The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

OBE for Ayrshire head teacher

It was cheers all round at Alloway Primary this week after the school’s Head Teacher, Karen Butler, was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to education.

A teacher for 30 years, Karen (pictured above) started her teaching career in Glasgow, working in Easterhouse, the Gorbals and Balornock before taking up her first teaching post in Ayrshire – at Onthank Primary in Kilmarnock. She then taught in Hampshire before returning to Scotland. 

At the age of 26, Karen was promoted to Senior Teacher at Tarbolton Primary, where she taught for nine years before becoming the school’s Head Teacher – a post she held for ten years. During her time at Tarbolton, Karen helped the nursery become the first in Scotland to achieve six ‘excellent’ ratings from inspectors.  

In 2010, she was appointed Head Teacher of Alloway Primary. 

Karen said she was overwhelmed to be included in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. She added: “It really hasn’t sunk in yet and I’m both very humbled and extremely proud to be recognised in this way. I love teaching and working with children and young people to help them become the best they can be and reach their full potential - that’s what matters most of all.

“For me, teaching is about ensuring we focus on the whole child – not just on academic achievements – and providing the right support to meet the individual child’s needs and that’s what I always work to deliver. To help our pupils be their best, I also believe it’s vitally important that staff get the same support and opportunities to develop, and I’m committed to providing that for my teachers and support staff.

“I’ve been lucky to work with some fantastic colleagues throughout my career and it’s been a privilege to see the difference we can make to a young person’s life. That’s the best reward of all for any teacher and this fabulous honour is just the icing on the cake!”

Congratulating Karen on her OBE, Councillor Margaret Toner, Portfolio Holder for Lifelong Learning, said: “Karen is a true inspiration to all of us and this honour is very well-deserved. She has helped transform learning and teaching for thousands of pupils throughout her career and it’s a pleasure to see these efforts recognised at the highest level. Karen’s OBE is for services to education, but it’s really for services to people – pupils, parents, carers, colleagues – and we are all very proud of what she has achieved.”

South Ayrshire Provost Helen Moonie added: “My warmest congratulations to Karen on this wonderful achievement, which is testament to her passion and commitment to delivering positive outcomes for every single child. She is a very worthy recipient of this esteemed honour and I have no doubt the whole school is celebrating with her today.”

South Ayrshire Council is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

Top trainers head to Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson 

THE first Saturday meeting of the 2015 Flat season at Ayr Racecourse – Scottish Sun Raceday - takes place this weekend, and the entries read like a who’s who of the training ranks.

[Pictured: The veteran sprinter Borderlescott is likely 
to be in action at Ayr Racecourse on Saturday.] 

Sir Michael Stoute, Charlie Appleby, Mark Johnston, Charles Hills, Richard Fahey and Mick Channon all have horses entered for the seven-race card that boasts a healthy £135,000 in prize money. 

There are 21 entered for the showpiece of the day, the £40,000 Scottish Sun/British Stallion Studs EBF Land O’Burns Fillies’ Stakes, a Listed Race over five furlongs. 

The ultra-consistent Spinatrix from the Michael Dods yard is the one that stands out here. Rated 108 this is one of the best sprinters in the country while other useful horses with entries include the Godolphin owned Wanting and Newmarket raider Iffranesia. 

There are also two tasty one mile handicaps on the card and in the first of these at 2.20pm Sir Michael Stoute has the Hamdan Al Maktoum owned Mukhayyam entered while in the second of these valuable races Sound Advice, trained by Keith Dalgleish and part owned by Ayr businessman David Savala could be an interesting runner. 

The veteran sprinter Borderlescott, now aged 13, winner of almost £800,000 in prize-money is down to run in the five furlong Arnold Clark Handicap at 4.50pm and with PJ McDonald in the saddle is sure to have his supporters. 

The afternoon’s action ends at 5.25pm with the Capital FM Handicap over six furlongs and another veteran in the shape of 12 year-old Barney McGrew, runner up in the 2009 William Hill Ayr Gold Cup is set to run in the hands of Connor Beasley. 

The first race is at 1.50pm with gates open at 11.50am. For more information on racing at Ayr call 01292 264179 or go online at 

For further information please contact Iain Ferguson on 01292 294972 or 07795 565691.

Ayr Racecourse and the associated Western House Hotel are Founder Members of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.