At Newbattle, we are actively trying to contact former pupils to find out what they are doing now. In every newsletter, we publish a column listing the successes of current and former pupils, and we will also use this page to post information that people have supplied us with.
Are you a former Newbattle pupil with a story to tell? Or do you know of a former Newbattle pupil? Get in touch with us! Contact Mrs L Bryce, Former Pupil and Staff Information Coordinator, at L.Bryce2@ mgfl.net .
We are keen to have as many former Newbattle pupils represented on these pages as possible, and are of course wanting to keep our information as accurate as possible. If you are represented on this page, and wish to correct any information, or to have your entry removed for any reason, email the Webmaster (D.Watkins@mgfl.net) and we will, of course, ensure your request is promptly dealt with
Dave attended Newbattle from 1969 and left Newbattle Community High School in the summer of 1972 and after doing an engineering course at Esk Valley college, started an apprenticeship as an auto electrician and worked in the motor trade in Edinburgh until 1982 when he and his wife emigrated to South Africa.
He returned to Easthouses in 1986 and lived there for a short while and then in 1987 he joined Northamptonshire Police where he remains to this day. In his time in the police, he has worked on a number of units including drugs, vice, probationer training and his current role in the intelligence field.
He is now the Force Football and Sporting Events Intelligence Officer which sees him run the intelligence operation at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix and Moto Grand Prix events and works football matches all around England, mainly with Northampton Town, but he has also worked on matches involving the England national team, where he is a football spotter looking for the hooligan groups that attend football matches.
All being well, he will retire in April 2012 after 25 years service and they are considering returning to Scotland to live.
With regards to his time at Newbattle, he was one of the original pupils back in 1969 and served as a member of the Committee of Management that they had then rather than prefects. He was also the first pupil to wear the official school uniform when he was chosen to model it to show to the pupils coming to the school in the next intake.
Anne Barr MA (Hons)
Anne Barr attended Newbattle from 1979 to 1984. Now Anne Dorrington. Anne nearly dropped out of school without qualifications but was persuaded to stay on by Irene Gilchrist, an inspirational history teacher. After leaving 6th form in 1984, she attended Edinburgh University gaining an MA (Hons) in History and Politics. She then moved to London and began a career in advertising as a copywriter for American International Group (AIG). Anne later relocated to Portsmouth with her future husband, joined Zurich Insurance as a marketing executive and enjoyed visiting offices in Europe and America until becoming a full-time mother in 2000. Now her children are older, Anne has switched careers and is now a librarian at a local secondary school. Her ambition is to inspire pupils to fulfil their potential in the way Miss Gilchrist inspired her.
Mark left Newbattle after S5 in 1990 and moved on study a Computer Technician Studies HND, graduated (he was the only graduate from the course in its first 4 years). During his course, he had a sideline teaching classical guitar, and did some DJing in Edinburgh clubs. In 1992, he began his IT career in Aberdeen with Elf Oil, returning to Edinburgh in 1994. In 1998, he started his own IT consultancy firm Sco-Logic, supporting the banking and Investment Sector Treasury and dealing systems. In 2002, he changed the focus of the business to the retail sector - founding the UK’s first online supplier of Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) products. Against the current recession Sco Logic is still showing growth and now has 4 staff with massive growth potential in the next 12 months. Clients include Remington and Legoland Windsor. 2009 has seen beginning of an abilities awareness campaign highlighting disabilities access in retail - leading to new Sco Logic inventions for disabilities and unique missing products for the Retail sector.
From 1995 to 2002 he was an active member of the British Film Society Movement, a national charity devoted to rural and community Cinema groups providing assistance, training and keeping alive areas of cinema exhibition that often get forgotten. He was elected to become a Director of the National BFFS charity in 1999 – 2001; and was lucky enough to meet some film directors and stars in the course of his work. He retired from the BFFS in 2002 due to family and work commitments, but hopes to return in the future. He has also been a member of the Edinburgh Guitar Ensemble.
Mark met his wife Catherine, a pianist and cellist, in 2000 - and now has a son and two girls. He now lives in the Scottish Borders.
Sandra Benn joined the Royal Bank of Scotland straight from Newbattle, and was promoted on a number of occasions. She now helps the bank's retail customers and works closely with many women who run their own businesses, and was the President of the Association of Scottish Businesswomen from 2005 to 2006; and remains actively involved in the association.
Laura Bennett BSc (Hons) MSc
Laura Bennett (left Newbattle 2001) graduated from Heriot-Watt University in 2005 with a first class Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics with a European Language (French). She then went on to get a distinction in a Masters degree in Applied Mathematical Sciences with Biological and Ecological Modelling, also at Heriot-Watt. She is curently studying towards a PhD in Bioinformatics at Kings College, London.
John Blair CIPFA
John left Newbattle Community High School in October 1982 to take up a position as a Clerical Assistant with Midlothian District Council’s Finance Department based in Dalkeith. In September 1983 John was appointed to the position of Trainee Accountant and commenced studying for the SHNC in Accounting on a day release basis. Following successful completion of the SHNC John progressed to undertake a 3 year block release to obtain qualification in the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA). John completed his qualification in 1988 and was promoted to the position of Senior Accountant then to the position of Principal Accountant with Midlothian Council in 1990. At Local Government reorganisation in 1996 John was appointed to the position of Head of Direct Services with the Commercial Services Division of Midlothian Council until he was appointed as Director, Commercial Services in September 2006. John lives locally in Newtongrange and outside of work his main interests are football, swimming and travelling. John has travelled extensively and continues to take the opportunity to experience new parts of the world.
Claire Bocian BSc DipEd
Claire left Newbattle in May 1997 to start her BSc in Biology with Education and the Diploma in Education at the University of Stirling that September. At university, she was a member of both the Ladies football and Ladies Gaelic football clubs. At the beginning of June (end of her third year, 2000) the ladies football team travelled to Italy to spend 10 days playing local teams and sight-seeing. On her return from Italy, Claire travelled to America, where she spent the rest of the summer working at a country club in Connecticut. At the end of her forth year (June 2001) the ladies football team travelled to South Africa, again to play local teams and see parts of the country. On return from this trip, Claire spent the remainder of the summer working at Harvard University Medical School at the animal research facility in Boston.
