Elizabeth Miskimmin

8th April 2011 at 01:00
The teacher swung into golf and geography lessons with the same dedication and passion

Elizabeth Miskimmin, who has died aged 67, had a default setting that was enthusiastic. Be it in her working life, leisure pursuits, voluntary contributions or friendships, she approached everything with the same exuberance.

It was an attitude that took her to the top both professionally, as a hugely-respected educationalist and rector, and as a gifted amateur golfer, winning countless championships and enthusing youngsters with her love of the game.

Born into a teaching and golfing family in Falkirk, she spent her first two years in Standburn, enjoying the rest of her childhood in Stirling where she attended the Territorial and Allan's primary schools.

Her original ambition of becoming a PE teacher fell by the wayside and she became a planning officer with the Corporation of the City of Glasgow before deciding to do her year's teacher training at Jordanhill College of Education.

In 1967 she found herself back at Stirling High as a geography teacher in its new home, where she made valuable contributions to national curriculum developments in secondary schools, including the alternative O-grade geography course which was introduced in 1973.

She was soon on the move, fairly rapidly promoted to assistant headteacher and head of the geography department at Cumbernauld High.

Her next move was to Aberfeldy and Breadalbane Academy where she became depute head in December 1986, promoted to head a few months later, formally taking up the post in January 1988.

During her time at Breadalbane she helped to develop policies on technical and vocational education initiatives that became part of Scottish education; planned a headteachers' training module that is now used nationally; was involved in creating Scotvec modules; and sat on a group monitoring schools' effectiveness.

Throughout her life, Miss Miskimmin had been an enthusiastic sportswoman who excelled at squash, enjoyed downhill skiing in Europe, plus cross- country skiing in Norway and in Scotland - where she used to set off with her spaniel Glen in her backpack - and was involved in the Glenshee ski rescue team.

She also curled at Pitlochry, canoed on Loch Tay, glided by the shores of Loch Leven and was an accomplished artist, working in oils and pastels and creating cartoons for her family.

But it was in the world of golf that she was a champion and true ambassador for the sport, at county and national level.

Latterly she was a successful fundraiser, despite living with terminal cancer. She organised am-am golf tournaments, raising more than pound;5,000 last year for Macmillan Nurses and pound;8,000, in 2008, towards the cost of building Cornhill Macmillan Centre in Perth where she was to end her days.

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