Hundreds of parents and pupils past and present lined the streets of Dalgety Bay to bid farewell to retiring head teacher Craig Mitchell as the school bell rang for the final time on a 40-year career in education.
The head teacher at Donibristle Primary School, described as an “inspiration” by many, was given a guard of honour by staff as the school where he started his career and where he has held both deputy head and head teacher roles.
There was hardly a dry eye as Mr Mitchell, who has also been head at Lochgelly South and Dunnikier Primary Schools, climbed into an open topped Porsche to be whisked around the Dalgety Bay streets lined by scores of families determined to give him a memorable final send off.
Many waved specially created banners and placards as the car did a loop of the town with former pupils and parents cheering him on.
The send-off had been organised by teachers and the school’s parent forum with Mr Mitchell having no inkling of the surprise that awaited him.
Mum, Sara Henderson, 46, who was taught by Mr Mithchell when he was a young probationer at Donibristle and who now has her two daughters, Emilia, 7, and Florence, 9, at the school said it was a sad day to see such a special teacher leave the school.
She said: “We just wanted to show our appreciation and give him a great send off.
“He’s been the best head teacher you could ever wish for and will be sorely missed by everyone who has or has had a connection with the school over the years.”
During his career, Mr Mitchell had also conducted a number of roles with Fife Council at strategic level and was an associate assessor for HMIe for several years.
He said: “Being able to see our children develop and grow as they pass through our school has been hugely rewarding. Watching them thrive in secondary school and beyond into adulthood, priceless.
“It demonstrates to me, that we do care about getting it right for every individual child, just as our school motto states.”
He added that the school was now facing extraordinary times and the time was now right for him to step back.