John Gilmour has been privileged to enjoy a career teaching in both maintained and independent schools for the last 18 years. Prior to teaching, John served in the Royal Navy both in the surface fleet and submarines. Having a passion for the outdoors, he spent the last 15 years as a member and Coxswain of his local lifeboat crew, prior to his move to Scotland to take up the role of Headmaster of Craigclowan.
Patrick Borderie was educated at the Lycée Max Linder in sunny Aquitaine and at the University of Bordeaux. He served in the French Air Force for a year of military service and discovered Scotland when doing his year abroad as part of his language course at university. He is married to Heather, who is Scottish, and his two children, Françoise and Pierre, were educated at Craigclowan and Gordonstoun. He is passionate about education in general and languages and socio-linguistics in particular. He started teaching at a much smaller Craigclowan in 1983 and that undoubtedly now makes him the longest serving member of Staff.
Raised on the family farm in the Scottish Borders, Liz was educated at Longridge Towers in Berwick and then St Leonard’s, St Andrews. She has worked in both maintained and independent schools in the capacity of a maths and primary teacher for the last 22 years (with four maternity leaves and a variety of part-time, full-time, voluntary, charity and tutoring work!). In her spare time, through the years, she has played golf, done some long-distance running and served on the Board of Directors for the UK Fragile X Society, a condition her two boys have. Married to Stuart, her four children ranging from 16 to 7, keep her busy when not at school!
Head of Pre-Prep
Jill has taught in the Independent Sector for over 24 years. She completed a BEd Degree in Primary Education at Moray House College in Edinburgh and over the years has developed an expertise in Early Education. She has a passion for teaching very young children and in 2014 completed a Froebel Certificate in Early Education at the University of Edinburgh, where she researched the benefits of free flow play and the valuable links with learning. Jill has the best of both worlds, teaching in Pre-School and in Forms 1 and 2. At the weekend you will find Jill enjoying some retail therapy and sampling the local coffee shops, two things she does very well!
Iain had a breadth of commercial experience before becoming a School Bursar. Born and educated in Glasgow, he studied Electrical and Electronic Engineering prior to commencing a career in the building services industry. In this sector he was involved in the design of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, as well as smoke control systems for industrial and commercial developments. His employment took him to East Anglia where he married and brought up his family, before returning to Scotland in 2015. For fourteen years he and his wife owned and operated a nursing home. He represented other care providers and was part of national groups shaping government strategies for the future provision of services. His experience led to his appointment as Chief Executive of a hospice where he worked with Marie Curie in the development of the Delivering Choice programme. On the sale of his business, Iain became Bursar of a prep school, which also had boarding pupils.
Iain has always had a great interest in music, having played viola in the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland and other orchestras and ensembles.
Head of History
When a back injury ended 19 years service in the police, physical therapists advised Sean Adams that plenty of golf would provide the greatest possible relief (no, honestly!). Sean valued the opinions of the health professionals so much that he subsequently qualified as a golf coach. However, when his wife, English-teacher Jill, realised how closely his busy periods coincided with her school holidays, Sean was ‘advised’ to re-train as a teacher. After qualifying in History and Professional Education at Stirling University, he now feels it was the best decision he (and she) has ever made.
Outside the classroom, Sean can normally be found on the golf course, watching virtually any sport on television, or writing short stories and working (very slowly) on his debut novel. He also fancies himself as something of a karaoke star and once or twice a year – if you’re really fortunate – you might just catch him belting out some Elvis Presley or Elton John hits!
Support for Learning Co-ordinator
Katherine qualified as a primary teacher in 1990 in Bristol and her initial career was spent gaining experience in two schools in the city. She met her future husband, Matt, whilst qualifying and they decided to ‘up sticks’ and move to Madrid in the summer of 1994, where she spent four years teaching at an International school. In 1998, they returned to the not so warm city of Edinburgh, where she worked at George Watson’s College before moving to Clifton Hall School. Katherine has always had an interest in Specific Learning Difficulties and in 2002 she completed a diploma in SpLD (Dyslexia). She quickly followed this by completing the Edinburgh City Support for Learning course over the next two years. After the birth of her son, Katherine returned to Clifton Hall to run the Learning Support department. Six years later she was on the move again taking up a Learning Support role at Hutchesons’ Grammar School, Glasgow. The call back to the east of Scotland and beautiful Perthshire saw Katherine’s latest move to Craigclowan, as Head of Support for Learning. In amongst working and being a mum, Katherine enjoys walking and travelling.
