Popular Topics

KA Worldwide
Library Resource Centre
Kilmarnock & UK News
Famous Former Pupils
Health & Fitness
Leisure & Lifestyle

Today's Weather
School Calendar

Staffing News
September 2010


 Mr King, who left our English  Department at the end of June,  started his new job at Hawick  High School on Friday 20th  August. When he was with us,
 Mr King brought a  real freshness, spark and  enthusiasm to our English  Department. Mr King was also  the tactical mastermind and  motivational expert behind the  under-13 football team's success  last year. We received the letter  below on 15th September.


Dear all at K.A.,

I hope you are all very well indeed. I hope everyone has settled and  you are making a positive start to session 2010/11 – especially the  staff!

I’ve had a very busy and stressful summer and have not had the chance to catch breath! I moved into my new flat at the beginning of July and it has been a non-stop haven for partying….. On the contrary, the marking has yet again taken over. In all seriousness, I am now  living in a lovely area with brilliant neighbours. I only very recently took  the many cards full of well-wishes from the staff and pupils from K.A. down from my mantelpiece.

What can I say about my new school? It is very different to K.A. Hawick High School’s teachers do not issue punishment exercises. Really. The school is similar to K.A. in that it is architecturally stunning as it is chiefly made up of listed buildings. The staff are especially friendly and have made me so welcome. There is an active social life of the staff, which does not (necessarily!) mean I am spending my time in the town’s taverns… I teach six classes, a tutor group (register class) and am taking the S1 football team again. I’m unsure if this mob will reach the dizzy heights of winning the authority’s 7-a-side tournament! But there’s always hope. You can’t make a silk purse out a sow’s ear!

Similarly to receiving an Oscar, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff and pupils of Kilmarnock Academy for making my short time within the school an incredibly enjoyable and beneficial one – especially the English Department, my former classes (last year’s 1P1, 2P2, S3 SG Credit section and my Int 2 section) and last year’s S1 football team. I wish everyone all the very best with their futures.

I may even be back if Mr Kirkland’s reign as the U14s football coach is as disastrous as Tony Mowbray’s and Paul Le Guen’s catastrophic reigns at the Old Firm! Moreover, I am again playing football with the staff after school on a Friday from 4-5pm. Sadly however, the standard is not as high as K.A.’s skilful staff!

Take care,

Andrew King

To visit Mr King's  Under-13 football page (season 2009-10) and read his match reports click here.

August 2009 - June 2010


We wish all pupils, parents and staff a very happy summer holiday and hope that you manage to ignore the "BACK TO SCHOOL" adverts that started appearing in shop windows within a few days of the start of the school holidays.

To all of you who have worked so hard this session: "Thanks and well done! Your efforts and achievements do not go unnoticed." To all of our S4, S5 and S6 pupils: "Good luck with your results in August but, in the meantime, just enjoy your break."

To all of those staff who are moving on to new schools and new challenges: "Thanks for all your colourful contributions to life at Kilmarnock Academy and good luck in your new ventures. Sometimes it may not have felt like it, but you really did make a difference - a fact that was not missed by your pupils, who do know about such things."

    Sincere thanks and very best wishes to:

    E Auld – Music                                              L McDowall – Learning Support

    A Delvigne – Modern Languages – NQT              G McLintock – Chemistry

    H James – Geography – NQT                            S McMenamin – Art

    A King – English – NQT                                    I Pettigrew – PT ICT

    S Lightbown – PT Art                                      D Rowe – Technical – NQT

    A MacDonald – H.E. –NQT                                A Timmons – Maths

    L Templeton – English     

   That is quite a formidable team to have to do without in August!




New national football team required for enthusiastic fan.
Must have skill, passion and the ability to hit a barn door from 5 yards. Previous post-holder sacked for gross incompetence.

Please apply to Mr S McKing, School Librarian.

