had a break when my children were born and during this break from teaching I was a dressmaker for an independent dress designer making individually created dresses for customers. At this time I worked from home and I also taught dressmaking two evenings a week at adult education evening classes in the Edinburgh area. When my children reached school age I returned to teaching craft in our local primary schools and when I finally stopped teaching I was visiting six primary schools every week. Although my working life after leaving Stronsay Junior Secondary School has been away from Stronsay I still return home at least three times every year to visit my Stronsay family and stay in the house I have bought on the island. Alice Holland I left school and went to Orkney college to study childcare. I completed the first year, started the second but left half-way through as I wasn’t enjoying it. I started working full time at the Reel cafe then moved onto Helgis bar. After around 2 years at Helgis I decided I wanted to travel so I left there after saving up money and headed off to travel Australia. After 8 months travelling, I came home and started work at Argos bakery, where I worked for 2 and a half years. Now I have recently started work at Orkney Dental and currently I am training as a dental nurse. Not a career path I ever expected to be on, but I am very much enjoying it. If you don’t try, you don’t know! Lesley Stevenson I’m Lesley Stevenson originally from the Bu. I started school in 1966 with Mrs Robin Rendall as the p 1 teacher. I didn’t like school much to start off with and did a fair bit of greetan. I was put in beside my big brother Eoin to calm me down. I remember she tried to teach me how to knit. I’m left handed and couldn’t get the hang of it. I learned years later though. We then went into Mrs Sinclair’s
  9. 9. #nowrongpath #StronsayDestinations room. She was a lovely teacher. My personal favourite in the whole school. Then we went in to Mrs Groat. I remember she called a pessimist. Lastly we were taught by Mr Forrest. I didn’t go to the grammar school but chose to stay and did 4 o levels from Stronsay. (I did English, arithmetic, food & nutrition and fabric & fashion), only going into the grammar school to sit the exams. We were in composite classes all through the school, we had a few visiting teachers for different topics. I loved school dinners. Some of my favourites being homemade steak pie and Cornish pastie. Liz of Mount Pleasant was a great dinner lady. I went on to be a cook but now teach folk how to train their dogs. Anna Livsey I studied at Stronsay School up until the end of P7 as I opted to go to KGS. I studied a mixture of subjects and left school with fairly high standard grade results and a few highers. I studied for a year at Orkney College then found full time employment. I didn't know what I wanted to do then and still don't! There is no wrong path in life and I've taken a wealth of experience from my working life. I would advise taking advantage of education while it's free though! Elaine Harcus I left Stronsay School when I was 15 and went to KGS for 5th and 6th year. I then moved to Aberdeen to study BSc Sport and Exercise Science at the Robert Gordon University. After 4 years I graduated with a first class honours degree and moved back home. I initially worked as a Leisure Assistant at Picky for a short time, and well as helping out on the farm at home! I then worked as a Customer Service Assistant in the Bank of Scotland for a year. When the new KGS opened, I was really pleased to get the job of Duty Officer for the sport and community use of the building. After a short time I was promoted to Senior Duty Officer for all OIC Sport and Leisure facilities following the retirement of my line manager. I am currently on maternity leave but plan to return to this post when the bairns are a bit bigger. Lynette Shearer Left Stronsay School aged 12 and lived in the school hostel until I was 18. While at school I worked in the Ayre Hotel as a waitress to begin with and then in reception. Went to Edinburgh to study an HND at Napier. Came home and worked again in reception in the Ayre Hotel until I was 24 when I went to work at Price and Long local accountancy firm where I’ve been since. I have gained my professional qualifications AAT & ATT while working there. Mike Rendall I went to Dounreay atomic power station and served my time as an electrician. I worked in the oil industry most of my life. I recently retired from a position of maintenance supervisor / chief engineer on a Floating Production vessel based in the Philippines.
  10. 10. #nowrongpath #StronsayDestinations Bill Miller Bill Miller, born 9th November, 1943, at 27, The Station, Stronsay, which was the middle of the three cottages which now make up the monks shed at the Lower Station. Youngest of 4 children born to Johnno and Maggie Miller. Moved up the road to Glenmanna in 1948. Attended Stronsay Junior Secondary School until 1958, in which year I was Dux of the School. With three other boys who were going to blacken me, accidentally broke a large window, and got six of the strap from Mr Forrest. Was supposed to go to school until the next Tuesday but started work at Clestrain Farm on the Monday . Worked there as cattleman/farm labourer until June 1962 when I went to North Ronaldsay to help build an extension on the pier with the contractor, Pat Sutherland. Came back to Stronsay when work stopped for the winter and worked at The Lodge for a few months until going back to North Ronaldsay again in the spring. On 24th June, 1963, joined the Metropolitan Police in a London and spent 13 weeks at Hendon Police College learning all about the law etc. after which I was posted to Kentish Town Police Station in North London. In 1965, I moved to Kings Cross Police Station, where I served until May 1966, when I joined the CID at West End Central Police Station in Saville Row in central London. As a trainee CID officer, I dealt with arresting pick pockets, burglars, murderers etc etc, and one day while looking for pick pockets, came across a team of armed robbers as they were about to rob a bank. One robber had a sawn- off shotgun and another had a Fairy Liquid bottle filled with double strength industrial ammonia. Three of us were sprayed with the ammonia and threatened with the shotgun. One colleague was hit full blast in the eye with the ammonia as a result of which he lost his eye and had to retire from the Police. We managed to hold on to the man with the ammonia and later arrested the man with the shotgun plus several more of this robbery gang. In 1973, I transferred to City Road Police Station in East London where I again dealt with all sorts of crime including the murder of a retired Police Sergeant from Cyprus. In 1975. I transferred to the Criminal Intelligence Department at New Scotland Yard where I was in charge of collating information on London’s top criminals and selecting them to be made “target criminals “ to be followed by teams from the Flying Squad and Regional Crime Squads until they were caught committing a crime. In 1978, I was promoted to Sergeant,and as was the rule at that time, had to return to uniform for one year. I served my year at Shepherds Bush Police Station where I had 20 Constables to supervise. We dealt with all sorts of incidents there including riots which were taking place at that time. We also covered three football stadiums, Queen’s Park Rangers, Fulham and Chelsea. I was usually put in charge of controlling the pitch at QOR with about 20 PCs which was quite interesting. After my year back in uniform,I moved back to the West End as a Detective Sergeant at Bow Street Police Station. Again, I had to deal with all types of crime from burglary, to murder. One murder I dealt with was of a prostitute who was lured to the very posh London Savoy Hotel in the Strand, abs stabbed 55 times by a maniac, who then left the scene. We traced him the next day in Southend where I arrested him and he was later convicted at the Old Bailey, London’s Central Criminal Court. In 1981, I transferred to the Flying Squad and initially was employed investigating the “Brixton Riots”, where crowds of hooligans were setting fire to shops and looting goods from them. After this on the Flying Squad, we dealt with all the London armed robberies, mostly robberies at banks, post offices and security vans. One robber I dealt with became a “supergrass” for me and admitted 106 offences of armed robbery, possessing guns, stealing getaway cars etc, and he gave evidence for me against 32 other bank robbers. In November, 1983, an armed robbery occurred at the Brinks Mat Security vaults at
