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Inverness primary head teacher in final of national competition to identify coronavirus Lockdown Legends

By Louise Glen

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The head teacher of Smithton Primary in Inverness is in the running for a national award recognising the support she gave to the whole community during lockdown.

Aileen MacKay is one of five finalists in the Lockdown Legends competition run by training company Tree of Knowledge, after putting in 18-hour days during the lockdown and setting up a hub to assist vulnerable people long before the government decided to do so.

A public vote will decide who wins one of two prizes of a weekend in a treehouse, and the title of Lockdown Legend.

Nominating her, colleagues all cited Mrs MacKay's selfless and considerate behaviour towards others, including working all the way through the summer holidays and only taking one day off work since March.

Mrs MacKay is described by her colleagues as a "committed and caring head teacher".

One colleague said: "Aileen MacKay is a truly committed and caring head teacher like no other and she deserves lockdown legend recognition."

Another said: "Smithton community is a family and Aileen Mackay is the heart of that community.

"Despite the weight of her numerous responsibilities in her role as head teacher and as a mother with a family of her own she was and is always available to offer support to her staff and the families in Smithton.

"I often wonder how Aileen manages to juggle so many roles successfully but I have come to realise that her work ethic is driven by her desire to see the children succeed and thrive in all aspects of their lives and this is evident in her kindness and compassion to all.

"She has a fire in her belly and the will to make others' lives better. She is an inspiration to all."

A spokeswoman for the Lockdown Legends awards said: "For the past month, pupils, parents and teachers from across Scotland have been nominating their Lockdown Legends, a teacher or member of school staff who has gone above and beyond during the lockdown, in a nationwide search to recognise their efforts.

The final five are: Gaela Hall, librarian, Doon Academy; Karen Reid, teacher, Glenrothes High School; Diane Crosbie, teacher, Glenwood High School; Lisa Colburn, teacher, Masterton Primary School along with Ms MacKay.

The public vote will take place online from August 24-30.

Head to the Tree of Knowledge social media channels (@Tree_of) on Facebook or Twitter to access the voting platform, and click here to read about the finalists.

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