Mrs S. Brown
 Two of the most welcoming faces at  Kilmarnock Academy will be sadly missed next  session. Sandra Brown and Carol Armstrong  are moving on to new jobs and new  challenges within East Ayrshire. Both ladies  have contributed immensely throughout their  time at KA and are individuals who were  popular with staff and pupils. We thank them  both and wish them well.     N.McIlvanney

Mrs C Armstrong


 Congratulations to Miss Templeton who has been appointed Principal  Teacher of English at Auchenharvie Academy. For Lyndsey to get this  appointment four years into her career is a fantastic achievement and  an endorsement of the qualities and enthusiasm she has exhibited  throughout her time at KA. Over the past four years, Miss T has  contributed greatly to the life of the school, helping to organise Burns  suppers and serving on various committees. Above all, she was  responsible for the huge success of the KA's Got Talent days. These  involved the whole school and provided many pupils with great  experience of performing and the rest of us with colourful memories.

 Good luck Lyndsey! You will be missed - especially by your pupils.


Congratulations to Colin McLernon and Lynsey Reid who were married at the Graceland Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas on May 25, 2010. Lynsey, Mr Reid's daughter, and Colin had managed to keep their plans secret from both their families - only Elvis knew. Mr Reid, who found out about the happy event when he received a text from Lynsey, was delighted: "That's my lassie! In the words of Michael Corleone - I haven't lost a daughter, I've gained a son." So what next? Grandad?

We send our congratulations and best wishes to both the Reids and the McLernons. If the future is even half as much fun as the wedding ceremony, then Colin and Lynsey will do just fine!



With pupils returning to school on Tuesday 20th April, some teachers are still stuck overseas and many Scottish pupils, facing vital exams
within days, are also stranded. S4 pupils stuck overseas are just 10 days away from their Standard Grade English exams and are missing out on vital revision time because of the ash cloud from the Icelandic volcano.

Similar problems are being faced by universities and colleges as many lecturers and students are also stranded abroad with exams looming.


It was really good to hear recently from Miss Brown who left our English Department in June 2009 and is currently touring Australia:

We have had an absolutely fantastic trip so far.  We spent a couple of weeks in Sydney when we first arrived - what a beautiful city.  We did all of the touristy things like 'Jet Boating' around the harbour,  a visit to the Opera House (disappointingly brownish/nicotine stained in colour), hiking through the Blue Mountains and sun bathing on the infamous Bondi Beach.  We had dinner at the revolving tower restaurant where I declined the opportunity to taste Kangaroo.  I just couldn't bring myself to do it (see photo).
Our Sydney adventures did not last long, as the cost of living there is unimaginable!  We knew it would be expensive but we were not prepared for AUD$14 per drink, with the measures a measly 15ml!  We took a few weeks to travel up the East Coast, stopping at some beautiful surfing towns such as Byron Bay, Rainbow Beach and Hervey Bay.  I had a few surf lessons and you will be pleased to know that I can now stand up on a surf board, without stabilisers.  As disappointing as this may sound, I can assure you all that this is a great achievement.  Other fantastic activities we have participated in during our travels on the coast include scuba diving and snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef, sky diving, self drive jeep safari on Frazer Island, a cruise around the Whitsunday Isles and jungle surfing in the rainforest of Cape Tribulation.

While the weather here is utterly roasting with temperatures in Perth reaching 43 degrees over the last few weeks, I have indeed experienced some winter nostalgia and almost wished I was at home with you all in the ice and the snow.  On learning that there was not a single hip replacement left in the whole of Dumfries and Galloway over the Christmas period, I quickly came to my senses.
I hope that everyone is well at K.A, it is hard to believe it is this time of year again already.  My thoughts are with those of you who have to deal with second year after the Christmas holidays.  I have attached a few photos of my adventures for you to laugh at.
Best Wishes
Lauren Brown

This picture of David Murray appeared with a tribute in The Goldberry magazine in June 1908


 Dear Sir/Madam,
 I have recently found your website while I was researching my Murray  family.  I was surprised and thrilled to see the information on Rector  David Murray both from the information put up by the Academy and  from the notes on William Boyd placed on the feedback webpage.   David Murray is my great-great uncle and your website has given me  so much further information on a man who was up until recently just a  ‘name’.  I was wondering, however, if the Academy had any further  information on David that could fill in any further gaps about this  fascinating man – it seems that not only was he intelligent, he was  very personable and well-liked by those students who were taught by  him – and any information would be gratefully appreciated.