  11. 11. #nowrongpath #StronsayDestinations Heathrow when robbers stole 3 tons of gold bars valued at 26 million pounds. We arrested 3 of the robbers 10 days later and the went to prison for 25 years. We found 11 gold bars and arrested several people for handling the gold and cash they got after the gold was melted down and re-sold. Sadly while following those people, a colleague, Detective Constable John Fordham was stabbed 11 tines by one of the criminals and died of his injuries .I spent the next ten years tracing where the money from the sale of the stolen gold had gone, and this took me to banks in Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Ireland, South Africa, Isle of Man, Channel Islands and America. For the last 5 years there was only two of us on the enquiry, and by the time I retired in October, 1993, we had recovered £26 million in cash and property such as houses and property developments. One of my last jobs before I retired was to do the parole report for Kenneth Noye, the criminal who killed my colleague. I stated that he would undoubtedly kill again , and sure enough, after he got out of prison, he stabbed a boy to death on the M25 in a road rage killing. In October 1993, I came back to live in Stronsay and took up lobster fishing in my boat Nora, which I did until I retired in 2008. In between times I built the new three bedroomed Glenmanna, and also built on a two bedroom and bathroom extension at Airy Cottage. I was a member of the Stronsay RNLI committee for about 20 years and moved in to Kirkwall in 2013. I am a member of the Kirkwall RNLI fundraising team, and Chairman of the Orkney Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre, where we provide physiotherapy, massage and oxygen therapy to some 40 clients suffering from MS. Ellen Caithness Left Stronsay JS at 12 years old. Went to KGS for four years. Loved school, disliked the hostel so four years was enough after gaining “O” levels. Highers would have been great but couldn’t do more hostel. At that point I completed my application to train as a nurse. Soon after that I became sick at the sight of blood so thankfully I had done commercial subjects and opted for office work instead. Other circumstances took me to Huntingdonshire, England so took on a job as Nanny to two little girls for six months. (It was “live in” so I didn’t have rent to worry about). I went back to Stronsay for a year after that and did housekeeping for an 88 year old lady. My next job was my first office work at Rosemount Engineering Co in Chichester, Sussex. I worked in the Drawing Office. The company made aircraft parts for Hawker Sidley and it was very interesting. I then moved to Kent and worked at Kimberley Clark, in the personnel office. A very interesting time there as we had illegal immigrants appearing almost every day off boats, looking for work and being taken on by the Managing Director! I then lived abroad for a few years, in Cyprus. Back in the UK I went to Elgin Technical College to update my Pittman’s Quals. I did temp work at British Aluminium Co in Inverness and other ad hoc jobs to swell the holiday coffers etc. Then I did a spell of around 10/11 years as school secretary at Duncan Forbes Primary School at Culloden, the school my children attended I got all the school hols, brilliant head teacher, wonderful PTA and a young vibrant community made up of people from all areas, of all disciplines, races, etc, etc, just magic times. Bought a hotel, went to college to learn about that. Interesting but not my best move, so sold up and joined Aquascot Marketing at Artafallie on the Black Isle (in a portacabin) It was after I started there I learned how to switch on a computer! A purpose built factory followed in Alness and I became an internal auditor as well as learning all about writing procedures to
  12. 12. #nowrongpath #StronsayDestinations meet the requirements of BS5750. The company was the first salmon factory in Scotland to be certificated with BS5750. I moved to Orkney in 1993 and worked with a business here who then became the first Orcadian company to be thus certificated. I then set up on my own with help from HIE to provide businesses with their own bespoke Quality Management Systems, in 1994. Word of mouth recommendations brought in contracts in various sectors in Orkney, across in Caithness and down to Inverness. I can honestly say I was very lucky in every job I had. My employers were very fair, I was paid good wages, but I loved being my own boss best. I retired years ago because I could, but the person who carried on the business asked me to do some work last year and I accepted so I have now worked up in Shetland too Corina Taylor I am an ex pupil of Stronsay School. When I first moved to Stronsay in 1986, I went into P7, which Marion Orr taught. There was another girl in that class & a boy, who moved away during S1. When we reached S3, it was the first year of Standard Grades being introduced to the school. We studied English, Maths, French, Science, Home Economics and Craft & Design. I really enjoyed my time at Stronsay School, especially French lessons with Mrs Rosie in the portakabin! As my birthday isn't until the end of the year, I stayed on at school after 4th year exams until Christmas, where amongst other courses, I did a course with Orkney College by telephone link, where I wrote on a special notepad & the writing showed up on the screen in town! How technology has changed since then!! I am now a mum to three boys, as well as being a Support for Learning Assistant part time, working in a tearoom & having a sewing business which I run from home. Claire Kirkpatrick I left Stronsay School in 1994 I did caring skills for a year and then did hairdressing and worked in Stromness for a year until I met a juggler (true story haha!!) and went off to Birmingham initially and then onto Reading where I did hairdressing and barbering. Sadly, I got very poorly with anxiety so came back home to Stronsay after 8 months away. I’m not sure how long I was in Stronsay for but I went back to Kirkwall and worked until mum and dad sold Lower Leaquoy in 1999, we moved to Thornton (just outside Blackpool). I did barbering for a few years until dad and mum separated so we came back to Kirkwall with dad. I worked in a salon but was keen to get back south once dad was settled, I did move back to Blackpool but circumstances yet again led me back to Kirkwall in February 2002. I met my now ex-husband in the July and we got married the following June, we opened a salon and photography studio for 2 years but my anxiety was really bad again so we closed the salon. I had my son the following September, he was very poorly with epilepsy and had lots of other health conditions and behaviour problems. His sister was born 19 months later and I spent a lot of years signed off work due to extreme anxiety and panic attacks. If I hadn't been signed off for that I wouldn't have still been able to work as Kyle was so poorly and had several trips to hospital both here and Aberdeen. Despite that in 2009, when Kyle was at nursery his educational psychologist suggested someone make him a book with his
  13. 13. #nowrongpath #StronsayDestinations interests to see if we could engage him so I went home and made 'Larry the lawnmower' which was a pull apart book and the beginning of my business Flutterbug Creations. I got a start-up grant from business gateway and ran my business for 6 years getting 4 books self- published and selling in the top 3 online disability sites in the UK. I left my then husband in 2012, in 2015 I had a little girl to my current husband and when we got married in 2016 I reinvented myself and my creativity as Claire Kirkpatrick Art. I somehow stumbled into what I do now - I'd seen word art for a while and wondered about putting all of the Orkney Islands on a wooden heart, I shared it to Orkney Past and Present and genuinely I was not prepared for the attention it got. I was asked to do other areas and it grew really quickly, I took on my first member of staff Elaine (who still works for me) it grew so much that I took on another 5 people within the first 6-8 months but they were all self-employed. I was spending too much on wages so spoke to my accountant and agreed I should employ rather than do self- employment so 3 of them left, Elaine became a proper employee and I took 3 others on, it was really hard earlier this year so I stripped the business right back to just me and Elaine, it’s a lot of work but much less stressful now! Growth into lots of employees isn't always the best for businesses but there’s always such pressure to do it, I now have almost 500 areas covered all over Britain and supply over 80 businesses from the Shetland Islands down to Cornwall, with Elaine's help (and me having more experience) the business pretty much runs without much input from me so I can now do things I love which is creating and currently painting (dogs mainly) I'm in a much better place, I still struggle with anxiety but it's much more manageable now, it changed so much when I passed my driving test as I could leave the house without feeling too vulnerable, in 2016 my oldest was diagnosed with autism, its been an incredibly hard journey but he's the most lovely lad, my other 2 do really well too, we live with my in laws in Stromness, my mother in law has a rare condition called multi system atrophy so she's fully dependent on us for absolutely everything, toileting, clothing, food (she's peg fed etc) I do the bulk of her care with the carers as my father in law is now 80 and not fit which is why we moved in 5 years ago. It's a busy, crazy, hectic house but despite it all I'm the happiest and most settled I've ever been. I love Stronsay, it never leaves you despite not being back for a lot of years, it was my home and in many ways always will be despite not living there. I'm so proud of how everyone pushes it there now and the creativity - my goodness!! My favourite things at school was 100% lunchtimes - Liz was a fantastic cook!! Funniest memory would be Mrs Rosie getting locked out of the school when we had French in the portocabin!! Stronsay is 100% massive! Alison Hourston I attended Stronsay school from the time my family moved here, in 2004, until I left to attend KGS, in 2012. I loved every second and had a lot of fun with my classmates and teachers alike, building memories I will have forever. After I left KGS, I applied to university to do primary teaching and after gaining an unconditional offer I decided to defer, to let me weigh up my options. Having never really contemplated life after school, other than going on to study at university, I started working on my family farm at the age of 17. I loved it and I think I totally surprised my whole family as well as myself on how I’d evolved over the years there. At the age of 18 I cancelled my place at Uni and decided to stay on the farm. Since then I have now done over 5 years full time, being the longest full-time employee we have. Growing from being a ‘helper’ to doing stuff like feeding all the cattle in the winter, carting silage, spreading slurry, fencing, dung spreading, drainage, mowing, topping, power- harrowing, all with machines I never thought I’d be able to use. I’ve done book work;
