Blairgowrie High School teacher wins Perth and Kinross Council award
Jun 14 2012
by Clare Damodaran, Blairgowrie Adv
A PROBATIONARY teacher at Blairgowrie High School has been awarded Perth and Kinross Probationer of the Year.
Emily Tragham, who teaches art to pupils from S1 to S6 at the high school, graduated last year from Moray House in Edinburgh with a postgraduate diploma in secondary education and was allocated a probationary position in the art department at Blair High by Perth and Kinross Council.
Each year there are around 60 probationary teachers in the Perth and Kinross local authority area and Emily was one of eight to be nominated for the award.
A thrilled Emily told the Blairie: “To be nominated in itself was a great honour.
“The school has to provide evidence that a nominee has gone above and beyond the criteria for qualifying as a teacher during the probationary period so it is not just a case of someone saying they think you are great. They have to prove it.
“I didn't think I'd actually win it, to be honest, as I know how good some of my colleagues are. I am completely and utterly thrilled, however, and very proud to have achieved this.
“I am proud of the school I have trained in too. I have learned a lot from the staff and the pupils here. It is a wonderful team, both within the art department itself and the wider school as a whole.
“There is strong, positive and supportive ethos of learning at this school that benefits staff and pupils alike.”
Lesley Hill, deputy headteacher at Blair High School, said: “We have been really lucky to get Emily. She is an absolutely outstanding teacher and we had no hesitation in nominating her for Probationer of the Year. She is very deserving of the accolade.”
Emily was delighted to have been posted in Blairgowrie. She said: “I had heard of the good reputation that the art department in Blair had so from my point of view I feel that I have been really lucky to be able to come here.”
After gaining a degree from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee back in 2003, where she specialised in ceramics, Emily spent a number of years working in the product design industry, designing interiors, handbags and jewellery before becoming a full-time ceramicist.
As well as supplying galleries such as the National Gallery of Scotland, Dundee Contemporary Arts and the Birnam Institute with ceramic artwork and glassware, Emily ran workshops for teenagers which she found she was enjoying more and more.
She said: “The workshops were becoming the part of my work that I looked forward to most. I found it so much more rewarding than working on my own and came to a gradual realisation that I wanted to teach.”
While the teaching profession may have gained from having such a talented artist among its ranks, the design world has not lost out, as Emily continues as a working artist.
She said: “In the expressive arts in particular it is really important to maintain yourself as a practitioner alongside your teaching. If you are not actively working in your field you don't stay current and you have less to offer your pupils and students.”
Emily will be presented with her full registration as a teacher at a special lunch in Edinburgh this week.