New Head for Dunnottar

By bellmannews / June 25, 2021
The familiar Victorian frontage of Dunnottar Primary

From Aberdeenshire Council communications team –

Karen Johnstone has been confirmed as the new head teacher of Dunnottar Primary School in Stonehaven.

She was head teacher of Johnshaven Primary School and succeeds Lisa Williams when she begins her new role in August.

Speaking about her appointment, Karen Johnstone said: “I am excited and delighted to be the head teacher of Dunnottar School. I have been for a visit round the school. I am excited to be involved and taking the school forward. The school is about to have a rebuild of nursery and eventually the school itself. It is exciting to know I will be involved in that too.”

She added: “I am a very passionate person about what I do. I am confident I am the right person for the role. My own professional learning to date and my own experience of being a head teacher has been hugely positive.” 

My experience of being a head teacher has been hugely positive’

Karen started teaching in 2009 after completing her PGDE and had her probationary teaching year at Alford Primary School. She then became a teacher at Kintore Primary School for a year. She then spent five years as a class teacher at Aboyne Primary School and then for the next two years she worked as a depute head with a remit for additional support for learning, also at Aboyne Primary. She then moved near Stonehaven and as a result became head teacher of Johnshaven Primary School.

Speaking about what inspired her to become a teacher, Karen Johnstone said: “I have wanted to be a teacher since I was three-years-old. I had a bit of a tough time as a child because of my own family circumstances and that led me not quite getting the grades I needed to get when I was going through secondary school, so I went a different route. I went through a course of hospitality management. I worked abroad. Met my husband and had children. All along I always wanted to be a teacher. As a parent I worked with schools, I was the chairperson of the parent council, the voluntary manager of the playgroup, I was fundraising for Befriend a Child, basically I connected myself to children any way I could at some point knowing I would be doing my course in teaching.”

She said becoming a teacher was always her plan, but she had to go about it in a different way. “I talk about that experience very often with children to let them know that getting to where you want to go, you don’t always have to take the most obvious path but there are always doors opening and opportunities and you just have to grab them.”

Cllr Gillian Owen, Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee chair, said: “Many congratulations to Karen Johnstone. I have no doubt her passion and drive will be of huge value in leading Dunnottar Primary School forward to what is a really exciting future. Her background is a testament to not giving up in what you believe in. I wish her every success in her new role.”

Committee vice chair Cllr Rosemary Bruce said: “I fervently believe Karen Johnstone will ensure that every child at Dunnottar Primary School will be nurtured and will learn in a supportive and encouraging environment where they can thrive.”

Previously in The Bellman