Education / School’s out for Valerie as Anderson High headteacher to retire

Children’s services director Helen Budge says the teacher has been an ‘enormous asset’ to local education

ANDERSON High School headteacher Valerie Nicolson is planning to retire from her long-held role next year, bringing her two decades at the helm to an end.

She has requested early retirement for August 2023.

Anderson High head teacher Valerie Nicolson.

Nicolson said that come Christmas she will have been in the post at Shetland’s largest school for 20 years.

“While there are still three terms to go before that point, and lots of work ahead, I’d like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the staff, pupils and families I’ve worked with over the years, and to my colleagues in the central service and across the SIC who’ve supported me over that time,” she said in a statement to Shetland News.

There has been plenty of change during these 20 years – most notably the shift to the new Anderson next to the Clickimin Leisure Complex.


Incidentally tomorrow (Thursday) will mark the fifth anniversary of pupils first entering the building (27 October 2017).

Children’s services director Helen Budge said: “Valerie has been an enormous asset to local education for two decades now, and she will be missed by her colleagues and the thousands of pupils who have passed through the doors of the Anderson High in that time.

“Our recruitment process for Valerie’s successor will get underway at the beginning of the new calendar year.”

Meanwhile council chief executive Maggie Sandison said: “Valerie has made a significant contribution to education. Think about the number of young people who have been through her care and who will look to Valerie as one of the influential people in their lives.

“I hope we will be able to find somebody who can step into her shoes and can be as significant to the next generation of young people at the Anderson High School.”

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Nicolson revealed her intention to retire next year to pupils and parents in a newsletter published today (Wednesday).

The school handbook published ahead of the 2022/23 year says it was anticipated that in August there would be 1,030 pupils on the roll, across secondary one to six.

The school was founded in 1862 by Arthur Anderson.

The old site near the Knab which has been vacant since the 2017 move is due to be redeveloped largely into housing, with the demolition of a number of buildings due to take place soon.

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