Tracey is a passionate educator with a great drive to challenge herself and her pupils. Her background is in Outdoor Education, graduating from Strathclyde University in 1998. A few years later she gained her PGCE, specialising in Early Years, at Aberystwyth University. She tailors her teaching approach to each individual student’s needs, teaching the child and not the curriculum. This passion is carried outside the classroom to the cross country course, the ski slopes and as far afield as the Gloag Foundation in Kenya. Outside of school Tracey has travelled extensively, is a very accomplished runner and has a passion for all things outdoors. Her current project is training her dog Ru to run with her in the hills. He, however, is not as receptive to instruction as her pupils!
Alice is a graduate from the University of Glasgow and has enjoyed a career in both state and independent schools. She is currently a Form 1 teacher and adores the uniqueness that each day brings. Having spent her formative years in England, Botswana and Scotland she has a huge appreciation for different cultures and the versatility of different learning environments. Prior to teaching, Alice was a member of the British Dressage U21 team and represented both Scotland and Great Britain in this discipline. She currently competes her highland pony Monty and has recently competed at Horse of the Year Show and the Royal Highland Show. She is passionate about the outdoors and will grasp any opportunity to be outside – preferably getting muddy! She enjoys attending weekly British Military Fitness classes and is happiest when spending time with her family and much loved pets, Delilah the dachshund and Samson the Siamese.
Sue completed her BA at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow and followed this with a PGCE at Jordanhill College. She has taught secondary class music at Bell Baxter High School, instrumental lessons in various Fife schools and class music at Kilgraston School before moving to Craigclowan where she has now been teaching music for 20 years. She is a member of the ‘4play’ String Quartet which plays at weddings and events all over Scotland. She also plays violin in Cromlit’s Lilt, a Baroque String Ensemble which gives concerts in various venues over the course of the year as well as for various choral and musical societies. Sue is also the accompanist for Markinch District and Community Choir.
Stephanie Cox has been a member of the team for ten years, the first five as a Pre-school teacher. Stephanie currently juggles her time between being Teaching Assistant to Forms 1 and 2, a Support for Learning Teacher and managing our Late Prep facility in the Main School. She also is our primary First Aider. Stephanie holds a National Certificate in Education and Childcare, a Teaching Assistant National Diploma at Level 3, a Red Cross First Aid in the Workplace certificate and has completed the first year of a degree in Childhood Studies via The Open University.
Form 3, Forest School
After qualifying as a teacher, Elizabeth worked in Outdoor Education centres for five years in Cumbria and Snowdonia. She completed a Masters degree in Outdoor Education at Edinburgh University and moved her career into prep schools, where she has taught for the last 16 years. She remains passionate about the outdoors, leading Forest School at Craigclowan as well as teaching Form 3. When not at school Elizabeth can often be found skiing, hill walking and developing her bushcraft skills.
Mark Dibnah had a number of jobs in the real world before finally discovering the surreal world of teaching. Mark went to Liverpool University and began his teaching career in Leeds in 1997. He then spent seven years in Portugal teaching at The International School of the Algarve and returned to the UK in 2008 to take up a post at Craigclowan. Craigclowan introduced him to the wonders of skiing which he is now passionate about. Tennis is his other passion, apart from his wife Carol and his three grown up children, obviously!
Form 6 Tutor, ICT, Latin, French
After graduating from Liverpool University with a BA Honours degree in Classics, Carol taught Latin, French and ICT in a variety of countries overseas, before moving to Scotland in 2008. She has insatiable wanderlust and loves to manage the school’s Erasmus projects which involves visiting new places and meeting new people. When she is not escaping to sunnier climes, she is escaping on her yoga mat.
Form 6 Tutor, Head of Science, Games, Co-ordinator of Activities, Trips & Calendar
Jonathan grew up in Kilmarnock and attended Belmont House School in Glasgow. He studied Immunology & Microbiology at the University of Strathclyde and gained his PGCE at the University of Hull, following in the footsteps of many of his family members into teaching. He has taught in England and the Netherlands and is now Head of Science, Games Teacher and Co-ordinator of Activities, Trips & Calendar. He loves teaching at Craigclowan because the students are such dynamic, inquisitive children and he feels honoured to be part of their successes. In his spare time he likes to follow his football and rugby teams and is beginning to get the golf ball to behave properly!
Flo was educated in Perthshire before heading to Cardiff University to study Law. On graduation in 1995, she took up a position working in the City for a Financial Public Relations company. In 2000 she commenced her PGCE at Roehampton and since then has worked in both day and boarding prep schools in the UK and Bahrain. She returned with her husband, three daughters and menagerie of pets to Perthshire in 2014 and since then has enjoyed teaching roles at local independent schools. In her spare time Flo enjoys being outdoors, whether up a hill, riding with her daughters or attempting to paddle board, or indoors immersed in an Agatha Christie novel.