  14. 14. #nowrongpath #StronsayDestinations managing invoices, registering calves, ordering supplies and managing any income/expenses through our new system. I qualified to be a lifeguard in 2016 and I did 2 and a half years at the local Swimming Pool. I also gained my personal licence which allows me to open the bar at the Community Hall as well as, on occasion, look after the Stronsay Hotel when the owners are away. I am currently the Chair of the Stronsay Community Association and a member of the Stronsay Sprites, who help organise Stronsay’s massive weekend. In my personal life, my Husband and I recently purchased an old house at the end of last year with intentions to renovate it. We also got a dog in February; Fly. I am proud of everything I’ve done through working at home and to help grow my family’s business. Working so close to the centre of the business lets you see the consequences of your actions, good or bad. I had been under the impression for so long that because I had never shifted from where I was when I left school, I hadn’t achieved anything. I was told you had to work somewhere else to know what it’s like to have a real job. But for me, every decision I make in my personal life revolves around the farm and my family’s schedule to, hopefully, lessen the burden of working a 24/7 job, for everyone. It was the best decision I have made. I could have gone on to Uni and gone down a completely different path but I know, for myself, I wouldn’t change this for the world. Diane Stevenson I left Stronsay School to start 3rd year at KGS, stayed at KGS until the end of 6th year. On to college and then Uni in Aberdeen to study accountancy. Then off to Canada with Val (she would be a good one to ask too) for a few months travelling. Back home to Orkney to work at Scholes for a year or so. Then moved to Ireland working in accountancy in the property sector. Then off to Australia for 6+years, working in accountancy all the time, at Sydney Uni, a couple of telcos, and a travel company. Back home to work at Orcadia and part time management accounting for Restart. Then off for maternity leave and now work from home as a self-employed finance support contractor. Accounting wasn’t the most awe-inspiring thing to study, but I will say this for it, you will always get a job, wherever you are in the world. Eilidh Fisher I left Stronsay school when I was 14 and completed S5 at KGS. I studied at a drama school in LA for a year and a half before moving to London. I worked several different jobs within my first year there; I was a bookseller in Waterstones, worked in several different departments at Harrods and then as a waitress in a cafe. I still keep up waitress work when I’m between acting jobs. But this year I’ve filmed a guest role for a BBC show and a new series for Netflix. I was embarrassed to tell people when I was younger, that I wanted to be an actor, because it felt so impossible and out of reach. And I did spend a long time writing to people who never replied or auditioning for jobs I didn’t get. But I got the jobs that were right for me and met people along the way who have been so happy to help and give advice. I think if you have something you want to do, you’ve got to give it a shot. There’s no rule saying it wasn’t meant for you.
  15. 15. #nowrongpath #StronsayDestinations Erynn Stevenson I left Stronsay school when I was 15 and went to KGS to carry on my education there. I left KGS when I was 17, held a job at The Pickaquoy Centre as a lifeguard till August! Then in September I started an NC Childcare course at Orkney College and work at Peedie Breeks at the same time. Arna Cooper I started school after the Easter holidays in 1962, a daunting experience in those days with no playgroup, nursery or pre-school where you get to know your classmates before you started into “big school”. The only people I knew were my two bigger cousins and can remember being a bit wary of this big place! I got on ok though and must have settled in okay and can still remember the delight in learning to read. One thing I can remember very well from early days at school, I couldn’t see what the teacher wrote on the blackboard and if we had to copy anything down I had to ask whoever was sitting next to me what was written up there, I would have been 6 or 7 and thought it was just something strange about me, but no, the teacher must have picked up on this and it was discovered I needed glasses! Then school-work became much better, I could see so much more. My favourite subjects was English, I really liked writing stories and spelling, which I used to be good at while I was still at school. I also liked history but not so keen on maths. I enjoyed my primary school days and was very keen to learn. At that time your only option to go further study and exams was to go into KGS at 1st year. I was very keen to do this, but I doubt it just didn’t work out! I was newly 12, I had never been away from home on my own before and although I was excited and happy when I set of on the boat for Kirkwall I just couldn’t cope with being away from home, the hostel was something so different, the school so big and the prospect of only getting home once a term I just couldn’t handle it, after a short time I came back to Stronsay school and into secondary, much happier. Then I discovered another subject I had a passion for, handcraft and cooking. Liz Stevenson from Mount Pleasant was our teacher for this and I loved it. I left Stronsay school in 1972 at the age of 15. My class was the last class to be able to leave at this age, with pupils in the class below having to go on until they were 16. I worked at home, doing housework and helping out on the farm for about a year. Orkney college was just in its very early days at this time and offered a very few courses but one of these courses was in catering and I was lucky enough to get a place on it in 1973, including being able to stay in the school hostel. By this time I was 16 and could handle things a lot better. I thoroughly enjoyed the course, which was only for 1 year. I passed my exams, applied for a job in the School kitchen and came home to Stronsay to work there. I worked alongside Liz Stevenson, who had been school cook for the past 17 years! After a break of some years while I brought up our girls I was back in that same kitchen taking over from Liz as the cook when she retired, the same Liz who had started me off on my passion for cooking, and I was there for the next 23 years.
  16. 16. #nowrongpath #StronsayDestinations Cameron Singh-Johnstone After leaving Stronsay School I went to KGS for 5th and 6th year, and then to the University of Aberdeen to study a BSc in Ecology. During my studies I started working for the School of Biological Sciences doing videography and marketing, for which I travelled to beautiful places across Scotland. Concurrently, I also undertook volunteering with Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels and various other organisations through UoA Conservation Society. For my Honour’s research project, I camped on a 7-hectare uninhabited island in the Firth of Forth to study interactions between puffins and great black-backed gulls. I was invited to London to discuss my findings at an event in Parliament, as well as an academic conference in Glasgow, which sparked an interest in pursuing research as a career. I am currently undertaking a research master’s degree, where I will investigate seabird bycatch in the Mediterranean pelagic longline fleet. This research will be supervised jointly by an academic from UoA and an EU policy advisor from Birdlife International, Brussels, and will directly inform policy recommendations. Linda Gorn Left school worked in my Dads grocer/butcher shop in Whitehall Village, moved to Kirkwall trained as a nurse at Balfour hospital, moved to Edinburgh did private nursing in Dunoon, moved back to Edinburgh worked at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, did private nursing, moved back to Orkney to Sanday, moved to Shapinsay did district nursing in Shapinsay, Sanday and Stronsay. Opened a bed and breakfast/restaurant in Shapinsay, moved to Elgin worked as a housekeeper, moved to Keith worked as a care assistant, opened a craft shop, became a Councillor, opened another shop, now running the Keith Kilt and Textile Centre for the last 11 years. Got an MBE for my efforts and the highlight of my working life is it has all been great. Catherine Seaton I was at Stronsay from P1 to S2 then onto KGS from S3-S5. As for jobs I have done everything; worked at Olivebank, lifeguarding, hall caretaker, delivery person and rubbish collector, helped with swim club, games club and the slaughter-house. Also worked at the fishmart, all of these jobs just in Stronsay! I then moved to Torphins and worked in the local Scotmid before getting a job at Sunshine Nursery. I started at the bottom and got my qualification, level 2 and 3 in childcare whilst doing the job and left there being in charge of the whole baby unit. Then went back to Scotmid until I moved back to Stronsay. Then as you all know I helped at the fishmart before starting at the school! Jacqui Smith I started nursery in Stronsay and continued my education right through to fourth year. I am glad I chose to stay in third year as it allowed me to be taught on a one to one basis opposed to being in classes of 30+ pupils at a larger school. This allowed me to stay at home on the island which I feel particularly helped me towards my final exam results as I had a large support network behind me. My standard grade subjects and results were: Craft and Design (1), French (1), Home Economics (1), Music (1), Geography (1), English (2), Biology (2) and Maths (3). I also learnt to play the fiddle with weekly tuition from Mrs
