Last week, Lews Castle College UHI said farewell to two long-serving members of staff as they began their retirement.

Dr. Ann Murray and Sheila Maclennan, both Assistant Principals, retired on July 31st. “We reflect and congratulate them on their careers, achievements, and contributions to the College over the years,” said Iain Macmillan, Lews Castle College Principal and Chief Executive. “They have both contributed significantly and their dedication and hard work is reflected in the continuing success of the College. Through the challenges of a period of austerity the College has continued to deliver the learning opportunities that so significantly benefit our communities.”

Ann began her career at Lews Castle College as a Supply Lecturer in 1998, when she returned to Lewis with her family and was offered a temporary contract for two days a week. With a degree in Business, she taught both computing and business subjects, and was appointed UHI Programme Leader for the Master of Education in 2007, before becoming Assistant Principal in 2013. Ann also achieved her Doctor of Education in September 2014.

In her farewell message on her retirement, Ann encouraged her colleagues to “Slow down, enjoy the journey, don’t take yourself too seriously and be kind. Remember that the work you are doing is important and that you are changing the lives and fortunes of many of your students. Be proud of it!” 

Sheila Maclennan first started at the College in 1989 teaching groups of auxiliary nurses, and was part of the small team that developed Care courses in what was initially called the Community Learning Services Department. Sheila became Programme Leader for Health Studies, and later in 2006, Head of the Health, Education and Social Studies Department, before appointed Assistant Principal in 2013. 

From the late 1990s, the department she led played a significant role in the development of degree programmes as part of the University of the Highlands and Islands. “It is my firm belief that education and training change lives and families’ fortunes and over the years have been privileged to see this first hand,” said Sheila. “Working with students, the highs and the lows, seeing them develop and then find employment is very fulfilling.” 

“Ann and Sheila will be greatly missed by colleagues and students alike,” said Iain. “We wish them both all the very best and a long, happy, and healthy retirement.”