 Kind regards,

 Michelle Smith - Auckland, New Zealand.



 Kilmarnock Academy was in the news again on Thursday 19 November,  on Reporting Scotland BBC1 at 6.30pm and in news reports throughout  the day.  Mrs Ford delivered her presidential address to the School  Leaders Scotland conference of Scottish secondary head teachers and  deputes.  The content of her speech was highlighted on the news,  including footage of staff and pupils in school. The Times newspaper  also ran an article on this. To read what Mrs Ford had to say, visit the  BBC, or The Herald or Young Scot.


 It must take a lot of books for Mr King to be able to hide - 104,  actually. This collection has been kindly donated by Mrs MacDonald in  the office - the result of a mammoth clear-out of her daughter's  bedroom. Included within this huge pile are some near perfect "Horrible  Geographies" (not a comment on Ms James' teaching!), and a mountain  of "Point Horror" scaredy ghosty terror books.

 All these will soon be added to Library stock; some may be used to  replace old, tatty copies that we already have. Many thanks, Mrs  MacD!

 Donated books are always welcome in the Library - I can't guarantee  to use them all, but I will certainly look at any that come my way, and  send rejects off to other good homes. Can anyone beat 104?
 Stephen King, School Librarian

August 2008 - June 2009

Doctor Neil Dickson, the longest-serving member of our English Department, has now left the building and is currently en route to a happy retirement. He joined the staff of Kilmarnock Academy in August 1977 on the day that Elvis died. In his 32 years at Kilmarnock Academy Neil has provided enlightenment and inspiration as well as compassion, understanding and humour (being an Aberdeen supporter, he certainly needed the humour). Throughout his career at KA, he has had his share of 'difficult' classes but always managed to get them on his side.

Special thanks is due to Neil for all of the time, expertise and wisdom he has contributed to the creation and development of the history sections of the school website. His mischievous contribution to KA mythology and the world of fiction was "The Ghost of A Floor" . He will be missed by all those who value decency, integrity and knowledge and, above all, he will be missed by his pupils. We wish Neil a long and happy retirement.

We also wish Mr Maider and Mrs Lyon a long and happy retirement.


 Our local MP, Mr Des Browne, visited Kilmarnock Academy on the  afternoon of Friday, 24th April. Mr Browne was conducting research  into the background of Alexander Fleming and was particularly  interested in viewing old documents pertaining to Fleming from the  school archive, as he is planning a range of events to commemorate  the publication of Fleming's paper on penicillin. Mr Browne is pictured  holding the school Admissions Register containing the entry for Alex  Fleming, who joined KA on 28th August 1894. Also in the photograph  are our School Librarian, Stephen King, and Head Teacher, Carole Ford.


 Given that, for some time now, Hemitage Academy has enjoyed the  reputation of being one of the top schools in Scotland, it's interesting  to note that Alexander Cumming, who was Head Teacher at Hermitage  from 1913 to  1926, moved to become Kilmarnock Academy's Head  Teacher in 1926. To understand the attraction of Kilmarnock Academy  in those days and get an idea of why it has built up such a formidable  reputation over the years click here.

 To check out Hermitage Academy's website click here.