Ruth gained a B.Ed from Northern College in Aberdeen where she taught in various different primary schools. She has also taught EFL in Edinburgh and Greece. Ruth has now taught at Craigclowan for 18 years. She started teaching in the Pre-school and has been lucky to have taught all year groups from Form 1 to Form 4. Ruth currently teaches Form 2 and also enjoys taking Junior drama club. Her two children attend the school and when asked what they liked best about Craigclowan, one answered “the fun teachers and extra-curricular activities” and the other replied “my friends, lunches and art”! In her spare time Ruth enjoys travelling, hill-walking, skiing and swimming.
Form 7 Tutor, Head of Games
Fiona qualified from Bedford PE college and started working as a PE teacher in a secondary school in Doncaster. After moving to Perth in 2003, she began working at Craigclowan as the Art/CDT teacher. She is now Head of Games and ensures she keeps the male games staff in check. Boxing has helped her with this. She is highly motivated, not only by an infectious love of sport but also by a desire to see as many children as possible physically and mentally empowered. She loves her job just as much as she loves a packet of Haribo.
Early Years Practitioner
Prior to moving to Perth to take up her role teaching in the Pre-school, Joanna lived and worked in Angus. She then extended her studies at Perth College by completing a PDA in Childhood Practice. Joanna is involved in many areas of school life as she runs the Breakfast Club, is part of the Holiday Club Team and also supervises Late Prep. Always at her best when she is busy, outside school Joanna enjoys running, swimming and skiing.
Early Years Practitioner
Melanie has enjoyed teaching in the Pre-school since 2007 and can also be found supervising the Late Prep facility. Outside of school she leads an active lifestyle through attending the gym, powerwalking and hill climbing. Her hobbies also include jewellery making and playing the flute.
Form 6 Tutor, Support for Learning
Vicki has worked at Craigclowan for the last 14 years as part of the Support for Learning Department but has been part of Craigclowan life for 27 years as her own three children were lucky enough to come here. Her main interests are her family and walking.
Vicki has the Hornsby Diploma in Specific Learning Difficulties and the COSCA Graduate Certificate in Counselling Skills from Abertay University.
Form 5, Games
Helen McKelvey joined the Craigclowan family in 2014 having previously worked in the state school sector in Perth and Kinross. Helen graduated in 2003 with a BSc (Hons) before working for Alliance Trust plc as an Investor Relations Officer. In 2008 she decided to retrain as a teacher. A keen sportswoman, Helen played hockey in Scotland’s top league and has also coached district squads in Scotland as well as coaching abroad. Helen loves the outdoors and can be seen bagging munros with her husband and dog before heading to the nearest dog-friendly pub.
Charlotte gained a BSc from the University of Exeter and then joined the British Army in 2001. After ten years service with the Royal Artillery, Charlotte spent two years in Canada and worked with the Scouts. This inspired her to work with children and she decided to train as a Secondary Maths Teacher and gained a PGCE from the University of Southampton. Charlotte then taught Maths in a Secondary School in Winchester and is teaching Forms 6, 7 and 8 Maths at Craigclowan. In her spare time Charlotte enjoys running, skiing, hill-walking and spending time with her husband and three boys.
Director of Music
Ástmar is our Director of Music. Ástmar studied piano and singing in Iceland, where he grew up and, after graduation, enrolled at the Royal Academy of Music, London, where he studied piano with Philip Jenkins and singing with Henry Cummings. He continued his studies privately in London with Louis Kentner on piano and singing with Kenneth Woollam. Astmar worked as Head of Keyboard at Bradfield College, Berkshire before moving up to Scotland. As a pianist he has performed widely and recorded for the Icelandic Broadcasting Corporation. He has also sung all over the UK, Iceland and Germany in opera, oratorio and recitals.
Head of Art
Judith graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art with a first class degree in Illustration and Printmaking. From there she gained a Masters in the History of Art from St Andrews University before completing her teacher training at Bedford College of Education. Judith has over 18 years teaching experience, in the UK and Africa. She is a passionate artist and ran a bespoke company ’Slug Ceramics ’designing and making unique tiles and kitchenware for peoples’ homes. She has written several textbooks for Heinemann Education and has illustrated childrens’ books and greetings cards. An enormous animal lover, she enjoys spending time with her family, horses and two miniature dachshunds, Basil and Bertie.
