MEDIOCRITY was never enough for the Wee County's retiring education chief.

Anne Pearson, who was appointed as chief education officer for Clackmannanshire Council in 2016, brought the curtain down on a career which spanned more than 40 years.

She was praised for taking Clacks education on "a spectacular journey" over the past few years and many will remember her for her strong engagement and work with parents, something she values extremely highly.

Born and bred in Sauchie, the chief started her career in the area when she was on placements during her training and eventually settled at Park PS as a class teacher in 1976.

She then became a support for learning teacher as she focused her interest on how children learned, and supporting those pupils who faced difficulties.

Anne then built skills and experience in practical and leadership roles across the region save for a spell with the Hay Group as part of the global leadership team.

Eventually she was back in Falkirk as the head of curriculum development and later head of education until an opportunity in her home county arose.

It came as Clackmannanshire and Stirling councils broke up an arrangement on shared education services, representing a chance to bring leadership back closer to home.

Anne said: "Because I live in Sauchie and I love Clackmannanshire I thought I'll have a go and do that.

"So I came back to see what we can do for Clackmannanshire and I loved that.

"We established the education team again and we are in a good position I think."

She added: "I think it was just [about] bringing the leadership of education back to the heart of its community.

"I think that was the key aspect of it and the headteachers and heads of nurseries were thinking: 'We are doing this for our children' – so it wasn't distant."

Anne was also headteacher at Park PS and received an MBE in the 2000 New Year Honours for her services to education.

She wanted to make clear it was an award for everybody involved in the hard work at the time.

Cllr Graham Lindsay spoke highly of her "relentless" work ethic when he handed over flowers at last week's People Committee meeting.

Speaking to Anne, the councillor who is also from Sauchie and is the administration's spokesperson for education, said: "As well as building a beautiful new school in Tullibody, you have built a strong, high-performance environment within your department ensuring nothing but excellence is strived for. 'Mediocrity will not do' will always ring in my ear.

"You have raised attainment through first class strategic leadership, team work and the creation of your family culture."

He added: "I feel very lucky to have been able to learn from such an inspiring leader and genuinely hold you in the highest regard.

"On behalf of Clackmannanshire Council, I am grateful you have chosen Clackmannanshire, your home, to finish this part of your journey in such a positive way."