From September to December 2001, Claire completed her final teaching placement at St. David’s High School in Dalkeith. From February 2002-July 2003, she worked as a supply teacher in Midlothian. In August 2003, Claire left sunny(!) Midlothian to travel for a year, visiting the USA, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. She spent the majority of her time in Australia (8 months in total), 3 months working in Sydney and the remainder travelling around Australia.
From August 2004-2005, Claire once again worked as a supply teacher in Midlothian (6 months as a Maths teacher at Newbattle!) as there were still few permanent jobs due to new NQT posts. Then, she finally gained permanent employment at Newbattle as a Biology teacher in August 2005.
Since leaving Newbattle in 1985, David has worked in many different jobs from, labouring, furniture deliveries and cleaning. However, in 1987 he joined the 1st Battalion Scots Guards. On leaving the Army in 1990, he became a Security Guard for M+S. In 1995, he went to Jewel and Esk Valley College and then Napier University to train as a Mental Health Nurse. He worked in several areas with children and adolescents for around 10 years. He currently works for Greater Glasgow and Clyde as a Service Manager, whilst also working part-time with NHS Education for Scotland as an Educational Projects Manager for children and young people.
Gordon Brown (left Newbattle 1999) had a short spell as a professional footballer at Berwick Rangers, and then started a three-year metal work apprenticeship and completed a SVQ level 3 computer aided design course, and a SVQ level 3 electrical and electronic engineering qualification. He went on to be a field engineer with Capital Solutions, during which period his job was to repair businesses’ electrical office equipment onsite, including Newbattle Community High School's office equipment! Since June 2008, he is now a sales executive in Capital Solutions' sales department.
Maureen left Newbattle in 2004 and had various jobs before going back to college in 2005 to do Music Business and learn more about putting on gigs and promoting bands. This helped a lot at the club (Subway Cowgate) where she worked. She had to leave college and get more hours working at the club where she started putting on gigs, under 18s nights and filling in for the DJ when necessary. In 2007 she got a second job at JD Wetherspoons, Dalkeith and at the time was part time and not permanent. However, after a few weeks, Maureen became full time and finally left the nightclub to start her career with the company.
After spending a year at the Dalkeith branch, she fancied a change so Maureen decided to move down to Galasheils with her boyfriend. She was transferred to a branch down in the Borders and since moving, Maureen has been promoted to Team Leader/Staff Trainer and is getting trained to move onto management.
Morgan left Newbattle in 1994 and studied as mechanical engineer at Eskbank College and then moved on to building simulator army tanks for MOD. He then retrained to be multi skilled joiner/plumber/electrician etc. Morgan now owns and runs (domestic joinery and maintenance services) 2005-present.
Paula Burnett (now Paula Swan)
Paula left Newbattle in 1996 and started working in a variety of jobs. She then went back to university to study interior architecture and design but decided the field was not for her.
She has since got married and had a baby (Prentice) and started her own design company where she makes and designs wedding stationery. She says it’s not very rock ‘n’ roll but she loves everyday!!!! See her at www.pandpdesigns.co.uk. (Newbattle can accept no responsibility for external links)
Since leaving Newbattle in 2003, Peter studied Nursing at the University of Dundee. During his time at university, he spent some time working for Debenhams in Dundee where, after leaving university, he took a fulltime job with them, working closely with Head office developing applications for Marketing using Bluetooth technology and In-store presentation software to promote local events and offers. After several successful trials of his software, he decided to set up his own IT Services company in 2007. For a short period, he ran a successful webhosting company from home but he then felt that he needed more space and wanted to explore other avenues. In 2008, Peter formed The Digital IT Centre and opened his shop in St Andrews. He has been open now for 2 years and is going from strength to strength. He is now expanding his business, looking for more premises and developing his website and webshop.
Lesley Carson (now Lesley Chisnall)
Lesley left Newbattle in 1986 and, after number of jobs, Lesley finally settled into Customer Service Work. She worked at Edinburgh Council in their contact centre for two years before transferring her service out to Midlothian Council after successfully applying for a position there. She currently works for the ‘Contact Centre’ at Midlothian and has been there for four years. For anyone who remembers her, her report cards always said ‘talks too much’ so working in a contact centre where she can talk all day is the ideal job for her!
Lesley got married at the age of 24 and after seven years had a lovely little boy. Unfortunately, the marriage didn’t work out. However, she is now engaged to a lovely man and intends getting married again in March 2011. Her son is currently a pupil at Mayfield Primary and will be studying at Newbattle High in a few years time.
Ian Chisholm BSc
Ian left school in 1989 after 6th year to be an apprentice with Ferranti. He did four years and got a BSc in Mechanical Engineering.
Following that, Ian spent eight years doing documentation work because no mechanical jobs were available. However, since then he has been working in Thermal Design. The company is now known as Selex Galileo but it is still Ferranti to a lot of people.
Ryan left school in 1995 after S4 to go to college to study Food Science and Microbiology, obtaining his HND in July 1997. Ryan was working part time in a small retail snowboarding shop and was offered the manager’s position there. He then moved around in the retail sector for a few years ending up at USC where he was Stockroom Manager.
Ryan then left to join Standard Life in 2002 servicing their large corporate pension schemes. He applied for a job in the e-commerce support department testing and supporting the company’s website and e-commerce platform. During this time he was attending college for his HNC Computing one day a week. He completed his HNC Computing with an A grade in June 2008. Since June 2008, he has worked at Scottish & Newcastle in first line technical support and has just been promoted to 2nd Line Technical Support for the Distributed Server Team.
Nicole left Newbattle in 2002 and pursued a career as an area manager for a beauty distribution company. She left there in 2008 and went on to university. In July 2012 Nicole graduated from university with an LLB honours degree. She started a diploma in legal practice in September 2012.
Jillian Coventry (now Jillian Givan)
After leaving school in 1991, Jillian applied for teacher training at Moray House but was not accepted and was asked to apply again the following year. She took up a temporary job in Scottish Power as an administrator and ended up still working there 10 years later!! After a couple of years in the company, she was placed on a management training programme and then moved into their Training and Development Team where she stayed for a number of years working on training and community involvement projects throughout the east of Scotland.