 I'm in the process of researching my family history and understand that  my grandfather's twin brother JAMES LYLE, 8 Wallace Street,  Kilmarnock was a one time Principal Art teacher at the Academy. He  died on 28th February 1955, so his tenure would be prior to this. James  Lyle was apparently instrumental in the development of Robert  Colquhoun's artistic talents. (I note he is one of your famous former  pupils). Any additional history you may have regarding James Lyle -  even some form of obituary - would be of great interest, and ultimately  any photographs of James Lyle would be the icing on the cake. (click)

August 2007 - June 2008


 From the end of this month some of our more experienced staff will be retiring. (Clockwise from right) Mr Partridge, Mrs Cairney, Mr Hill, Mr McCormick and Dr Neilson will all  begin a well-earned rest. Everyone  at K.A. wishes them a long and  happy retirement.



Recently, Mr Mackay, one of our Modern Studies teachers, visited the beautiful city of Prague where he spoke to the students of SOS school about the Scottish Education System and life in Scotland in general. He said, "I was made very welcome by both staff and pupils who were very eager to compare and contrast their education system with ours and who were desperately keen to further their English language skills."

To view pictures of Mr Mackay's visit, click here.


 Congratulations and many happy returns to Mr Reid who celebrated his  fiftieth birthday on Thursday, 20th March. It's hard to believe that it is  fifty years since that bright light was seen in the sky over Coatbridge -  Jim believes it was a star but the rest of us think it was a spaceship.  Anyway, Jim has packed a lot into his 50 years - climbing Everest,  swimming the Channel, wrestling polar bears.... and he always wakens  up in time to come to his work. To be fair, he has been to Iceland - he  reckons they do the best frozen chips.

 One of Jim's pupils told him the other day, "Sir, you're having us on -  you don't look as though you're fifty!"
 Jim, who was starting to feel good at this point said, "So what age do  you think I look?"
 "About 48.... Aye, round about 48...."
 (To view the celebrations click here.)

Jim as a baby (he really hasn't changed much)

Jim (extreme left) hanging out with his mates in the seventies

Jim relaxing at home


 An intrepid group of Kilmarnock Academy staff, partners, siblings and  friends, travelled to Warsaw on Friday 25 January to broaden their  horizons and cement Scottish/Polish relations in the only way they  know how – enjoying themselves.

 The party of sixteen travelled from Prestwick courtesy of Whizz Air  airlines, arriving in Warsaw late on Friday night. Driving in taxis through  the streets of Warsaw at 110km/h in a 50km/h zone was an exciting  introduction to the city.

 On Saturday morning we headed for the Old Town , an amazing replica  of the original town which was entirely destroyed by the Nazis during  World War II. Its streets are lined with old houses, bars and  restaurants, and interesting shops. On the main square, the rynek ,  the Warsaw Museum traces the history of the town from Neolithic  times through to the present day. The exhibition on the Warsaw  Uprising was particularly moving. To the north of the Old Town , the  Marie Curie Museum was also of interest, at least to those of the  group with an intellectual bent.

 Between us we ... (to read on, click here)


 As of 16 November Head Teacher Carole Ford was elected Vice  President of the Headteachers' Association of Scotland. HAS represents  the majority of headteachers and depute headteachers in Scotland .  Mrs Ford has been a council member of the association for four years  and joined the executive last year as convenor of the education  committee. In this role she conducted a survey on Higher English  results which has resulted in an undertaking from SQA to review this  very important examination. She was nominated as Vice President in  September of this year and appointed in November. HAS represents the  interests of senior managers in education and, more importantly, plays  a significant role in influencing educational developments. Mrs Ford will  work to uphold the best interests of pupils and staff in the Scottish  education system.

August 2006 - June 2007


A number of staff left us at the end of last session. Mr Paul Crankshaw retired as Principal Teacher of Business Studies. We send him all good wishes for a happy retirement and thank him very much indeed for his long years of sterling service. Mr Alan Stewart retired as Depute Head Teacher, formerly Principal Teacher of Guidance. He contributed enthusiastically to many areas of school life and will be missed. Good wishes to him too for a happy retirement and keep your mobile switched on, Alan, in case we cannot find anything!