  17. 17. #nowrongpath #StronsayDestinations Maxwell, and still play today in several bands. Stronsay School helped my career by sending me on the four day ‘Sea Survival techniques’ course which consisted of one day Sea Survival, one day of Basic First Aid Training, Basic Fire fighting and P.S.S.R training. These four courses allowed me to apply for the summer stewards job on the North Isles Ferries at 16 years of age. I completed two summers aboard the Earl Thorfinn, earning fantastic wages for someone just leaving school at £108/day, on a one week on, one week off rota. I had to wait two years for a job opportunity to come up with Orkney Ferries, but when the time came I applied and got the job of Cook. I then trained to become Chief Steward and covered in my time off. A Chief Stewards job came up in April 2018, (which I missed my interview for!) – however I got the promotion and changed over to the Varagen – which lies in Stronsay every week – Bonus! Duncan MacRae My name is Duncan Kenneth MacRae and I was born in Stronsay on 5th September 1954. I was the third person to be christened in the then new Moncur Memorial Church.. My parents owned the Stronsay hotel and were there from 1953-1961. My Grandparents had the original Stronsay Hotel in the 1930s until it burned down in September 1939. My grandfather then had the West End Hotel in Kirkwall in 1946. (I believe that he actually gave the West End Hotel its name). My Grandparents then moved to Inverness and lived there until the 1960's Neither my parents nor grandparents were native Orcadians (they were all either from Wester Ross or Invernes-shire). However they all had lifelong Orcadian attachments. My father's sister Maureen was also born in Stronsay in the 1930s. I only attended the primary school from about 1958 until my parents moved to Golspie in Sutherland where they bought the Stag's Head Hotel. This move was precipitated by my grandmother's death in a car accident in Inverness shire. My earliest memories are from Stronsay Primary school, Mrs Maxwell my teacher and to this date I have been in regular contact with many of my old fellow students. Many of whom have been lifelong friends. My upbringing was in the hotel trade, however my career was to take a different direction. On leaving High School in Golspie in 1972 I attended Napier in Edinburgh and did a 4 year degree in Science with Industrial Studies. This was the first degree to offer students two six month stints in industry as part of the syllabus and when I left in 1976 I had a stab at a post graduate qualification in Personnel Management. That didn't work out for either me or my long suffering lecturers so I applied for jobs in Industry. In 1978 I secured a graduate traineeship with the Distillers Company, (what is now Diageo). I worked for 18 years with Diageo, To begin with I worked in Distillers Head Office in Edinburgh for a year and then on the shop floor in each of the five Grain Distilleries which Distillers owned at that time.
  18. 18. #nowrongpath #StronsayDestinations Caledonian Distillery in Haymarket in Edinburgh. Carsebridge Distillery in Alloa (at that time this was the biggest Grain distillery in the world) Cameronbridge Distillery in Fife ( Still in production), Cambus Distillery in Clackmannanshire and Port Dundas Distillery in Glasgow. A Grain distillery uses a different process than a Malt Distillery and typically will produce as much alcohol in a week as a Malt Distillery like HP or Scapa can produce in a year. They are huge alcohol factories, producing approx 5000 litres of grain alcohol per still at 94.1% alcohol by volume per hour, 24 hours a day, seven days a week in a continuous process. Carsebridge had three stills when I worked there. Process by products included CO2 gas which was liquified on site and tankered out as Distillers CO2 to put the fizz in soft drinks. At Port Dundas we would produce over 200 tonnes of liquified CO2 in a week. Animal feed was also a by product. I ended up in Cambus Distillery and finished there as Assistant Manager in 1992. In 1992 In was asked to travel to London to become Operations manager with Gordons Gin at their bottling plant. I worked there in various roles until 1996 when In was asked to join Glenmorangie as part of a small team to modernise and automate a lot of the business. This was successfully completed and the business was sold to the luxury French business LVMH in about 2005-6 I stayed with Glenmorangie and held a number of senior positions within the organisation until I left the business in 2009 and retired to West Linton in the Borders. In all this time we regularly came back to Orkney. I've always had an affinity with the islands which is hard to explain. I have come back at least every 2 years since I left in 1961.We moved here permanently at the beginning of 2018. Ian Cooper I was born in Stronsay and attended Stronsay School from 1961 until 1970. Back then, the only way to get any formal school qualifications (at that time it would have been ‘O’ grades) was to go to Kirkwall Grammar School at about eleven or twelve years old, staying in the School Hostel and only getting home once or twice a term. As a farmer at heart this certainly didn’t appeal to me so I didn’t follow that route. I left school at fifteen, my only qualification being a certificate for passing my Cycling Proficiency Test! I went straight to work on the family farm, going on to do a three year course at Weyland Agricultural College, which I attended in weekly blocks 6 times a year for much of the theory aspect of the course and getting the practical experience home on the farm. I worked on the same farm all my life until retiring from farming a couple of years ago. Over the last fifty years I’ve seen farming evolve from a hard but fairly simple life into a business tied up in more and more red tape where making a mistake on a form or missing a deadline can have huge financial implications and the need for a sound education has become more and more apparent. Since the introduction of Standard Grades about thirty years ago and the chance for pupils to have a more rounded education along with the opportunity to gain qualifications at Stronsay School I’ve also seen a transformation at our school. I’ve watched it evolve into a facility where the learning environment is second to none and pupils are given the opportunity to follow a path that suits them, whether it be vocational or academic, and be able to move seamlessly to further education off Stronsay if that is their wish. Looking back, I’m disappointed that I didn’t have those options open to me when at school but hope that today’s pupils will see and appreciate the opportunities on
  19. 19. #nowrongpath #StronsayDestinations offer, make the most of their time at school and come to realise that this may well define the rest of their lives. Garry Dennison I attended Stronsay School from P1 to S4. I had a year home farming at Odiness and then went to Weyland (Orkney College) to study Agriculture for 3 years with Odiness as a placement. I worked at Odiness full time until I went to Aberdeen for a short time and worked at Aberdeen and Northern Marts as a yardsman but returned to farm at Odiness after an outbreak of foot and mouth. Gemma Hill I attended the school from P1 until S4. I left in June 1999 and did two years at KGS. At the end of 6th year I went down to Glasgow to Strathclyde University. I did a year in their city centre campus where I was embarking on a psychology degree with a view to doing a teaching Postgraduate at the end of it, however my heart wasn't in it as I just wanted to teach so after my 1st year I moved to Jordanhill and did teacher training. The intention was that I'd study in Glasgow then come home when I qualified but things don't always turn out as planned, I'm still down here 18 years later! I taught for 10 years then decided to take a Career Break after I had my second peedie one. When she turned 1 I joined Usborne Books at Home and School and I'm working hard at building up my very own little book business. I still get to work with schools but without the stress and pressures of teaching, it's fab! Right now I hope not to return to teaching but you never know what the future holds! Grace Pirie I left Stronsay School after 4th year and went to KGS to do 5th and 6th year. I then went to the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen where I did a Diploma of Higher Education in Nursing. After qualifying as a Staff Nurse, I worked in the Acute Medical Admissions Unit at ARI for 7 months before deciding to return home to Orkney. I worked on the nurse bank for 3 months before securing a permanent post in the Male/Acute ward where I worked for 13 years. In 2014 I got a job in the Day Surgery Unit, where I am still working. I am now doing a part time job-share as Senior Registered Nurse in the Unit. Over the past 2 years I have been doing a course with the Open University whilst working and I have recently graduated with a Bsc Honours in Nursing Practice. Eunice Connelly I left Stronsay J S School at 15 and worked as a housekeeper for one of our local teachers and her family. I then did the same job for our local Dr and his wife. I married into farming and alongside that start a Self-Drive car hire and Taxi service. I did that for 19 years. After leaving the island, I got involved with voluntary work. I trained as a Cruse Bereavement Care counsellor and also worked with Voluntary Services Orkney. In my spare time I took an English course at the college. After moving on to live in Inverness, I found myself becoming a relief cook for two Nursing Homes eventually settling into head cook for one of them. Then I took a complete change of direction and got a job in a secondary school as an Auxilliary working with children with Asperger's Syndrome. I finally decided to become my own boss