Jillian met her husband at work in Scottish Power 14 years ago and they now have two wonderful children, Aimee aged 6 years and Daniel aged 4 years. They still stay in Musselburgh with their new cocker spaniel puppy Maddie.
Jillian moved to her current company, AEGON UK, almost 10 years ago and now works as their eLearning Manager (part-time 3 days per week as a job share). Her job involves the implementation and ongoing management of online learning systems and products to over 5,000 staff in locations throughout the UK and Ireland. It’s a role she really enjoys and having the ability to balance both her career and family is something she really values.
Elaine attended Newbattle from 1969 to 1973 worked in the research facility at Easter Bush with Edinburgh University (even after careers officer at school told her she would not be successful in this line of work!) She got married and had family and then Elaine returned to work after a number years with the NHS at Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. She is now a medical secretary at RIE. Her hobbies include photography, travel and reading.
Lynn Douglas (now Lynn Johnston)
Lynn left Newbattle in 1974 and went to Esk Valley College for a year. She joined the Scottish Widows Assurance office next to the Commonwealth Pool, and has worked there ever since. She is married and lives in Penicuik with her two children.
Trudy Douglas (now Trudy Stewardson)
Trudy left Newbattle in 1986b and is now 35 and happily married to Paul with 3 children (two of whom are currently at Newbattle). She still lives in Mayfield and has been working for Lloyds TSB Bank for the past six years.
Chris Dow went straight into the Paras after leaving Newbattle in 1983 and, due to injury, moved to the Tank Regiment where he served a total of 24 years and 165 days, serving in several countries and conflicts. During this time he undertook various jobs including tank commanding and managed to get to the top of the tree for the rank and file. His final job was teaching at Bristol University. He was married 13 yr ago and has no kids or pets!
He started his own business on leaving the forces, LockDOWn Locksmiths, which is not a franchise. He has been doing this for 2 years now. He now lives in Kennoway Fife.
Jean Dow BA MSc BSc
After leaving Newbattle in 1983, Jean completed an Open University Honours Degree in English Literature. She then went on to study for a Masters in Sociology (Gender Issues) at Edinburgh University. Jean has also completed a B.Sc. (Hons) in Medical Herbalism, during which, she funded herself by working as the Practice and Business Manager for a group of Chiropractic Clinics in the UK. She opened two
further clinics resulting in her managing five clinics within a 50 mile radius of Edinburgh.
Jean still works for the Chiropractic Clinic in a management role part-time and is a part-time Medical Herbalist, specialising in Cancer care. She also runs nutrition and juicing workshops as well as seeing private patients.
She lives with her partner Kim and their two dogs and four cats in a cottage in West Lothian.
John left Newbattle in 1986 and worked in various technology jobs around Edinburgh before having the good fortune to land in the fledgling Internet industry in 1994. He has since worked as a Network Security Specialist, Oracle Database Administrator, Systems Administrator, Systems Director and various other positions in companies in Scotland and Australia.
Steven left Newbattle in 1986. After being part of the Royal Scots Army, he has since moved to Sydney, Australia, and now lives there with his wife and young son. He is hoping to transfer to the Australian Army.
Victor left school in 1983 and went on to Esk Valley College to study Mechanical Engineering. This led him to Napier College to complete an HND and he eventually received an Honours Degree in Energy Engineering. Victor started work as a Building Services Engineer designing mechanical services in barracks, schools and police stations etc. for the MOD and Local Authorities, which resulted in him moving to Aberdeen 18 years ago. For the last seven years, Victor has been involved as a HVAC/Mechanical Design Engineer in the oil industry. As part of this he has travelled to offshore oil installations in the North Sea, Africa and Europe. Victor is happily married with two children.
Ross Flockhart BSc PhD
Ross left Newbattle in 2000. During his time at Newbattle Ross became particularly interested in the sciences and after gaining Highers in Biology, Chemistry and Physics he decided to pursue these interests further at university. He recalls several inspirational science teachers at Newbattle during his time: Mr Clark and Mrs Lyall (Chemistry), Mr McPake (Physics) and Mrs Bennett (Biology). After leaving Newbattle in 2000, Ross attended Napier University to study Biomedical Sciences and he graduated in 2004 with a 1st class BSc (HONS) degree. During his time at Napier, Ross became especially interested in cancer biology and decided to forge a career as a cancer research scientist. He joined the Department of Dermatology at Newcastle University in 2004 to undertake his PhD studies where his research focused on understanding how ultraviolet radiation in sunlight induces skin cancer. Ross made significant discoveries whilst studying both non-melanoma skin cancer and melanoma skin cancer and published several papers in highly-respected cancer biology journals. He was awarded a PhD from Newcastle University in 2008 and having realised his passion for cancer research, he decided to pursue an academic research career by continuing his research as a post-doctoral scientist. Ross is currently a research scientist at a world-leading cancer biology lab at Stanford University, California, USA (since Jan. 2009) where he balances his research and student mentoring with enjoying the spectacular surroundings of the San Francisco Bay Area. Ross lives happily with his girlfriend and in his spare time he likes to unwind by playing golf, mountain biking, skiing, playing guitar, sight-seeing, reading and cooking.
After leaving Newbattle in 2003, Kayleigh first worked in a hairdressers for a few months and then Arnold Clark for 2 years. Since April 2007, she has been working at AEGON Life and Pensions Plc. She has a Customer Service level 3 NVQ and is currently studying for a financial planning exam. She is currently pregnant with her first baby due on 21st July and lives in flat with her boyfriend which they bought in November 2008.
Caroline Gilmour BA Hons, ACMA, CGMA
After leaving school in 1996, Caroline achieved an honours degree in Accounting from Napier University, Edinburgh, Since 2001 she has been working in the financial services industry and is currently a self employed Project Manager and Business Analyst, freelancing for a number of financial services companies. She is a fully qualified Chartered Global Management Accountant.
