THE head teacher of Clydebank High has retired after 18 years at the school — bringing to an end a 35 year teaching career.

Stewart Young has led the school through a series of transformations including its amalgamation with Braidfield High in 2006 and move to the new school building in 2010.

Around 20,000 young people have passed through the school gates while Stewart has been at the helm and he has worked alongside hundreds of teachers and staff.

Stewart began his teaching career in 1980 as a languages teacher in Jordanhill School before moving on to Hermitage Academy in Helensburgh where he taught for 10 years and was promoted to the position of acting depute head teacher.

In 1997, Stewart became depute head teacher at Clydebank and three years later was promoted to head teacher.

Stewart said: “Teaching is the only thing I’ve ever known, I went from being a school pupil to being a university student and then straight back to school.

“There have been a number of changes since I first started teaching, and they’re all for the better. School is a much more focused place now and I think pupils’ needs are better met.” Among the biggest challenges for Stewart was overseeing Clydebank’s amalgamation with Braidfield High — and he also credits this with being the highlight of his time at the school.

Stewart said: “We joined with Braidfield in 2006 and had a very challenging year. Pupils didn’t know one another, staff didn’t know one another and we were sharing classrooms for the first time. Within two years we had an inspection from HMIE and got a really positive report.

“We had managed to build a sense of community and Clydebank High has very much retained that sense of community. It’s a great school. It’s full of people who care. They do the job and then some and ensure every pupil who attends this school has the very best experience and reaches their potential.” As well as 1250 pupils, Clydebank High also has over 90 teaching staff and 50 support staff.

Stewart added: “I will miss the people. I am with these people so much, we are a team and they are very much a part of my life.

“It’s a great job and I’ve really enjoyed it. I think in my head I’ve always thought that I would know when the time was right to retire and I feel now is the time to go.”