Form 4, Games
A former pupil of Craigclowan, Adam graduated in Sports Studies at Stirling University before completing his PGDE at Dundee. Following a spell at a primary school in Perth, he returned to Craigclowan to teach Form 4. He is the captain of Perthshire Rugby Club and, as an enthusiastic sportsperson, he enjoys passing his knowledge and skills onto the next generation of rugby stars at Craigclowan. A keen guitar player and an even keener eater, Adam loves Craigclowan school lunches with his favourites being steak pie and treacle sponge. Staff room biscuits are also highly appreciated!
Head of English & Librarian
Michaella Prince attained a First Class M.A. in English Language & Literature at Glasgow University and enjoyed an internship with the BBC before embarking upon her PGCE (English and Religious Education) in 2005. Having been an English teacher at Kelvinside Academy, Glasgow, and Second Head of English at St Edward’s, Oxford, Michaella made the transition to Prep School life following the completion of a primary-level PGCE at the University of Aberdeen in 2013. Passionate about reading, creative writing, cinematography and drama, Michaella has embraced her roles here as Head of English and Head Librarian, and loves nothing better than exploring exciting stories with the children. When she doesn’t have her head in the literary clouds (which isn’t often), she loves travelling around the world with her husband, Fraser, composing music, eating bizarre flavours of ice cream and indulging her sometimes amiable, sometimes fiendish house rabbit, Molly.
Form 7 Tutor, Head of Geography, Games
Alex Reynolds studied Geography at Durham University and completed a Masters Degree in Overseas Development at Swansea. He managed refugee camps in Africa in the mid 1990s before turning to teaching in 2000. Alex is Head of Geography and also coaches sport at Craigclowan. Many of the children that he has taught here have gone on to study Geography at university and no doubt still enjoy colouring in!
Religious Studies, English, Drama, PSE, Games
Charlie comes from a long line of independent school teachers. Growing up in a Fife prep school before moving back to Cargilfield when his father became Headmaster, he has lived and breathed the environment since his birth at Cargilfield, where his grandfather was also the Headmaster. Prior to teaching, he spent many years working and travelling in Asia, Australasia and Europe until the inevitable teaching career beckoned. After a spell teaching in Surrey and then a couple of years working as a carer in a hospice for children with terminal and life threatening illnesses, the call of the Scottish mountains brought him back to Scotland and Craigclowan. He presently teaches English, Religious Studies, Drama and PSHE. He also runs the extensive skiing programme which makes Craigclowan such a unique environment and directs the school play at the end of the Summer Term.
Having benefited from an encouraging and nurturing environment at a girls school in Glasgow, Elspeth gained a thirst for learning and, in turn, teaching, where she strives to provide the same safe environment she appreciated so much. After completing a Post Graduate Certificate in Education in 2005, Elspeth spent her probationary year at a primary school in Angus before moving to George Heriot’s School in Edinburgh. After finding her "Prince Charming", she moved away from Edinburgh to a quieter life in Perthshire, where she enjoyed renovating an old house. She came to Craigclowan as a supply teacher in October 2010 and then in a part-time capacity in 2012 as a Form 3 Class Teacher.
Fabienne has enjoyed over 15 years of teaching at Craigclowan. Prior to this, she studied Languages and Tourism in France, the UK and Germany and, after leaving her native French Alps, she worked in the travel industry in the UK. Both her children (now at University) were educated at Craigclowan. In her tender years she was a ski racer. She now enjoys the great outdoors and competes in cross-country, hill running as well as open water based triathlon.
Early Years Practitioner
Elaine joined the Craigclowan family in 2002 and feels like it was only yesterday. The one thing she loves about teaching in Pre-school is that life is never dull!! Elaine is passionate about early years education and the wellbeing of the individual child. Out of school she loves socialising with her friends and spending time with her family doing outdoor activities such as cycling, walking and horse riding. She is also a taxi driver to her two daughters!!
Head of English - Maternity Cover
Hilary completed her PGCE course in Primary Education from the University of Edinburgh in 2001, passing with distinction. She has worked for both Local Authority and Independent Schools, including a brief secondment to the SQA. She enjoys riding and walking her labrador and she is also kept busy with two teenage daughters. Music has been a big part of her life. She was the first female musician to be assigned to a Scottish regimental band and has enjoyed many years playing in championship brass bands. She is still an enthusiastic member of Perthshire Brass Band.