Caroline has also continued on a musical path. After playing saxophone at Newbattle she moved onto singing, song writing and playing guitar. She is now performing as a solo artist and has supported the likes of Charlotte Church, Paper Aeroplanes, Horse and Eleanor McEvoy. Caroline has played at Celtic Connections, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Acoustic Edinburgh, The Cavern Club in Liverpool and also in music venues within China and Australia as part of a 7 month sabbatical travelling around the world in 2013.
More recently she performed at Edinburgh’s official St Andrew’s Day Celebrations in 2013, including a special solo performance for Edinburgh's Lord Provost via video link up to Dunedin in New Zealand.
Caroline continues to write and record music, and has several releases on iTunes and other digital online music stores. Her music website is www.carolinegilmour.com.
Andrew Grieve BSc
Andrew Grieve went to Stirling University on leaving Newbattle High School in 1995, achieving a degree in Environmental Science. He has played lots of music in bands and has travelled to Australia/NZ/US. He eventually settled in Edinburgh, continued to play lots of music in bands, managed to get out of temping in banks and into an Environmental Science job. He now works for King's College London running London Air Quality Network.
Christopher Herriot BA (Hons) PGCE PGHE
Christopher left Newbattle in 1977. Originally a coalminer, he was sacked for trade union activities during the 1984-85 strike. Christopher then worked as a consultant, contracted by Militant Newspaper, from 1985-88. He gained a BA (Hons) Political Economy in 1991 from Thames Polytechnic and was the Students' Union President from 1991-92. In 1994, Christopher received his Postgraduate Certificate in Community Education from Moray House Institute of Education. From 1994-2008, he worked in a number of community related roles across the United Kingdom before moving on to his current position in 2009 as Senior Lecturer in Youth & Community Development at De Montfort University. In 2012, he achieved his Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education.
Sandra Higginson (now Flannery)
Sandra left Newbattle in 1975 and went to Stirling University and graduated with joint honours in French and Spanish. She went to Leeds University and gained her PGCE, beginning her teaching career at Penicuik High in 1982, teaching French and Spanish. In 1986 she moved to George Watson's college, where she still teachers today; becoming Assistant Principal Teacher in 1990, and Head of Spanish later. In 2001 she changed direction and became a Principal Teacher of Guidance.
Sandra married her husband John in summer 1986. Her eldest son was born in 1990 and now he is studying at Edinburgh University to be a teacher of Technology and Design. Her youngest son was born in 1994 and he is in S3.
Angela Paterson (nee Hogg) (left Newbattle 1999) graduated with a Higher Education Certificate in Health Care Child Branch in 2001, became a retail manager, and now works as a dental receptionist in the local area, as well as being a captain with the Girls' Brigade.
Robert left Newbattle in 1975 and worked as a miner until 1989 when the Bilston Glen mine shut down. He then went into the retail trade with a company called Graham Tiso Ltd., the biggest outdoor company in Scotland. He has been there ever since and is now a manager. Robert has been married to his wife, Theresa, for nearly 30 years and they have a lovely daughter and son who are now fully grown up and working. Robert is fully committed to his community of Mayfield & Easthouses and wants to put something back into the community where he had a happy childhood growing up amongst his friends. He is involved in organising the local gala day and other community events and also runs the local amateur football team. Robert is the Chairman of McSense, a profitable community business based in Mayfield, which donates its profits back into the community. He is very proud of this and works closely with pupils and staff from Newbattle High School. Robert is also a board member at the school and the local Mayfield & Easthouses Development Trust and he is the Chair of the local Community Council so is kept very busy with his spare time but enjoys it all.
Jennifer Hope (left Newbattle 2001) went to Napier University to study Business Studies where she gained a first class honours degree in Business Management with HRM. Jennifer has since been working full time in HR (for Carr-Gomm, a charity providing supported living in the community) and is currently undertaking her Masters part-time in Human Resource Management at Napier University.
On leaving school in 2000, David started his hairdressing career in Cheynes Edinburgh. Since then he has continued to establish his client base. David decided to return to Midlothian and launched his own salon www.haloedhairdressing.com (Newbattle can accept no responsibility for external links).. He has now been established for over three years and during that time he has developed his skills and is now an approved training school for the SQA and delivers level 2&3 hairdressing SVQs.
After Stewart left Newbattle in 2000, he picked a trade with the goal of setting up his own business and maybe one day selling it. He picked the stonemason trade and five years after his two years of training he started his own company - www.theedinburghstonemasons.co.uk (Newbattle can accept no responsibility for external links).
Catherine Johnstone BA
Catherine Johnstone left Newbattle in 1975. She took a secretarial course at Esk Valley College for one year and had several years working in offices in Edinburgh.
She married a childhood sweetheart and had two children who also went to Newbattle Community High School. She went back to college for Highers and found this difficult but eventually proved successful. She was then accepted for a course at Heriot Watt University – and achieved a BA degree! Catherine now works helping homeless people in Midlothian and finds it very fulfilling.
Immediately after leaving school in 1979, Margaret started Nurse Training and qualified in 1982 working in a busy Ophthalmology department. After this, she trained as a Midwife in Rutherglen Maternity. She became a Nursing Sister at the age of 25.
Margaret went on to become a Hospital Manager responsible for the Outpatient Department and worked with the Scottish Executive for over 3 years on the Cancer Service Improvement Programme. She has now returned to NHS Lanarkshire as Cancer Services Manager.
Margaret (now Margaret Kelly) lives in Lanarkshire with her husband and two sons. Outwith work, she enjoys participating in local events and has been the Chairperson of the Gala Day Committee for several years.
Lisa trained as a Dental technician at Telford College 1991-95.
Between 1992 and the present she worked for the NHS and joined the Army in 2000 serving in Iraq in 2005. Since leaving the Army she has worked in Edinburgh Leisure and is presently working in the Dental Technology Department at Telford College, which she finds almost, but not quite, as challenging as her time in the Army!
After leaving Newbattle in 1993, Wendy has worked in many stores and had her first child Declin in 1995. She has another four children and has not stopped learning as she does many adult classes with Midlothian Sure Start and Milani.