  20. 20. #nowrongpath #StronsayDestinations again and bought a Guesthouse which I ran for 17 years. I continue to do that except that it is a much smaller Guesthouse and now take life a little bit slower! Shannon Adams I left school in 2011 after S4. I studied English, chemistry, biology, craft & design, home economics, geography, music, French and maths. I really enjoyed going to Stronsay school and enjoyed the subjects I took. Now I have been working as a Social Care Assistant working with elderly residents with dementia for the last 3 years and I am proud of how far I have come to get here today. Kayleigh Brechin I attended Stronsay school until I was 10 years old in 1998. I left and went to 3 different schools in England before returning to Scotland (Montrose) and completing school there. I did at this point have various university places but I instead moved back down to England and worked in a subway sandwich shop for a few years. I then returned to Montrose and started working in Aberdeen hospital, that was in 2010. A few more moves (Peterborough and to Milton Keynes) many health care jobs and a child later I started studying to become a mental health nurse with the open university, I'm due to qualify next year. My son is 4 and has just started his school journey here in Milton Keynes. I've only visited Stronsay once in all the years since I moved and that was in 2002 when I was 14 but would absolutely bring my son up soon! Rhona Laughton I left the school in 1967 to go into 1st year at KGS (the one which is now the Council Offices). I stayed in the Hostel in Old Scapa Road (now the Youth Hostel) and hated every minute of it!! I left KGS after my O levels with the intention of going to Commercial College in Aberdeen but got a job in an insurance office (Commercial Union Assurance in Castle Street - where Radio Orkney is now) instead - my thoughts being that I could go to college for two years and still end up with the same type of job I got and the thought of earning wages appealed to me more!! I worked there for 12 years until I left to have my family. I was a stay at home Mum for about 15 years and went back to work at Papdale Primary School in 1997 as a Support for Learning Assistant, gaining an NC in SfLA studies at Orkney college. I retired in 2012 to look after my grandchildren while my daughter went back to work! Kerren Harris I left school in 1991 after finishing my highers and not sure what I wanted to do. I worked as a waitress in Kirkwall for 6 months to help me work it out. I moved to London when I wax 17 to train as a Montessori teacher- I then worked as a teacher/ nanny/ maternity nurse for 4-5 years. I worked mostly as a live in teacher/ nanny. Doing this allowed me to meet lots of different people and travel more than I would have had the chance to otherwise. I then worked as a knitwear designer and had a shop in Camden Market whilst also working part
  21. 21. #nowrongpath #StronsayDestinations time as a live in carer for a family with a very poorly young girl (who thankfully is now well and thriving!) I then went back to college to do a degree in object conservation. I worked briefly at Exeter Museum as an exhibition conservator. I then began working for Historic Royal Palaces as a preventive conservator and have been there for just over 20 years. I have had quite a few roles since I began working for HRP- I am currently Senior Preventive Conservator for Hampton Court and Kew Palace. Whilst working at HRP, I have completed an MA in Museum Studies and am currently doing a post grad. diploma in Art and Law. I happily represent Preventive Conservation on the national heritage conservation committee (Icon) and am fairly ‘active’ in the, admittedly- very geeky and slightly odd world of museum conservation. I still live in London which we (mostly) love but happily escape to Orkney (& other bits of the country) whenever we can. Ben Nicolson I attended Stronsay School, then progressed onto KGS where I attended S5 and S6, during my time in S6 I applied for the Royal Air Force, specialising as an RAF regiment gunner; specialising in infantry tactics, weaponry, field craft, and force protection. Carrying out a range of crucial duties to defend RAF bases and overseas air operations. I started training in February 2018 known as phase 1 training and began phase 2 training in July 2018 and became a member of the regiment on the 25th November 2018 where I was placed at 63 squadron also known as the Queen’s Colour Squadron. A squadron like no other, being the only ceremonial unit within the entire RAF, we become the Queen’s guards during the summer months guarding Buckingham Palace, St James palace, The Tower of London and Windsor castle. We also conduct royal taskings such as the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of D-DAY where President Trump and Her Majesty payed their respects, tattoos such as the Edinburgh tattoo and other tattoos like Virginia, Washington and Cyprus. I’d highly recommend the RAF to anyone who is willing to put the effort in, you can also find lots of videos of the squadron on the Queen’s Colour Squadrons Facebook page or on YouTube. Leslie miller I went to Stronsay School, left there and went into farming, still farming now. I also work as The Pier Master and Shipping Agent for Orkney Ferries. Bertha Fiddler I left the Stronsay School in 1951 and moved on to KGS. Was there till 1957, then went to Aberdeen College of Education, as they wanted to call it then, for three years' teacher training. Returned to Orkney in 1960 when I was appointed to the then Kirkwall Grammar School Primary Department and began teaching in what is now the Council Offices. I was moved to Papdale Infant Department and remained there for 21 years, teaching P1 and 2. Just before the end of that time I was promoted to Deputy Head, and in 1981 was made Headteacher. I got early retirement in 1995.
  22. 22. #nowrongpath #StronsayDestinations Wendy Groat I attended Stronsay School from primary one until secondary two and thoroughly enjoyed my time there, I just loved school. I went off to KGS at the beginning of S3 and did a year there, but unfortunately became ill. At that point I spent a long time off school and eventually it was agreed that I needed to take time out to recover from my illness without any stress. After a year out I tried to go back to school full time but still wasn’t able to be in school without becoming over tired, so I took a little longer off. During that time I got married and bought a house on Stronsay and I kindo resigned myself to the fact that my education was over. However I really felt that I had missed out on getting some qualifications and so I went back to school at Stronsay Junior High and sat in on some Maths lessons with Dr Tateson and some English lessons with Mr MacDonald. Having achieved my standard grade Maths and English as an adult returner, I then applied for a job at the school as a support for learning assistant. This was a very small post just five hours a week but I was thrilled to be successful. I worked in that post with Mrs Elsie Dennison in lower primary for the next 11 year and completed some short courses at Orkney College in the first year. The post expanded to more hours and time spent supporting upper primary and secondary classes too. The next year in 1998 nursery provision started at the school and I applied for and was appointed as an unqualified nursery nurse. I returned to Orkney college and studied for two years to get my HNC and become qualified for the post. I stayed in nursery for 10 years and thoroughly enjoyed my time there. After completing the HNC I applied for and was accepted on the BA Child and Youth Studies Degree, at Orkney College. It took me four years to complete this course and during that time I won Orkney College overall Student of the Year Award and was presented with a bursary from the Orcadian to help me in my continuing studies. When I finished my degree I was slightly lost and missed studying, so decided to do my Higher English, I studied through Inverness College as there were no tutors in Orkney at the time. I sat my final exam at Stronsay School though. Once I had that higher qualification, I decided that teacher training should be the next thing on the list and so applied to Aberdeen University and got a place to attend there. However that year was the beginning of teacher training in Orkney and so I transferred onto the local course run by Aberdeen Uni. This course took me two years and I still worked as a support for learning Assistant and Nursery Nurse at Stronsay School while I completed it. At the end of the teacher training I was placed for my induction year at Stronsay School and then got the position that I currently hold, teaching in various classes through the school. I have been a fully qualified teacher since 2009. During the years since I became fully qualified, I have worked as a teacher in upper primary, lower primary and in secondary. I have also had time off for maternity leave to have my two girls, Arya and Eilidh. Then in 2018 I decided that more study seemed like a good idea. I applied for and was accepted on the Master of Education Critical Enquiry course. I have completed the first year with two more to go. Who knows what’s next once this one is done! It is obvious that Stronsay School has played a huge role in all that I have done and achieved and the place and people within it, even those who have moved on, hold a very special place in my heart. I am really proud to be part of Stronsay School.