A number of probationer teachers, with us for one year only, also left us to continue their careers elsewhere. Thank you very much and good luck to Mr James Carrigan in Mathematics, Mr Alistair McDougall in Modern Studies, Mr Chris Kilpatrick in Modern Languages, Mrs Rhona James and Mrs Amanda Walton in Biology.

Mr Stewart

Mr Crankshaw

Mr Monachan

Mr Kirkland - PT Technical Ed.

At the end of June, Mr Deane Monachan left as Principal Teacher of Technical to take up a new post as Head of Design in Hamilton Grammar.
We wish him (as well as the staff and pupils of Hamilton Grammar) good luck and thank him for everything he has contributed to Kilmarnock Academy.

Our new PTS, Technical Education, is Mr J Kirkland. We welcome him and the other new members of staff to K.A. and hope they enjoy their time here.

        Happy 40th
     to Mr Monochan

Congratulations to Mr Monochan who is 40 today (Friday). As can be seen from the baby picture on the left and the current picture on the right, he has hardly changed since he was a tot. He certainly doesn't look his age!

June 2006

"Och, Jean, lass, enjoy the ......FREEDOM!"
Mel Wallace Gibson

Mrs Kulma who in her time in the History Department at K.A., served under Frank Donnelly, David Bunyan and Graeme "Wing Commander" Dick.
Mrs Kulma Retires

After many years of devoted service to Kilmarnock Academy, working in the History Department and as a Principal Teacher of Guidance, Mrs Kulma retired at the end of June 2006.
When she first arrived at K.A. as Miss Templeton, in the early 1970's, she added a certain fiery glamour to an otherwise staid department (sorry Frank). Suddenly, boys were opting for History - and when they heard her teach, the trend continued.
In History, she combined great subject knowledge with a passion and enthusiasm that really engaged and involved her pupils. In her work throughout the school, she was an articulate and dynamic presence who exuded integrity and real intellect. And she could really give those who deserved it a right royal row - at times it seemed that Jean possessed the ability to make 'baddies' spontaneously combust from twenty paces just with the pitch and intonation of her voice.
However, despite the cool and professional exterior, in her roles as a classroom teacher and as a Guidance teacher, Jean always had great sensitivity, compassion and warmth - qualities that benefitted so many pupils over the years. Throughout her time at Kilmarnock Academy, her care and concern for the school and the pupils in it were always passionate and genuine - and that's why she really will be missed.


New Single Released (22.06.06)

Look out for "Unchained Birdie Song", the latest release from Murdoch & Jerome. With Robson Green busy making a new television series, Mr Murdoch has taken his place for the latest album "The Songs Your Granny Sung" and he is hoping the new single will give the duo some real musical credibility.

Speaking exclusively to KA Web, Mr Murdoch said, " I have always been a big fan of the lads so when I was spotted by the producer in a Young Farmers' production of 'The Alexander Brothers Story', I jumped at the chance of being a part of this new project. Anyway, I've always had a powerful voice - ask anyone on B floor."

"At first Murdoch & Jerome is going to sound a bit strange. But through time we hope to become a household name - one of the great duos like Simon & Garfunkel, Sonny & Cher ... Pinky & Perky."

Mrs Neilson has already started a fan club and, in her spare time, Mrs Ford is knitting new birdie suits for the lads. She expects to have finished them within a couple of days.

Super-Group Finally Revealed (03.03.06)

Billy-Bob Lawson

At last we can reveal the line-up of Woodstock Lindsay's all-star band. The final piece in this musical jig-saw fell into place last week. "For us it's all about the music but we don't want to ignore our under-65 audience. So, we decided to bring in some muscle - you know a really good-looking dude who would set the chicks' pulses racing and could move and groove like Justin Timberlake. We asked Mr Murdoch but he had catering commitments. Obviously Billy-Bob was an able replacement."
"We're thinking about calling ourselves Ionic Bionic but we'd love to hear other suggestions from all the fans out there."