Dr Graeme Kay BSc (Hons)
Graeme Kay (left Newbattle 1990). Graduated from Napier University, Edinburgh, in Applied Chemistry BSc (Hon) 2:1 in 1998; and completed a PhD in Anti-cancer medicinal chemistry [also Napier] in 2004. Currently a lecturer in Pharmaceutical Science at The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.
Dr Sean Kennedy BSc(Hons) Phd
After completing sixth year at Newbattle Community High School in 1999, Sean began his studies in biochemistry at the University of Stirling. Sean graduated in 2003 and completed a post-graduate doctorate in 'The physiological and biochemical effects of dietary functional fatty acids in farmed fish' in 2007. Sean has published articles in peer reviewed international journals and is recognised as an expert in his chosen field of aquatic lipid biochemistry. In 2007, Sean joined Charles River Laboratories, a global pharmaceutical research and development company, as a trainee study director and became a fully qualified study director in 2008. Sean married his partner in 2008, Laura Grieve (also formerly of Newbattle Community High School and now a practicing nurse) and they live together in Dalkeith. Laura is due to give birth to their first child in the middle of 2009. Aside from his family life, Sean also enjoys weight training, playing guitar, computer gaming, cooking and reading.
Tracy Law (now Tracy Weighland)
Tracy left Newbattle in 1995 to have her first child. She now works in childcare as this fits around her own children; and has computer and business skills and also a Higher in what was then Secretarial.
Kirsty McConnell (left Newbattle 2006) is in her third year at Glasgow Caledonian University studying Human Biology with Psychology and Sociology. She works part time in William Hill and lives in Maryhill.
Stuart left Newbattle in 1999 and decided to see the world after being in and out of a number of jobs after leaving school. He headed for Greece and stayed for four years. On returning to Newtongrange he met the love of his life and now has a daughter named Brooke and two step children, Rory and Zoe, with another child due in November. He will be married next year.
Linda left Newbattle in 1995 and has had quite a few jobs since leaving Newbattle, mostly in hotels and shops. However, her best achievement is her 8-year-old daughter.
On leaving school in 1999, Stuart attended Jewel & Esk Valley College where he obtained an HND in Electrical Engineering. Whilst studying for this he worked as a security guard in Big W, then as a supervisor in the beers, wines and spirit department at Asda. On completion of his HND he started a job at CRB Solutions, which installs Cashless Catering Systems. He returned to Newbattle to install and put live the cashless system, which currently runs in the school. In 2007 he started to weight train which eventually led him to train and compete in strongman events and competitions. In 2009 he was approached to do two television advertisements for a Scottish company, New Tomorrow. These adverts are currently running on STV. He is engaged to his partner and has a son. Stuart’s son also appears in these adverts alongside him.
After leaving Newbattle in 1999, Sami attended Telford College for a year doing Performing Arts. Since then, she has mostly been working in the Customer Services Industries.
Laura left Newbattle in 2001. After beginning nurses training at Robert Gordon University, Laura had to drop out, and became a Clinical Support Worker at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh for a few years before returning to her nurses training. She is currently training to be an adult nurse at Napier University and is in her second year. She is due to qualify in 2010.
After leaving Newbattle in 1990, Gillian worked with General Accident as a Claims Negotiator and then Dundas and Wilson Solicitors as a Cash Room Assistant. However, since 1996 she has been self employed and now runs a catering company “The Lunch Box” with her fiancé.
Gillian has two children and lives in Dunfermline. Her daughter is almost 8 and her son, Sam, has Autism, he is 3. She has learned signalong sign language as her son is non-verbal.
Karen Naysmith BSc MSc
After leaving Newbattle in 1991, Karen spent a year working for Standard Life in Edinburgh. She then ventured up to The Granite City to study at Aberdeen University for a B.Sc. in Health Sciences (Honours in Sociology) graduating with a 2:1.
Following this, Karen studied for an M.Sc. in Health Promotion and Health Education at the University of Edinburgh graduating with Distinction in 1997. Karen’s dissertation was “Ageing Men’s Health from the Sociological Perspective of The Body” and so on completion she decided to take this further and started a PhD looking at the effects of stroke on perceptions of the self and body. Unfortunately money ran out and so she suspended the PhD after 2 years, although she would love to return to it one day. During this time, she was also an Associate Lecturer for the Sociology of Health and Medicine at Liverpool Hope University.
In 2000, Karen entered the world of Business Research as a B2B Research Executive and then moved on to another company to take up the position of Senior Research Executive – this involved time in New York to conduct a study on American’s perceptions of Scotland on behalf of Visit Scotland (and yes, they do think we live in castles!).
In 2001, Karen had her son who is now 7 and then her daughter in 2004 and at this stage she set up her own business, Cayenne Marketing (www.cayennemarketing.co.uk), which she has been running for 5 ½ years now. She had another son in 2006.
Adam Nelson, premier league footballer
See Adam Nelson's page
Alex Notman is a former Scottish footballer who played for Norwich City and was a member of the Manchester United squad.
He was a highly-rated youth player at Manchester United and featured for the Scotland under 21 side. However, he failed to break into the Manchester first team (due to the prescence of Ole Gunnar Solskjær, Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole and Teddy Sheringham) and he had loan spells at Aberdeen F.C. and Sheffield United.
Notman signed for Norwich City for a fee of £250,000 on 28th November 2000, making his debut a few days later. He damaged ankle ligaments in late 2002 during an East Anglian Derby match at Portman Road and, after failing to fully recover, retired from the professional game in 2003. Notman signed for non-league King's Lynn in January 2004. However ankle problems continued and he was forced to retire, and had a match in his honour at Carrow Road in May 2005.
He is currently training for his coaching badges.
Scott left Newbattle in 1980 and after three years working as a manager at Laws Stores, he pursued a career in the RAF. Commissioned into the navigator branch, he trained to fly Phantom fast jets and was posted to RAF Wildenrath in Germany where he participated in Air Defence duties as part of the NATO forces defending Western Europe during the latter part of the Cold War. After his first tour he retrained on the Tornado F3 and was subsequently based at RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire, RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire and Gioia del Colle in Southern Italy on exchange with the Italian Air Force. It was during his time on 23 (Fighter) Squadron at RAF Leeming that he was deployed to Saudi Arabia as part of the RAF contribution to operations in Gulf War One.
