Tributes to rector

THE funeral of popular rector of Aboyne Academy, Charlie Wood, is set to take place at Mortonhall Crematorium, Edinburgh, this weekend, on May 8.

Tributes have been paid, by friends and colleagues, to Mr Wood, who died last week following a long battle with cancer. The 54-year-old had established himself as a respected head teacher, and in his short time at the school he had impressed colleagues, pupils and parents.

Mr Wood took up his post at the academy in February, 2003, and was dedicated to his work. He continued working at the Aboyne school despite his illness, until April 23.

Aberdeenshire's director of education and recreation Hamish Vernal, who visited Aboyne Academy on April 30, said: “Mr Wood was a remarkable man who impressed parents, staff and pupils during his short time at Aboyne. His death is a great loss to the community.”

Mr Wood had been receiving medical treatment for some time, but had been able to continue working until April 23. However, his health deteriorated rapidly and he was taken into Aberdeen Royal Infirmary where he died on Friday last week, April 30.

Born in Danderhall, Midlothian, he went to Dalkeith High School and then on to Edinburgh University. Mr Wood graduated with MA Honours in History, and was one of the first people in Scotland to graduate with a Diploma in Educational Leadership and Management, (the Scottish qualification for Headship), from the university

He began his teaching career in Midlothian in 1973 at his former high school. During his 20 years at Dalkeith High Schools Mr Wood worked as a history and modern studies teacher and assistant head teacher.

He then moved to Edinburgh's Gracemount High School, where he took up the post of depute head teacher. Five years later he moved to Deeside's Aboyne Academy.

Depute rector at Aboyne Academy, Mario DiMaio said: “Charlie Wood was one of the most inspirational teachers that I have ever encountered. He was very much a hands on rector, he enjoyed being in classes and watching teaching taking place. He was a man who worked extremely hard for the school.

“In the short time that Charlie was with us he was thoroughly immersed in the school. He did have an approach which was very much out and about around the school. What shone from Charlie was a huge genuine interest in the kids and the school.”

Mr DiMaio said Mr Wood's energy was boundless and gave 100% to everything he did. He added: “People appreciated that and saw that he was someone who was prepared to work extremely hard for the school.”

Long term friend Neal McGowan, who is head teacher at Banchory Academy, said Mr Wood was a loyal and supportive man and was delighted to take up the post at Aboyne.

He added: “He was very, very committed to young people, he knew all the kids in the school personally. He was very well respected by the staff, pupils and parents (at Aboyne Academy).

“He was really committed to extra curricular school activities, and was involved in school football all through his career.

“It is a great loss, the mark of the man would be the genuine heart felt sorrow which is being felt now. People really feel there is a big loss, they feel as if they lost a friend.”

The family have asked that donations go to the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation in memory of Mr Wood.

Mr Wood is survived by his wife of 25 years Barbara, daughter Rachel, a first year veterinary student at Edinburgh University, and son Christopher, who is a S4 pupil at Banchory Academy.