Science teacher praised after winning top council employee award

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THE principal teacher of science at Wick High School has been voted Highland Council’s employee of the year.

• Principle science teacher Valerie May named Highland Council employee of the year

• Ms May took post after death of fellow teacher who died in a car crash

Valerie May was asked to step up as head of the faculty after Kevin Costello, a popular principal teacher of science and physics at the school, was killed in a car accident. Chemistry teacher Liz Wheeler was also badly hurt.

At the council’s annual Quality Awards at the Town House in Inverness on Thursday night, her head teacher Tom MacIntyre praised her professionalism.

He added: “Valerie’s professional practice as principal teacher is hallmarked by fairness, compassion and empathy accompanied by rigour and a deep knowledge of the subjects involved and the staff she has responsibility for.

“She is a supportive, reliable and active boss.

“This nomination would stand for her work alone. That she took on this role under the cloud of Kevin’s death only serves to underline the deep professional commitment she brings to her career.”

Also short-listed for Employee of the Year for their outstanding contributions to their respective schools were Gillian Spalding, pupil support assistant at Balloch Primary School Inverness, and Andrew Bowker, janitor at Gairloch High School.