Following promotion to Squadron Leader, he saw service in Germany and the UK, with his time as a Flight Commander on 25(Fighter) Squadron at RAF Leeming, a period in which he was again involved in active service policing the no-fly zones over Southern Iraq. He was subsequently promoted to Wing Commander and after a deployment as the Deployed Operational Base Commander at Thumrait in Oman in support of UK operations in Afghanistan he attended the Advanced Command and Staff College, where he gained a Masters Degree in Defence Studies. He returned to live in Scotland after 23 years away in 2006, where he took command of 43(Fighter) Squadron, flying Tornado F3 aircraft as part of the UK’s Air Defence and Defensive Counter Air Force based at RAF Leuchars in Fife.
On relinquishing command, he was promoted to Group Captain and attended the United States Air Force Air War College in Alabama, gaining a Masters Degree in Strategic Studies. This was followed by another posting back to the Ministry of Defence as the Chief of Staff to the Assistant Chief of the Air Staff with responsibility for the coherency and alignment of Royal Air Force activity in support of the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review.
He was then again deployed on active service to Afghanistan in early 2011 where he was the Commanding Officer of Camp Bastion and 903 Expeditionary Air Wing. Following his return he is again a staff officer, but this time he has switched the corridors of the Ministry of Defence for those of NATO.
Chris O’Brien left Newbattle in 2004 and is a former Head Boy. After leaving Newbattle, he went to college for 2 years and was awarded an HNC in Fitness, Health and Exercise. Since then, Chris has worked in retail and as a support worker. He is now working as a learning assistant at Saltersgate and is really enjoying it. He started going out with his wife when they were both pupils at Newbattle and they are now expecting their second child together.
Carrie Oliver (now Carrie Campbell)
On leaving Newbattle in 1996, Carrie joined an accountancy practice in Edinburgh and started her training to be become a professional accountant.
Carrie became a fully qualified accountant in 2005 and is currently working as a Practice Manager with a small accountancy firm in Edinburgh. She is now Carrie Campbell as she got married in 2004 and they are expecting their first child in June 2009.
After leaving Newbattle in 2000, Craig went to University in Liverpool studying Music and Education. Since then he has moved to Kent where he has been working as a freelance musician all over the UK and Europe and as a woodwind teacher.
Alan left Newbattle in 1982 and joined the Civil Service straight from school and has been working in Registers of Scotland since in a number of operational and management roles. His current position is Project Manager managing the introduction of new systems.
He has 2 children, who have both attended Newbattle.
Alan is also the Company Secretary/Director for McSence, where as a member of the board helps raise employment and grants for the local community.
He enjoys singing as a pastime – some pupils may have seen him at the Grand Celebration concert where he was on stage with Jane Halliday singing excerpts from Oklahoma and Calamity Jane.
Scott joined the rail industry when he left School in 1979 as a trainee Signal Technician. Since then he has worked in the rail industry in various roles to his present position of Telecoms Maintenance Engineer (Scotland East). He is now the manager in charge of all Telecoms Assets and the delivery of maintenance and faults on this equipment for Network Rail for all of the equipment based in the Scotland East Area which starts from the English border, as far west as Glasgow, and includes all of the Highland lines to Fort William and Wick.
In his spare time he is a Volunteer Director with McSence. This is a community-based organisation whose aims are to promote employment and prosperity within the community of Mayfield, Easthouses and the surrounding area including close ties with Newbattle.
Alan left Newbattle in 1988 to join Ferranti as a Mechanical Engineering apprentice. After this, he enrolled at Napier College but didn’t really enjoy it so he decided to leave; and started repairing/installing computers in between a couple of stints working as a mechanic in various garages and was then employed to do on-site computer repairs and other IT trouble-shooting for a computer manufacturer based in London. Working from home, he was the only company employee based in Scotland.
Alan worked for them until 2001 when he left to start his own business (Dalkeith Computers) which he still does to this day. He company carries out PC repairs and maintenance for home users and small businesses. Still living in Mayfield, Alan got married in 2002. Alan's father, John Ramsay, was a Technical teacher at Newbattle until his retirement in 2003.
Alan Reid was fortunate to visit a number of countries while still at school including a student exchange to Hungary with Mrs Lyall. He went on to travel round much of Europe including Italy, France, Germany, Slovakia, Poland, Czech Republic, Belgium and Holland as well as parts of Asia (Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, China) and Egypt and Australia.
He left Newbattle in 2005 with 7 Highers studying Culture, Media and Society Studies at Napier University.
On leaving, he worked full time as an Optical Advisor at a major high street opticians. He developed skills and knowledge of the job and soon became responsible for running a store. He was then offered the opportunity to move to a larger store with responsibility for running all aspects of an opticians as the General Manager.
An opportunity then presented itself to move companies where he now works as an Optical Advisor helping run a store for an ophthalmic lens manufacture.
Emma Lind (nee Robertson) left school after 5th year in 1996 and started a job as an office junior with a Solicitors and Estate Agents in the west end of Edinburgh. After a few other jobs she left to go to Standard Life Assurance Company. She worked for Standard Life in their Pensions Department for two years and following her marriage in 2001 she moved to a little village in Dumfriesshire.
Emma then got a job as a PA within a busy Independent Financial Advisers in Ayr. She was there for 3 years until she left to have her daughter in August 2004. She has since been a full time mum and housewife and her little son arrived in April 2008.
Neil Rolland BA (Hons)
Neil Rolland left Newbattle in 2000 and studied Social Anthropology at Edinburgh University before doing an HND in Television Production at Stevenson College. He moved to Cornwall to study Film at Falmouth College of Arts but had to move back to Edinburgh for family reasons graduating from Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh with at BA (Hons) in Film and Media.
He has made and worked on several short films which have played around the UK and Europe including the short film AWAY (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1337586/) which he wrote and this made the competition at Cannes 2009.
He has written several feature length screenplays including the romantic comedy, fantasy, crime caper Penrith which has interest from the BBC.
Neil has also written a surrealist philosophy book titled August which has recently been published and will be available on Amazon and other retails in a month or so.
He is married and living in Edinburgh.