Form 4, Games
Gillian has worked at Craigclowan since 1997. After gaining a Sports Management Degree in 1986, she worked as a Sports Development Co-ordinator for Central Region, developing skiing and swimming provision for 5-12 year olds. She completed a PGCE at Jordanhill in 1991, and then taught at both Dunblane and Bannockburn Primary Schools before moving with her family to Perth. All three of her children were educated at Craigclowan. As well as teaching Form 4, Gillian maintains her sporting interests by coaching hockey, netball, skiing, swimming and athletics at the school. In her spare time she looks after four dogs, washes her son’s rugby kit and enjoys the occasional tipple!
Elizabeth grew up in East Lothian before completing an MSci Honours degree in Geoscience at the University of Durham in 2010. She moved back to Scotland to complete a PhD investigating the coastal landscapes of the Outer Hebrides while based between the University of Dundee and the James Hutton Institute in Invergowrie. While undertaking her PhD research, Elizabeth taught Geography at the Dundee University ‘Access to Learning Summer School’, delivered tutorials on undergraduate modules, and ran a local Rainbows group, which led to her developing a passion for teaching and working with children. She completed her teacher training at Edinburgh University’s Moray House School of Education. In her spare time, Elizabeth enjoys reading, oil and watercolour painting and hiking and wild camping in Scotland’s mountains and glens with her dogs.
Headmaster's PA & Admissions
As well as being PA to the Headmaster, Jen is responsible for Admissions at Craigclowan. She thoroughly enjoys being immersed in all aspects of school life and has a soft spot for lunches with Form 1 (just ask them what a ‘spoon alert’ is). She has had a varied career including 12 years in the alcoholic drinks industry, where she did her level best to support her favourite gin brands, before moving on to clinical research and latterly construction consultancy. Away from school, Jen enjoys oil painting (she still harbours dreams of becoming the next Jack Vettriano) and walks with her golden retriever.
Since graduating from York University in 1983, Mhairi has had many incarnations. She worked in sales in Norwich for some years. Then she married a Frenchman and moved to France where she studied French at the University of Nancy and then taught English as a foreign language in Metz and in Paris. Her husband’s job then took them to Mauritius where she was part of a small team that ran a national animal welfare charity. The family came back to Scotland in 2007 and she started working at Craigclowan in 2010. Her daughter was a pupil at Craigclowan and absolutely blossomed here. Mhairi serves on the parents association of her children’s school and in her spare time she does yoga.
Administrative Assistant - Finance & HR
After studying Sociology at Reading University, Christine spent many years in Financial Services. She then moved back to Scotland to open a business in the cable and wire industry with her husband. She has now moved on to a new role as Administrative Assistant to the Bursar at Craigclowan. Outside school Christine can be found with her head in a book, watching sport or walking and, if the weather allows, playing tennis.
Angie worked as a medical secretary in Edinburgh before marrying a Perthshire dairy farmer and then spending nearly two decades as a Craigclowan mother of three children - on ‘the school run’, cheering from the sidelines and thoroughly enjoying being part of the Craigclowan Family – except when having to explain the disappearance of Tom’s French jotter which had been shredded by their retriever puppy! In 2007, Angie started working in the school office – on the night shift, 3 –6pm daily. She makes the occasional Chocolate Splodge for the staffroom and keeps the flowers blooming in the Front Hall! She has even been known to put on some blue plastic gloves and serve tea on Sports Day! Away from Craigclowan, there are always grandchildren to visit, weeds to pull out of the garden, ragwort to dig out of the paddocks, jewellery to make and endless Scottish glens to explore on her electric bike!
Corinne has enjoyed a wide variety of clerical support roles in a number of different industries before moving into education when she relocated to Dubai. Having enjoyed seven years as a Classroom Assistant in an international school there, she joined Craigclowan in a similar role in 2014. Corinne now works in the school office on Mondays and Fridays.
Our Head Groundsman, Marc King, keeps the campus looking in great shape. From grass cutting to leaf blowing, marking out pitches to general maintenance, he is an essential part of the Craigclowan team.
Our Catering Manager, Gordon Stewart, and his team of Paul Drummond, Ely Reekie and Shannon Watson ensure that we have a delicious, nutritious, home-cooked meal each day. They also provide great match teas for parents and pupils after every home game and drinks and nibbles for productions, concerts and the various meetings which take place in school.
Academic staff email addresses follow the naming configuration:
staff + first initial + firstname.lastname@example.org
The other staff email addresses which you may require are:
|Headmaster's PA & Admissionsemail@example.com|
|Deputy Head - Academicfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Deputy Head - Pastoralemail@example.com|
|Finance & HR Administrationfirstname.lastname@example.org|