Annie McSeveney sadly died on Monday 23rd August 2010 of complications following surgery to treat a sub-arachnoid haemorrhage. Members of her family were with her. Annie’s funeral took place on Monday 30th August 2010 at Mortonhall Crematorium, Edinburgh. It was attended by over 100 friends and colleagues reflecting Annie’s many and varied activities and interests: ACTS, the GTCS, the Open University, Edinburgh University, teachers from schools in the Borders, Peebles Orchestra, Dunedin Wind Band, St Mary’s Loch Sailing Club and more were represented.
Warmth, compassion, intelligence and vision are qualities to which Annie gave real meaning in all her interactions. The breadth of Annie’s interests was matched by her energetic enthusiasm and wholehearted commitment to everything she did. She was a truly inspiring person.
Annie was born on 22nd July 1946 in Bradford. Teaching first in Shotts and then in Biggar, she subsequently moved to Leadhills as Head Teacher, before returning to class teaching at Braidwood Primary School, Carluke.
In 2005 Annie was in the first group of teachers to be able to attain Chartered Teacher status. She accepted the invitation of the GTCS to become an assessor and supervisor for other Chartered Teachers. A combination of counselling skills, learned as a Breastfeeding Counsellor for the National Childbirth Trust, and extensive professional knowledge, helped her to oversee the successful passage of many more teachers to Chartered status.
Retirement was not a sign for Annie to slow down. As an assessor and supervisor, Annie recognised the range of experience and skills being shown by Chartered Teacher candidates and with the support of the GTCS, Annie began the labour that would lead to the birth of the Association of Chartered Teachers Scotland (ACTS), celebrated in 2009 at the Scottish Parliament in the presence of the Cabinet Secretary and many respected educationists. As Chair, she continued to drive forward the development of ACTS into new areas with energy, clear vision and unwavering confidence.
Meanwhile, her own professional development continued. Having gained a masters in Education, she was about to submit the final draft of a doctoral thesis when she took ill. She had shared some of her work on this at the Scottish Educational Research Association conference in 2008. Annie would have presented the findings of recent research work with Dr Margery McMahon of Glasgow University on evaluating accomplished teaching at the European Educational Research Association conference in Helsinki in August.
Such a rich professional life would be enough to satisfy most, but Annie managed to add to this active interests in music, sailing, running and belly dancing. She played clarinet and, with her husband Sach, organised several recorder groups. She was thrilled when her father also took this up, describing her great delight in playing recorder with him recently.
After observing her children’s pleasure in their success with sailing, she joined in, becoming a member of St Mary’s Loch Sailing Club, taking part in three National championships and winning the Knockout Cup in 2001. She completed the Run Glasgow 10K in May in 1hr 12 minutes and was planning to run in the Glasgow half marathon. Despite a professed lack of competitive instinct, she never ceased to challenge herself to achieve more and at an ever higher standard.
She had five children and four grandchildren, all much loved, with whom she was very involved. Three of Annie’s children conducted the service with dignity and composure, telling us about Annie’s life and the qualities that made her such an inspiring mother, grandmother, teacher, colleague and personal friend to many. They each shared with us memories of Annie which for them exemplified her character. Their strength and support for each other was remarkable.
Annie’s time here was too short, but she did not waste a single minute of it.