Ryan left school in 2005 and went to the University of Edinburgh to study Biological Sciences. He was awarded a 2:1 Bachelors’ Degree with Honours in Infectious Diseases. He then spent the next two years working at the university, in order to save money to fund a Masters degree in Immunology. Ryan was accepted onto the course and is currently studying Immunology at Imperial College London. He is very proud to be studying at one of the world’s top universities, and is grateful to Mrs Bennett for inspiring him when he was a pupil at Newbattle.
Shona Sinnet (now Shona Oliver)
Shona (left Newbattle 1976) is married with a daughter who is due her first baby in June 2009. She works as a team leader with NHS Lothian which she enjoys and works with great girls. Shona enjoys going on holiday and plans to go on a cruise this year. Over the years, she has helped on various committees within the Mayfield area and enjoyed the time she helped on the gala day committee.
A few of them are planning a Newbattle school reunion for 2009 as most of them will be 50 this year!
After leaving Newbattle in 1985, Tracey-Anne joined HMF (the Army) when she was 21. Tracey-Ann settled quickly and gained promotion twice before ending her service after 8 years. She then found herself in an administrator’s job in Morecambe, Lancashire.
Tracey-Ann has since returned and settled in Mayfield again and for the last 7 years has been concentrating on an entirely different vocation as a Homecare Co-ordinator for Community Care in East Lothian and she is also currently studying for her HNC in Social Care. The master plan is to hopefully go on to do a Diploma in Social Work.
David left Newbattle in 1984 after 5 years at Newbattle and numerous O Grades and Highers. Unfortunately, he still went on the dole as jobs were so scarce due to it being the height of Thatcher’s Britain. However he eventually got a job with the Inland Revenue and after 13 years there he moved to a tax department at an accountancy firm.
In May 2008, he left to own and run a bathroom installation and tiling business with his wife, in East Lothian. He lives in Dunbar with his wife and two sons.
Linsey worked in a few jobs since leaving school in 2005, including Boots and Scotmid. She then went onto bar work in local pubs, She entered the nursing industry and worked as a Clinical Support Worker in the RIE until leaving due to an injury. She now works with the army as a civilian steward serving the officers and working functions. Through this job she has worked in various bases throughout Scotland and with many different regiments. She served Her Majesty The Queen in July and in December 2009 served Princess Anne in the Officers Mess in Dreghorn Barracks.
When Gavin left Newbattle in 1986, he went for an interview for an apprenticeship at The Royal Observatory in Edinburgh. He recalls Mr. Ramsay being quite pleased for him. Unfortunately, he didn't get it and instead did direct selling (door to door) for one and a half years. When he saw Mr Ramsay next, he wasn't that impressed!! He did a few sales jobs before working in Habitat in Edinburgh, where he stayed for the next 5 years.
He attended Stevenson College for Marketing qualifications and ended up in a marketing job in London. That didn't last very long and he moved to Daventry in Northamptonshire. After applying for several marketing jobs with little success, Gavin applied to join Northants Police in 1996. This was a big move for him. He never ever wanted to be a police officer!! This turned out to be the job he felt he was destined for. So far, he has had a fantastic career, working on some excellent investigations, including serious crimes. In the past 13 years he has had four commendations. Working in CID, he is currently a detective sergeant.
Since Gavin left school, he has travelled abroad extensively. He met his wife in the USA and they have been married for 8 years and have two children.
Alison Thayne MA DipEd
Alison left Newbattle in 2001 and went to Aberdeen University straight after S6 and graduated with Honours with an MA in English Literature. Following that, Alison returned to Aberdeen to do post graduate teacher training. She completed her probation year at James Gillespie’s High School in Edinburgh and is now working as an English teacher at Liberton High School in Gilmerton.
Mathew left Newbattle in 1976. In 1980, he moved to the United States and is now the Director of Engineering Services for a major maintenance provider on the East Coast of the USA. Mathew feels it is fair to say he has exceeded any ambition he may have had as a child, yet anything he has accomplished came through hard work and self-education. Mathew has the following words of advice for the Newbattle Community High School students of today: "If you get a decent education, you will do well in life, it's as simple as that. That being said, YOU HAVE TO GO TO SCHOOL! Why not get something out of it? Put in the effort and reap the rewards for the rest of your life."
Beverley Thomson left Newbattle Community High School in 2005 and now has a three-year-old boy, Jack. Her brother, David, who also attended NCHS, is now a fully qualified builder and roofer working for Midlothian Council. He has a one-year-old son named Jay.
Siobhan left Newbattle after S6 in 2008, and is now a part-time Higher English student at Jewel & Esk College – where she likes the more adult teaching. She is doing well and is hoping to gain at least a C band in English, although she really wants a B!
Siobhan is applying for Telford College next year to study Fine Art. This will give her a whole year to concentrate purely on art and get her portfolio together for when she applies via UCAS for Art College in Glasgow/ Edinburgh.
Siobhan aspires to teach art in an “adult” environment – most probably in a community centre. She would also like to have her own art gallery and fashion line in the future!
Now Charlene Paris. Charlene left Newbattle in 1998 and worked with Midlothian Council for four and a half years as a care support worker and gained her SVQ level two, in Health and Social Care. She has moved to Melbourne Australia and is a Respite and Leisure Manager working towards her Diploma in Health Care.
Amanda Watson left Newbattle in 2000 and went to college to study Furniture Design. On completion of this course she decided it wasn’t for her and decided on Beauty Therapy. She has been fully qualified for five years now. She now has her own business and salon. She loves her job very much and although it has been difficult building up a business it has been very rewarding. Before starting the business she gained experience first and worked in a few small salons before going to Jenners to work in the Clarins Skin Spa where training was excellent.
Valerie Weighland (now Valerie Wylie)
Valerie left Newbattle in 1993. She has done various jobs and now has three children. Valerie went to college to do an Access to Nursing course for a year and passed all her exams. She then went on to Napier University for a year to do adult nursing. She left to have her third child but is now keen to return to university.