  23. 23. #nowrongpath #StronsayDestinations Shirley Miller Shirley Miller, born Shirley Allan at Leaquoy, Stronsay on 5th May 1957, to James Allan and Annie May Isbister. Had three older brothers, Leslie, James and Ronnie. Went to the Stronsay Central School until 1972. Moved to Oceanview in 1972 and worked in the Stronsay Hotel and Ebenezer Stores until I got married in 1973. Raised 3 daughters at Waterha until July 1986 when we moved in to Kirkwall. Worked as a barmaid in the Ayre Hotel and as a cleaner and kitchen assistant in the Kirkwall Community Centre until June 1992, when I started working as a carer at St Rognvalds Residential Care Home for the elderly. From then until now I have held every position possible from domestic, kitchen assistant, laundry domestic, senior social care worker, unit lead and finally Registered Manager where I manage over 100 members of staff. I am also manager of the Gilbertson Day Centre. St Rognvalds House has 44 beds, 21 suffering from dementia type illness, and 23 highly dependent physically frail. I left school with no qualifications, but since that time, I have obtained qualifications through Orkney College, Northern Highland College and Inverness University. This involved SVQ3, HNC, SVQ4 and Certificate In Care Services Diploma. Every day is a different challenge. Bill Miller and I got married in September 2018, and I will be retiring in 2023. Lee Caithness I studied at Stronsay Junior High School from 1995-2006 (from ages 5-16). I had a great upbringing in Stronsay and am very grateful for the opportunities I was afforded in living the island life. At age 16 I had little to no clue what I wanted to do with my life but felt I would figure this out in time. I did, however, know I wanted to continue my education and play rugby (sorry but that was a priority at 16). I went to the Kirkwall Grammar School where I studied and obtained highers and Intermediate 2s and to my delight was able to play rugby for Orkney RFC. At the end of my tenure with school I was still fairly uncertain what I wanted to do with my life and now felt time was running out. I felt a huge desire to study at University but no idea as to what. After discussions with a careers advisor, expressing a desire to keep returning to Orkney an option and feeling under pressure to decide right now, I applied to study quantity surveying at Napier University. During the summer I was very kindly given work at the local shop Olivebank (you may know it) and by Tony Withers labouring at his house which he was refurbishing at the time. I am extremely grateful also for the experience gained here. They were both great to work for and have given me great references. My first year at university was very enjoyable; I made some great lifelong friends and did reasonably in my exams passing the year. I also managed to get work as a stand-up comedian at venues around Scotland. This was an amazing experience and a bit of a lifelong dream of mine. Sadly, it didn’t pay particularly well in the early days as many promoters offer experience only to start. Still there is big money to make for some. Some of the acts I worked with have been lucky enough to be working on tv. My advice is if you want to try something like this you should. You’ll have fun and who knows. Show business is a tough gig but the only guarantee of not making it is not trying it. If I can give it a go so can any of you.
  24. 24. #nowrongpath #StronsayDestinations Second year was a bit different, I continued to do my stand up and play rugby for Murrayfield Wanderers and the university. However, the course became more ‘in depth’ and more specific. I tried my best to keep up but sadly this required a lot of skills that were not strong points if mine and I failed second year. Upon speaking to SAAS it became apparent that funding would be less as I had completed first year and that studies would no longer be affordable. I had to leave education still not knowing what I wanted to do with my life. This was a fairly dark time and I won’t lie the disappointment was palpable. But life goes on. I got a part time job doing ‘PR’ for night clubs. Essentially handing out leaflets. The hours weren’t great, and the pay was terrible, but it beat being unemployed. The hours meant giving up my comedy and my rugby. But I managed to play darts with my night off and was lucky enough doing this to take on some big names of the sport through local qualifiers including Phil ‘the Power’ Taylor. When one door closes as they say. I worked my way up in the nightclubs and obtained my bar license so that I could come in out of the cold and serve customers inside. After a year at the nightclubs I managed to get a full-time job for bookmaker ‘William Hill’. This job involved more fairly unsociable hours and the pay wasn’t great but I learnt a lot of valuable life lessons and I feel I gained a ‘thicker skin’ working in this field. I worked my way up and completed management courses within this role, all the while doing my best to continue with my darts when and where possible. Around the time of starting this job I met my now wife Debbie. She was a great source of encouragement and help when things were tough, and I have to credit her with helping me push to move on and to believe that I could get work doing something I enjoyed and would be successful at. My time at William Hill was interesting to say the least but I knew I didn’t want to be there forever, after four years and being in an albeit seconded management role I was ‘itching’ to leave. After an interview at TSB I had a call back, they didn’t want to offer me the role I had applied for. I thought here we go again... but they offered me a higher role instead. I was over the moon. I started at a branch in Edinburgh and worked up to another level as well. After the birth of our first son Billy, Debbie and I decided to move back to the isles and upon enquiring found that the branch in Shetland needed someone for my role. I have been in the Lerwick branch since. I start training next month to move up another level again. My wife and I have two wonderful boys and my much more sociable hours mean I’m lucky enough to be able to see them every night before bed. I know many people are not so lucky. I hope my story helps some if you. Will I still be in this role in 10 years' time. Who knows? Remember it’s ok to not be sure. You are young and making a choice now doesn’t have to be a life sentence. There is more than one way to skin a cat and please bear in mind we will all suffer disappointment sometimes. Don’t let it beat you. Let it teach you. Courtney Peace I did my Highers at KGS but didn't do very well in them (I got grades BBC for my Highers) I really had no interest for anything at school and found the step to 5th year difficult. I took a year out and did the get ready for work scheme at Orkney college and thought the work experience at the care home was my favourite. So I decided to study nursing as you only needed BBC at higher to get in. But once I was there I really didn't enjoy it and for two years lots of people, including family members, would tell me to stick at the course even when I knew I was beginning to hate it. I became so miserable thinking I was stuck. Until one day I spoke to my course tutor and she said I could defer a year. I deferred my year and took on a level 6 applied science course at Aberdeen college to see if I enjoyed that and it was a lot
  25. 25. #nowrongpath #StronsayDestinations better. I then left nursing completely and did an HND applied science course at the same college which could put me directly into 3rd year of a few choices at university. I chose to study Physiology. I graduated in July 2019 and decided to study a postgraduate management course so in any job I took it'd (hopefully) be easier for me to be promoted (we'll see). Since taking that course, my part time retail job which I've been at all through university have offered me a person in charge position where I manage the store before someone higher up comes in. I'm so glad I didn't stay in nursing as I would be so miserable now! I think it's important to study or work in a job you enjoy, and listen to your gut feeling rather than what anyone tells you to do also I'd never heard of physiology until I was 21... I also didn't realise that lots of places (and the NHS) will PAY for you to study something like physiology for 4 years, and then you have guaranteed employment. So look out for that too! There is #nowrongpath and I'm still on mine. Just enjoy whichever path you decide! Louise Marwick I left Stronsay school at 16 and went to KGS for 2 years. When it came to deciding what was next I knew I wanted to go to uni but wasn’t entirely sure which course I wanted to do. I ended up deciding on Accounting and Finance at RGU in Aberdeen. For my third year of uni I took the placement route and did a year of full-time work at Weatherford UK in the invoicing department. Once I graduated, I got a job at Baker Hughes in Aberdeen as a fixed asset accountant. Whilst working there I started doing my ACCA. I left there to go on maternity leave and then moved back to Orkney. I have done some bookkeeping since and I have just recently started working in payroll at Sheila Fleet Jewellery. Amanda Barrowman I came to Stronsay School in 1987 and went into P5. I stayed there till end of S4 and went to KGS for one year. I found the hostel too hard and left after that year. I went on to do an apprenticeship in hairdressing for 2 years, did my 1st year in Victoria hair salon and 2nd in Finstown hair salon, I went every 2 to 3 months to Inverness college for 2 weeks at a time with a group all from Orkney. Then I moved to Thurso, Caithness to do a full-time beauty course. This wasn’t for me so I got a job as a hairstylist in Thurso before buying my own salon and had it for 5 years, I had to sell that when I divorced. I have also worked for BT taking calls in a call centre and doing admin. After having my 2 kids I worked at Tesco for a while as the hours suited childcare. And recently I've started working in a local barber's part time in Thurso. I feel privileged to have had my education in Stronsay School. Lorna Kemp I left Stronsay school and went to KGS in 3rd year so age 13 nearly 14. After KGS I worked at The Orcadian office full time for 7 years as receptionist/admin assistant. I also had part time jobs during this time at The Picky Centre as a receptionist and The West End Hotel as a waitress. Whilst working at The Orcadian I gained a SVQII in Administration followed by a modern apprenticeship in Administration. I left to look after the kids and did child minding for a couple of years as well as working relief as an Auxiliary Nurse and receptionist at Picky to
