WHEN the school bell sounded last Friday it brought down the curtain on a 39-year teaching career for one county headteacher.

Maureen Tremmel has cleared her office as she brought to an end 13 years as headteacher of Gullane Primary School.

Ahead of her retirement, she reflected on her time at Gullane, teaching in East Lothian, and said she will miss “everything” about the profession and the school.

Mrs Tremmel, who said that now is the right time for her to bow out, told the Courier: “I turned 60 this year so I just feel like it’s the right time – I could do another year but I don’t want to be saying ‘I hate this job’ because I don’t.

“I love the job – I love teaching and I love looking after the school.”

As well as 13 years at Gullane, Mrs Tremmel has worked as Stoneyhill Primary in Musselburgh; Dunbar Primary; Dirleton Primary and Aberlady Primary, as well as in Edinburgh.

“I have loved teaching in East Lothian,” said Mrs Tremmel, an Edinburgh resident.

She added: “I love driving down here to work.”

And there was praise for her colleagues at Gullane Primary School.

“The staff here are brilliant,” she said.

“All the teaching staff are amazing and they’re all so talented but the support staff are just fantastic too – the work they do is far above and beyond their job.”

She also praised her husband Michael, whom she described as “the nicest man you’ll ever meet”.

Mrs Tremmel, mum to daughters Rachael and Ruth, and grandmother to three-year-old Harper, said of Michael: “He was actually one of the joiners who worked on building this school.”

When asked what she’ll miss about the job, Mrs Tremmel said: “Everything”.

“There is something a bit special about the little person that has done something and they come to show you,” she smiled.

She admits that leaving as headteacher will be emotional and she has “no plans” for her retirement.

“I’m going to be still for a while and, for anyone that knows me, that’s not something that comes easy to me,” she said. “I’ll spend more time with Harper but I don’t have a plan.”

Mrs Tremmel will be replaced by Seonaid McGillivray, the current headteacher at King’s Meadow Primary School in Haddington, and the outgoing headteacher wished her well.

Mrs Tremmel said: “Seonaid is very experienced and I hope that she enjoys working here as much as I have.”

Fiona Robertson, East Lothian Council’s head of education, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Maureen for her service and outstanding leadership over the years, not only in her role at Gullane Primary School since 2005 but also in previous leadership and management roles in other East Lothian schools, and we wish her all the very best in her retirement.

“Mrs McGillivray will start her new post in August at the start of the new session. I am sure that the school community will make her very welcome.”