International film director visits academy he attended to inspire pupils

From left to right: Peterhead Academy pupil Ellie McDougall, film director Jon S Baird and pupil Chelsea Beaton
From left to right: Peterhead Academy pupil Ellie McDougall, film director Jon S Baird and pupil Chelsea Beaton

An internationally-acclaimed film director has returned to his former secondary school to inspire drama-loving youngsters.

Staff and pupils at Peterhead Academy welcomed back former pupil Jon S Baird this week.

The Filth director attended the school until he left in 1990 to study politics at Aberdeen University, before then heading to London where he landed the job of runner for a TV company.

Since then he’s reached the heights of Hollywood and directed the critically acclaimed Laurel and Hardy biopic Stan and Ollie.

While on the visit he reminisced about his experiences at Peterhead Academy, and was given a tour of the campus.

Staff and pupils were delighted when he visited classes and took time to mentor two of the school’s senior pupils who are particularly active in drama.

The team at Peterhead Academy were delighted to welcome a very special visitor to the school this week. Former pupil and…

Posted by Aberdeenshire Council on Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Chelsea Beaton is in the running for an Inspiring Aberdeenshire award for her services to the school and the community, having supported younger pupils in drama.

Mr Baird also met Ellie McDougall, who has been an active participant in Peterhead’s drama club and school shows.

Head teacher Shona Sellers said: “Mr Baird provided the girls with advice for their future careers and was pleased to see our drama facilities here at the school, which were not available when he was a student.

“He encouraged the girls to take advantage of the opportunities to stage, set and direct as well as act at such an early age.

“We are so very grateful to Jon for giving up so much time and being open and honest about how he had to work from the bottom to reach the success he now has.”

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