Ionic Bionic?
(click picture to enlarge)

Before and After

For the benefit of all the fans out there who didn't know the supergroup when they were normal teachers and before they had their style make-overs, I have included the necessary "before and after" shots. All of the members of the group have been good sports about their new-found fame and Eddie Van Rigg has even autographed pictures of himself. The only problem with the popularity of the group is that the female members of staff are definitely feeling a bit left out of things and are rumoured to be starting their own group. Watch this space..........

Graeme Richardson
Alvin Richardson
Andy Lindsay
Woodstock Lindsay
Jim Rigg
Eddie Van Rigg
Jim Lawson
Billy-Bob Lawson

Eddie Van Rigg
Latest Super-Group News (17.02.06)

As we reported last week Eddie Van Rigg has been confirmed as a member of Woodstock Lindsay's all- star band.
Well we can now report that the latest recruit is Alvin "Koochy Koo" Richardson. After an unsuccessful bid at a career as a magician and hypnotist, and a brief spell driving an ice-cream van, Alvin is returning to his musical roots and can't wait to get back on the road. "It's gonna be so good being on the road and playing different songs each night. After three months driving the ice-cream van playing the same tune every night, man, that Greensleeves was doing ma head in."

Alvin Richardson

Retired Depute Head forms Super-Group (08.02.06)

Our sources in the music biz have reported that recently retired Depute Head Teacher, Andy "Woodstock" Lindsay has formed his own Super-Group. We contacted Andy to confirm the news but he wasn't giving much away. "Discussions are still happening, man, and I don't want no bad karma. Once everything's cool, the guys and me are just gonna chill, lay down some vibes that will blow your mind and make some real psychedelic sounds. I've put a new fuse in my lava lamp so things are looking good. We don't want no jive from the system, man, we just wanna get it on and be where the action is. In a couple of days, I'll be able to tell you more."

Check KA Web over the next few days to see exclusive pictures of Andy's all-star line-up.

Andy "Woodstock" Lindsay


August 2004 - June 2005

2004 and 2005 have been years of significant change at Kilmarnock Academy with the departure of many of the familiar faces and the arrival of many new faces among the teaching staff.

Kleboe bows out with a hat-trick

 Peter Kleboe retired recently  from the Art Department. The  fact that he celebrated his  retiral with a game of indoor  football speaks volumes for  the  charcoal diet he has  adhered to  over the years.  Peter also  finished in top  form, scoring a  hat-trick and  only expressing  his  frustration once with his  trade mark, "Ya beast ye".
 As  can be seen from the  picture on the right, some of  the finest athletes in the  school  turned out to pay  tribute to  Kleboe  Kleberson.

The Voice of K.A. retires

Mrs Jessie Farquhar retired in July 2005, after twenty-five years as a member of the clerical staff at Kilmarnock Academy. During much of that time she worked on the switchboard, answering calls to the school, and her patience and warmth were an integral part of the welcoming voice that greeted thousands of callers to the school over the years. Jessie's patience and professionalism helped her through the many changes in the location of the school office and the many upgrades to the school telephone system. "I leave with mixed feelings," said Jessie,"but I won't miss getting up early to come to work. I wish Kilmarnock Academy and staff all the best for the future in the world of education." And all at Kilmarnock Academy wish Jessie a long and happy retirement.

Dave receives news of a package.
Dave McMeekin retired in July 2005 "after 35 years of teaching Russian, German, French, Guidance, PSE, taking football teams and the umpteen other things I've been involved in during my teaching career." Dave's approach to teaching deployed the dedication, honesty, humour and integrity that are key elements of his approach to life in general. One of the "good guys", he will be missed.
Dave holds the 'good news' letter.