  26. 26. #nowrongpath #StronsayDestinations fit in with the kids. I then got a part time job at the Bank of Scotland as a teller and then Banking Advisor, moving to RBS in this role. By this point the kids were all at school and I decided to study to become a Mortgage Adviser, I qualified in October 2015 and currently work as a Mortgage Adviser at Gregor Howitt Wealth management. Natalie Rose I joined Stronsay school in 2008 and left in 2015. The subjects I took were English, maths, chemistry, biology, geography, history and health and food technology. I am currently studying for a degree in Graphic design at Sheffield Hallam University and working part time at the Botanical restaurant. I am in my second year at university. I have always been interested in art, design and photography. I like to base my work on nature and ecology. I am currently working on my exhibition in which I will my marketing my work. I have designed a company identity and logo 'Up North'. My hope is that in the future I will be able to return to Orkney and work as an independent graphic designer or within a company. I really miss Stronsay, it is a beautiful and inspiring place to live. Christopher Rose I am an ex pupil of Stronsay school. I joined Stronsay Junior High School in December 2008. The subjects I took were English, maths, chemistry, biology, craft, geography and history. When I left school I wanted to join the Royal Navy. I have always wanted to join the Royal Navy, I wanted to work with weaponry and to be able to travel to different parts of the world. So far, I have visited Gibraltar, Malta, Italy, Saudi Arabia, the Persian Gulf and the Black Sea. I am a Warfare Specialist (and gunner) based in Portsmouth and currently serving on HMS Forth. I previously served on HMS Daring which is a Destroyer Class in which I completed a tour in the Middle East. During my next tour I am looking forward to visiting the USA, Caribbean Islands and South America. When not on service I enjoy spending time with family, but my main passion and first love is gaming. I enjoy developing and designing platform games and I am part of the gaming community. Dee Machum Went to The Stronsay school, then KGS, then worked at the Balfour Hospital and for the last 39 years have lived and worked in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
  27. 27. #nowrongpath #StronsayDestinations Dena Denoon I left Stronsay School at the age of 13, went on to do 4 years at KGS. Went to Orkney college got an HNC in Business. Got a part time job at Safeway’s to help with costs. This turned into a permanent job going through Somerfield, Morrissons and currently Tesco. Married with 2 bairns now both at KGS. Before leaving Stronsay I worked at John Fiddler’s when he had the shop with petrol at the top of the pier, the lower shop, the Stronsay Hotel and Maurice’s shop too. Sonya Peace I moved from Stronsay school in primary 7 and started Papdale then onto the KGS and finally Millburn academy in Inverness. I wasn’t interested in going to college or university even although all of my friends went off to do exciting courses and live the student life! I wanted to make money and get my own flat. My first proper job was working in a BT call centre answering 999 and 100 calls. This was a temporary job until I decided on my career. Very interesting job but some things you just don’t need to hear in your life! I got a job with RBS as a customer services officer, as the meeter/greeter and servicing clients in the branch. I was promoted to a customer adviser (offering mortgages, loans, savings, current accounts) and then onto a Private Banking manager, looking after high net worth clients. I travelled anywhere north and west of Inverness to see them which meant I got to come back to Orkney to work for a couple of days a quarter. After almost 12 years with RBS I jointly started an independent financial services business (Thomson Wealth Management) as a Client Services Director, again looking after high net worth client's financial needs. In 2015 I took a 9-month break from our business to work for a London based Investment management company (Seven Investment Management) as a Platform Relationship Manager covering Scotland, training Financial advisers on an IT system along with promoting the business to increase sales. I now live in Glasgow and I am currently on maternity leave but will be going back to Thomson Wealth Management at the beginning of the year to pick up the business development to increase our client base further. William Caithness Left to go to KGS at 13 wasna 14 till the September. Did nearly two years there, left in the May and wasna 16 till the September. Managed to get 7 O grades. Came home and worked a bit at home and at Housebay and really anywhere that wid take me, the factory packing crabs, the lobster pond. Then saw what some o the white fishermen were making so decided to go off and try it at 17, didna get away till I was newly 18. Did that for twa years until I got married the back to Stronsay it was, wae no job. Worked at the Bu and then Whitehall for twathree years, afore gan back tae the fishing wae Billy Peace and then Richard Groat. Later wae me own boat. Never really knew what I wanted to do to be honest, mibe still don’t. Spent a bit o time working on the wind turbines in Stronsay and for the Stronsay Development Trust and 23 years in the retained fire service. Recently been 11 years managing wind farms for SSE, moved to mainland Scotland and so the story goes on, who kens what or whar next. Only ever been to the school of life and worked hard, only type of luck I believe in is the luck you make yourself.
  28. 28. #nowrongpath #StronsayDestinations Avril Kent I went to Stronsay School from P1-S4. I left and studied a year at Kirkwall Grammar School but really didn’t enjoy the book work, I didn’t get the grades that I wanted, and I just wanted to get a job that I could be proud of. I joined what was Northern Constabulary straight out of KGS and during my time working for the Police I also completed an HND in Business and Administration. The role I was in was uncertain with the amalgamation of Scottish Police Services and so I left The Police at this time and spent the next two years having my daughters. After having my family, I worked as a front of house manager in a Casino before moving to a hotel to work as a Pastry Chef. Having worked a couple of jobs after policing, I knew that all I wanted to do was to go back. I missed it terribly and so I joined Sussex Police as an officer almost two years ago now and fully intend to stay in policing of one sort or another for the rest of my life. Everybody has their own passion. Mines policing, I absolutely love every aspect of what I do. I can’t talk about it without feeling that passion. Protecting the public and all that comes with that role, I feel, is my absolute purpose. My advice to anybody who were to read this is, follow your passion, whatever it is. Find the fire in your belly and chase that. Be happy and be proud of what you do. Lorraine Stout After leaving Stronsay School I went to KGS to complete 5th and 6th year, staying in the Hostel during the week. I did work experience at the hospital and at Papdale and Glaitness. I loved my time at the hospital. So, after completing 6th year I applied to for a relief post as an auxiliary nurse. I wasn't quite sure if I was ready to move from Stronsay yet, but with encourage from family and being able to stay with family helped. As well as being in employment which I enjoyed. After being at the hospital for a short time, I applied and was successful at getting a permanent post on one of the wards. It was only a 24 hour contract but I made hours up to full time with relief work and often worked for Orklean doing cleaning too. This also meant I could go home and help out on the farm as and when I could. After 3 years there, I decided it was time for a change, so I applied for a full-time job working as a support worker in the community. I have recently left there after completing my nursing degree through the Open University. I never had the desire to move away and go to University, so the distance learning was a great opportunity for me, learning on the job and having all my placements in Orkney. The course took me 4 years all together, whilst working full time so it wasn't an easy process, but it has shown me how I can prioritise and manage my time most effectively. I am now back working on the ward where I began my nursing career, awaiting my final results before I transition to a registered nurse. Elsie Dennison I attended Stronsay school until age 12, I loved working on the farm and thought that’s what I would do when I left school. I went to KGS and stayed in the old hostel, getting home one weekend a term. I then decided I’d like to become a teacher so as soon as I got the qualifications I needed it was off to Aberdeen. When I graduated I was offered a job in the upper primary starting on the 1st Nov when Mrs Groat was due to retire. I worked a couple of months on the mainland (Stenness and Rendall) before taking up this post. Mr Forrest was headteacher at this time, he had been the head while I was a pupil at the school too. I worked four years in upper primary before taking some time off when my son was born. We bought a farm about this time too so I had the best of both worlds. When I went back into teaching I worked in the lower primary, a job I loved and where I stayed until I retired.
