Smithton Primary Head Teacher voted a Lockdown Legend

Aileen Mackay

An Inverness Head Teacher has won a national award from a leading Scottish learning organisation for going above and beyond during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Aileen Mackay, Head Teacher at Smithton Primary School, was named 2020’s Lockdown Legend, after leading the public vote.

Over the summer holidays of 2020 pupils, parents and teachers from across Scotland nominated their Lockdown Legends, in a nationwide search to recognise their efforts.

The Tree of Knowledge is the organisation behind the Lockdown Legends awards and its esteemed panel was made up of Gayle Gorman (CEO of Education Scotland), Louise Macdonald (CEO of Young Scot), Graham Hutton (President of School Leaders Scotland), Gayle Shepherd (Director of People and Technology at SEC), and Stuart Brown (Head of Branch and Business Banking at Barclays).

The Top 5 nominations were picked out by the judges and they went forward to the public vote. They were:

Aileen Mackay, Head Teacher, Smithton Primary School

Gaela Hall, Librarian, Doon Academy

Karen Reid, Family Link Worker, Glenrothes High School

Diane Crosbie, Teacher, Glenwood High School

Lisa Colburn, Teacher, Masterton Primary School

Both Aileen Mackay and Gaela Hall have won a weekend break in a tree house.

A social care worker was just one of those who voted for Aileen and they said: “Aileen has always been a committed and caring headteacher. But during lockdown she was often working 18 hour days to look after the children, parents and staff. Aileen makes everyone she speaks to feel important, valuable and heard. She goes above and beyond any regular headteacher. If Aileen says she will help you she does and will go out of her way to do so. Aileen MacKay is a truly committed and caring headteacher unlike no other and she deserves lockdown legend recognition.”

You can see the full list of comments by those who nominated Aileen at this website

Chair of Highland Council’s Education Committee, Cllr John Finlayson, said: “I have known Aileen for many years, and I know how hard she works and how committed she is to her pupils, staff and school community.

“It comes as no surprise to me that Aileen has received the many positive comments she has for all she has done from all the stakeholders in her school community during lockdown and I am delighted she has received this well-deserved recognition which I know she will see  as not just recognition for herself, but also as recognition for all her teaching colleagues across the Highlands.”

A typically humble Aileen said: “This recognition is really about the staff, parents and pupils. While it is lovely of the staff to do this I remain mortified about getting an award for just doing my job.”


4 Sep 2020