News • June 29, 2020 • by Awesome Aberlady

Parents and children say thank you to Mrs Unwin

Mrs Unwin’s presentation from grateful parents and children was made by Damien Noonan, chair of the school’s Parent Council.

ABERLADY PRIMARY SCHOOL parents and children said thank you to Mrs Unwin on Friday (June 26), the last day of the 2019–20 school year, as she retired after 30 years with the school.

At a carefully orchestrated, socially distanced ceremony outside school, with her current class of P1s watching from a safe distance, Mrs Unwin was presented with a specially commissioned piece by local artist Cheryl Jones.

The illustration shows Mrs Unwin and her dog, Bruce, above the motto Bien joué (‘Well done!’) along with a depiction of the school, the beautiful horse chestnut tree, and many other little touches suggested by Mrs Mackay, who will take over as P1 teacher next year.

Other gifts made possible by the generous donations and creative contributions, respectively, of parents and children included flowers, gift tokens and a leather-bound ‘memory book’ entitled ‘The Amazing Mrs Unwin’, containing letters, poems and pictures contributed by current and former P1 pupils. Earlier in the day, in a live video call with the whole school, Mrs Unwin received  a ‘bouquet’ of yellow paper hands with message from children at the school.

Mrs Unwin’s artwork and its creator, Cheryl Jones.

Mrs Unwin (Eileen to colleagues and, if they are bold enough, parents) made the decision to retire in January, before the complications of the pandemic.

She has taught at Aberlady since 1989, when she joined to teach two days a week as cover for Dorothy Hermiston, the headteacher at the time and her mentor.

Mrs Unwin has written a piece for this website describing her time at the school, in which she says: ‘I can honestly say there has never been a morning when I haven’t driven into the car park and appreciated my good fortune to be working there.’ 

The article includes a message to all Mrs Unwin’s former pupils, as well as a special message for her 2019–20 P1s.

Mrs Unwin’s memory book, with its cover in her favourite colour, and some of the many contributions to it from her pupils. Thanks to the Dalrymples for compiling it!

Damien Noonan, chair of the Parent Council, thanked Mrs Unwin for her many years of dedication to her pupils and, in describing how much she would be missed, said that our P1 teacher seems as much a fixture of the school as the high-windowed classroom she taught in and the much-loved conker tree beside the school gates.

Mrs Unwin, who is known as a great advocate of the French language, was keen to point out that this was au revoir or à bientôt and not goodbye, since she fully intends to return to school as often as possible and remain a part of our community. We will always be glad to see her.


You can download a larger version of the artwork by Cheryl Jones for Mrs Unwin, or a version with explanatory notes, using the links below.

Full-size artwork (PDF, 5MB)

Annotated version (PDF, 3.4MB)

Mrs Unwin’s article for Awesome Aberlady is at