  29. 29. #nowrongpath #StronsayDestinations Sean Vickery Moved to Stronsay 1983 until 1989.have a lot of good memories from when I lived there. Moved back to Wales, the Rhondda valleys when I was 11. Attended Treorchy comp then llynypia college to study mechanics, completed my apprenticeship in mechanics then decided I wanted a change of career. I went to work in a double-glazing firm where I lasted 9 years. I had a few other jobs then decided I that it was time to do what I always wanted to do and joined the army, had a bit of criticism about my decision off friends, saying that I was too old (32) so proved them all wrong and even got my first stripe (Lance Corporal) within my first year of service. I completed a tour in Afghan then signed off, because I'd hardly seen my kids or partner and family had to come first. Started work doing concrete floor polishing, lasted 3 years then became self-employed laying pipework for fibre broadband. The way I look at life is...If you got a dream follow it, don’t live life thinking that you should have done it! Try it and if it doesn't work at least you can say you tried. Tina Riches I went to college in Aberdeen and studied photography for about 3 years. As I was studying, I worked in retail for a short while. Probably wasn’t the best idea as I picked up way too many shifts and my studies slowed down. Once I finished my HND in photography I decided to leave education and work full time as a Health care worker. I then applied for a Farm Park Ranger job at Wynford Farm Park, Aberdeen. Four years later and I still love it, being able to work with animals every day and do my photography for their website. Having no qualifications in animal care I got the job from my experience growing up on Stronsay and my folks small holding. Everything else has been self- taught. Also involved in demonstrations and education programmes for the general public. James MacLeod I did my national 5s in Stronsay in fourth year. Then I went to KGS for 5th and 6th year and did several Highers and another couple of N5s. I also took part in Young Enterprise in 6th year as an extra, we went on to win local Stage (Orkney) then the national (Scotland) and got the opportunity to go to London and compete against teams from all over the rest of the UK. I left KGS in 2018, I left Orkney and moved back to where I lived before, Lochalsh, on the West Coast. I registered as self Employed and for the last year and a half I have been Shepherding on a Contract basis, so I have a team of dogs and I go around to various different hill farms and estates, as and when they need me, to gather in the sheep off the hills.
  30. 30. #nowrongpath #StronsayDestinations Juliette Peace I left Stronsay School at 14 and went to KGS for a couple of years. I then took a year out before going to Aberdeen College to study Social Sciences. I got my HND from there and then went straight into 3rd year at RGU. I graduated with an Honours degree in Applied Social Sciences in 2018. I began work as an HR Assistant for a non-profit organisation in Aberdeen in summer 2018 and applied for a Masters in Human Resource Management, at RGU. I won an HR Award through my work in May which very fortunately came with a prize of having my Masters at RGU paid and now I study it part-time whilst working full time. I'm hoping to Ibe an HR Advisor when I finish and work my way up from there; I never thought I'd be doing this when I left Stronsay School, especially because I'd never even heard of HR. My advice to anyone would be to do some research because you might end up in a job you didn't know existed! James Peter Smith I started primary one in Elsie Dennison’s class back in 1987. Some of my early memories were Mrs Dennison playing the piano, playing in the “hoosie” and playing the game “where’s Butch?” (which was a toy dog on wheels). I remember the “Hesse” maths books from that class which involved doing endless pages of sums. We had a few other teachers up until primary four such as Ron Shepherd and Shirley Stevenson. In primary five, I went into Marion Orr’s class. We learnt a lot of history in that class and did some really interesting projects such as the Vikings, the Normans, farming, oil and electricity. There were also quite a few school trips to Kirkwall in that class to visit Maeshowe, Tankerness House Museum, the palaces, Kirbuster and Corrigall farm museums and the Orkney Science Festival. One big achievement for P5 – P7 was winning the Isles section of the “It’s a Knock Out” completion in Stromness. I also remember competing in a primary school football completion at Papdale School in Kirkwall with Gordon MacDonald as our coach. The Stronsay swimming pool at the school was fund raised by the island and was completed in 1994. I can remember the construction going on while we were at school and new rooms being added to the school. “It’s a Knock Out” winning team 1994 Back Row L-R: Lorna Shearer, Jake Croy, James Smith, Graeme Miller, Linsey Miller. Front Row L-R: Craig Cooper, Kristel Brown, Damian Stout
  31. 31. #nowrongpath #StronsayDestinations Stronsay Primary School Football Team 1992 Back Row L-R: James Smith, Richard Miller, Trevor Shearer. Front Row L-R: Jake Croy, Graeme Miller, Craig Cooper, Damian Stout Secondary years In 1994 I moved up to secondary one. At the time Gordon MacDonald was the head teacher and also taught English and Geography. Between S1 and S2 we covered the following subjects; Maths, Science, English, History, Geography, French, art, PE, Craft and Design, Technical Drawing, Home Economics and Music. Dr Bob Tateson was the Maths and Science teacher and he had such enthusiasm for Science that had quite an influence on the career I chose later on. We seemed to blow up quite a few things in that class from custard powder with a candle, to lithium in water experiments. He was always open to new ideas and theories to try out, there was never a dull moment.Other memories from secondary school were learning the guitar with Fran Gray the Music teacher and playing football nearly everyday in all weathers on the school pitch. The annual North Isles Sports was always keenly contested against the other isles and the school won it in 1994. I played in goal that year for the football team. We also trialled a video conference with another school which was revolutionary back then considering people didn’t commonly have mobile phones, and facetime or Skype didn’t exist. Life after Stronsay School In 1996, I headed off to Kirkwall to start standard grades in S3 at the Kirkwall Grammar School. Having gone from class sizes of 5 – 8 pupils in Stronsay to classes of over 20 was a big change. Stronsay School had provided a very good grounding on all subjects and I didn’t find it too difficult to settle in. I took 8 standard grades in Maths, English, Geography, French, Physics, Chemistry, Graphic Communication and Craft and Design. Following on from that in S5 and S6 I did Higher Maths, English, Physics, Chemistry, Graphic Communication and sixth year studies Maths. In 2000 I started studying at Aberdeen University and graduated with a masters degree in Mechanical Engineering with Materials in 2005. I went on to work as a subsea engineer in the oil and gas industry andbecame chartered under the institute of mechanical engineers. I set up on my own as an engineering consultant with my own company Stronsay Engineering Ltd in 2010 and continue to work on subsea projects today, sometimes going offshore to oversee them. I got married to Anna in 2009 in Stenness. We have two daughters Victoria and Catherine and live in Aberdeen. The photo below was taken at a family wedding in 2018.
  32. 32. #nowrongpath #StronsayDestinations Leah Shearer After leaving Stronsay School, I studied at KGS for two years. I knew that I wanted to have a career in science but wasn’t sure which university course would be best for me so, after sixth year, I took a year out of education to get some work experience. I spent most of this time working odd-jobs on Stronsay but it also gave me the opportunity to travel to Sri Lanka and volunteer at the Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project. The work there was very interesting and this helped me to decide that Zoology was the right choice for me. I have now been studying Zoology at the University of Aberdeen for just under four years. I’m not exactly sure where my career will go next but I have been lucky enough to gain work in my chosen field, through my university experience, as an animal ranger at Wynford Farm Park, a habitat surveyor for the North Isles Landscape Partnership Scheme, and as a research assistant for the Dolphin Alliance Project in Western Australia. Leanne Stout I grew up on a farm so had a love for animals from a young age and knew I always wanted to have a career involving them. After finishing 4th year at Stronsay School I went to KGS to continue my studies for 5th and 6th year to gain all the relevant grades to get into University. During my time at KGS I did several work experience stints at both Northvet and Flett and Carmichael as well as at Orkney Auction Mart to ensure I not only had the grades but also the practical experience needed for the Veterinay Nursing courses I wanted to apply for. I worked hard and got an unconditional offer for Edinburgh Napier University to study Veterinary Nursing and moved to Edinburgh the same summer that I finished KGS. Going to KGS certainly helped me with this transition as I had become a lot more independent during those two years. I graduated from university in 2015 with an Honours degree and got a job at a very busy small animal hospital. I continued to live and work in Edinburgh until December 2016 when I moved to Fife to take on a new job in an Orthopaedic Referral practice in order to do more of the parts of my job that I love most: surgery and radiography. I love my job and I feel privileged to be able to help animals every day and that I have been able to pursue my childhood dream!
  33. 33. #nowrongpath #StronsayDestinations

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