West Lothian College lecturer spreads Christmas cheer


West Lothian College Maths lecturer Suzanne McGurl has been spreading Christmas cheer to staff and students by dressing up in a variety of fantastic costumes.

Every year in the lead up to Christmas Suzanne dons a new festive costume each day to bring some seasonal spirit into her classroom and the wider college community. Covid-19 has not stopped Suzanne as she continues to entertain as well as teach.

Suzanne joined the college five years ago and her colleagues say she has been a treat to work with. Suzanne was previously a Maths teacher at St Kentigern’s Academy in Blackburn and lives in Livingston, not far from college.

It is a Christmas tradition that Suzanne dresses up in a different festive costume each day, wearing it while she teaches her classes and goes about her business across the campus.

So far this year she has been an elf, a Christmas tree, a cracker, a snow woman, Mrs Claus and a penguin. She is described by her students and colleagues as a legend who brightens up their day.

On the topic of her costumes Suzanne said: “I have been dressing up at Christmas for three years. It started as a way of cheering up for a student who did not like Christmas, and I found it cheered so many people up. It gets bigger every year and I love how it makes people smile. I just love my job and doing this is an added bonus as it bring smiles to people's faces.”

Principal of West Lothian College, Jackie Galbraith, said: “Suzanne loves her students, and goes out of her way to help them succeed by injecting a large dose of happiness and fun. She does all of this brilliantly, with students and staff pouring praise on her efforts. In a year like no other, we are so lucky to have Suzanne cheer us all up as we prepare for our festive break.”

Sophie McKenzie, an Access to Teaching student who is taught Maths by Suzanne said:

“Maths with Suzanne is never a scary place, it’s a happy one! I love the energy and positivity Suzanne brings to her classes, which is something I aspire to be like when I have my own class as a teacher. I really am incredibly grateful for everything Suzanne has done for us so far.”

Fellow student Linda Kinross agrees:

“Looking forward to maths... A phrase I never thought I'd hear myself saying but with Suzanne I really do. She makes every class fun (and that's not just with her outfits).  If you can enjoy a subject and learn at the same time, its half the battle and that's what Suzanne brings to our class, enjoyment! From our first day in class she has gone the extra mile to make sure that everyone gets the help they need to succeed. Never met a woman like her! She truly is a diamond.”