Diane West left Newbattle after 5th Year in 1990 and worked for an insurance company before commencing nurse training at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. She completed this in 1994, starting work as a staff nurse in Edinburgh Royal in the Department of Respiratory Medicine and has progressed to Charge Nurse level, which she enjoys immensely. She has recently returned to work after giving birth to Isla in June 2009 and is enjoying the busy life of a working mother. Diane has many great memories of NCHS particularly time spent in the Music Department and a 1998 trip to Spain. She now lives in East Lothian.
Joanne Whiting BM (now Joanne Lane)
Joanne left Newbattle in 1989 and worked at Scottish Widows for two years internal audit clerk. She then worked for Scottish Homes/Melville Housing for 11 years. During this time she got married and had two sons.
In 1997, Joanne graduated from Napier University with a Bachelor of Midwifery (BM) and completed her training at Simpsons – meeting a few Newbattle teachers along the way!
Joanne has since worked in Galashiels as a Community Midwife for and now works at the Simpson Centre for Reproductive Health. Her eldest son has just started Newbattle (August 2010).
Upon leaving Newbattle Community High School after S5 in May 2009, David attended Gleniffer High School in Paisley for the remainder of S6. During his time there, he devoted his time to the music department performing in school shows; both as a lead role in High School Musical and in the staff band.
David attended Reid Kerr College in Paisley studying HNC Music (Full-time) where he achieved a high A, whilst studying part-time for NQ Higher English where he achieved a B. He will also be in the production of Oliver at the King's Theatre in Glasgow from 29th March-2nd April 2011. David will be attending the University of Aberdeen to do the BEd (Hons) Primary Education starting session 2011/12. David is very pleased with his examination results and is looking forward to becoming a primary teacher specialising in music.
David Wilson LLB(Hons) DipLP Solicitor & Notary Public
David departed Newbattle Community High School after sixth year in 1999 to study law at the University of Aberdeen. David graduated with first class honours in 2003 and completed the post-graduate diploma in legal practice in 2004. After a gap year travelling across Africa, India and South America, David joined the law firm DLA Piper as a trainee solicitor in 2005, based in Edinburgh. DLA Piper is the world's largest law firm and offers private and public sector clients a full range of commercial law services. David qualified as a solicitor in 2007 (specialising in commercial property finance), took the oath of office as a notary public shortly thereafter and is a member of the Law Society of Scotland. In January 2009, David moved to the Scottish Government Legal Directorate to become a government lawyer and complement his commercial expertise by developing a specialism in public law.
Nicola Wilson (now Nicola Scott)
After leaving Newbattle in 1993, Nicola went on to study an HNC in Modern Musicianship at Jewel and Esk Valley College. She then went on to work in a private nursery as she had always wanted to work with children.
Nicola then had her own children and in 2003 she returned to work as a Learning Assistant at Newbattle! In 2006, she transferred to Mayfield Primary School, where she still works as a Learning Assistant.
Paul Joseph Donald (Paul Joseph Wilson)
Paul was a pupil at Newbattle Community High School from April 2004 to June 2008 and fondly remember his music lessons with former PT Music, Mrs L. Cormack. He enjoyed performing in school concerts and being an active member of the music department. During his time at Newbattle he obtained the accolades of Young Composer of the Year 2007, Senior Vocalist of the Year 2007 and Young Composer of the Year 2008. He enjoyed his maths lessons with Mrs Hall and Mr Watkins and particularly enjoyed the active learning aspect of mathematics.
Since leaving Newbattle in 2008 Paul studied for a HNC in Music and Higher English at Jewel and Esk College leaving in June 2009. He obtained a Grade A in his HNC Music obtaining the highest graded unit of all students that academic year.
Paul has since studied with the University in Aberdeen from September 2009 to June 2014 and achieved the Degree of Bachelor of Music (Honours). He originally studied the BMusEd degree discipline and took a break to focus on his health and charity. He aims to obtain a PGDE in Secondary Music later in his life.
During Paul's time at university he battled with the eating disorder Anorexia Nervosa and has since established a national charity, the Men and Boys Eating and Exercise Disorders Service (Scotland) of which he is currently Chairman. He has been requested to host a conference at the Scottish Parliament in February 2014 during Eating Disorders Awareness Week to GPs and healthcare professionals on Understanding Male Eating Disorders. His charity has since gained national and international acclaim and been described by B-Eat as the 'leading Scottish charity of eating disorders support'.
His plans for the future are to take his studies to postgraduate level and to study for a degree in Adult Mental Health Nursing to help other males have equal access to provision in eating disorders and mental health support in Scotland.
Paul sees himself as living proof that if you work hard and believe in yourself and your dreams that you can achieve your dreams. He believes that education is a journey and is not a race.
Yvonne Wilson (now Yvonne Taylor)
Yvonne left Newbattle in 1969 - meaning she was one of the first pupils at Newbattle Community High School when it first opened and was in 2AG (second year A class German). She was in the school choir and still remembers the song they sang during the opening day. “When Jonah sank into the sea he closed his eyes and prayed...” She remembers the Head was Mr. Reid and Deputy was Mr. Loudon.
Yvonne has a 34 year old daughter who also attended Newbattle High School; and was an advisor with the Jobcentre for 14 years before taking voluntary redundancy. She still lives locally in Mayfield and is a member of the Mayfield and Easthouses Development Trust.
Grahame Young MRPharmS PGDip
In 1999 Grahame left Newbattle Community High School after sixth year to commence studying pharmacy at the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. Grahame's final year thesis was on evaluating the efficacy of pharmaceutical preservatives in the presence of other common excipients. After graduating in 2004, Grahame moved to Carlisle where he joined the North Cumbria Acute Hospital NHS Trust as a trainee pharmacist. Grahame became a fully qualified pharmacist in 2005 and a full member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. Having attained progressively increasing responsibility during his time in the clinical pharmacy department of North Cumbria Acute Hospital and attaining a postgraduate diploma in clinical pharmacy from Sunderland University, Grahame moved in 2008 to St John's Hospital in Livingston as a senior clinical pharmacist.
Gemma Yuill (left Newbattle 2001) has had a variety of jobs which include working for the SQA, and working for AEGON in Edinburgh where she was recently promoted to IT Service Management Analyst as recognition of her hard work and continued interest within the Change & Problem Management area.