It was with great sadness that staff, pupils and parents learned of the untimely death of Guidance Teacher, Pete Comfort, on 10 July at the age of 55, writes Alford Academy Head Teacher, Mrs Moira Milne An Alford boy by birth, Pete began his teaching career in 1978 as an art teacher at Banchory Academy. He was promoted five years later to the post of Principal Teacher of Guidance at Alford Academy where he quickly gained the affection and respect of the school and wider community.
Pete was a natural teacher with his own uniquely humorous style who cared deeply for his pupils and invested in them as individuals. They were ‘a his bairns’. Pete talked their language and took great time and care to give and gain respect. Once he had these strong positive relationships in place, Pete “worked his magic”, straight talking with the youngsters, cajoling and motivating them.
He was particularly skilled at working with vulnerable and challenging youngsters, persevering with them, fighting their corner, not always by the book, to give them the best possible chances for their future.
Pete’s contribution to the school went wider than his Guidance role. A keen hill walker and sportsman, Pete was passionate about providing extra curricular opportunities for pupils, successfully managing football teams over many years and leading residential trips to Gairloch, France and Spain. His contribution to education extended into his life beyond school. He served on the Children’s Panel for many years and was renowned for his common sense approach to supporting vulnerable youngsters.
It is remarkable how Pete managed to keep going as he awaited transplant surgery. He never complained and was always upbeat. After his surgery, as he remained in hospital, he still thought of his pupils and planned what he would say to motivate them on his return to school. Sadly, he did not survive his long awaited surgery which had the potential to transform his life.
Pete touched so many lives and will be remembered by pupils, parents and colleagues for being a genuine, fun loving and hard working man with a heart of gold.
Alford Academy has lost someone very special but he leaves a legacy beyond measure,