Education International
Education International

Jamaican educators mark the death of "role model" Nadine Scott

published 6 May 2014 updated 4 March 2022

Former colleagues in Jamaica and around the world are remembering a woman for whom teaching was not simply a profession, but a lifelong vocation realised at an early age.

Dr Nadine Scott, a former president and trustee of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association, died Sunday night, leaving behind a legacy dedicated to teaching and education.

Having served as a Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) president from September 1999 to August 2000, Scott was the third principal of Excelsior Community College in Kingston, a post she held until her death on 4 May.

"The JTA extends deep sympathy and condolences to her family, relatives, the Excelsior Community College family and her colleagues at the JTA," said Adolph Cameron, JTA Secretary General, in a written statement. "May God grant her His eternal rest."

As the sixth woman to be named president of the JTA, Scott was highly involved on the international stage, serving as a member of Education International’s (EI) Planning Committee for its Higher Education Conference, and as a member of the Executive Committee of the Caribbean Union of Teachers.

“It is with great shock and sadness that we have learnt of the sudden passing of Dr Nadine Scott, who was an inspiration and indeed a role model to generations of teachers in Jamaica and in the Caribbean,” said EI General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen in his letter to Cameron. “On behalf of the Executive Board and staff of Education International, I express our sincere condolences to you, to the family and friends of the deceased and to all her colleagues and members of JTA.”

Scott’s dedication to teaching did not go unnoticed, when, in 2010, she was among 40 Jamaican educators who were awarded the Prime Minister’s Medal of Appreciation for Service to Education.

“I always wanted to be a teacher, my mother was a teacher and many of my aunts were teachers, and so I grew up in a family influenced by teachers, and that’s a little of why I choose this profession,” said the native of northwest Jamaica’s Trelawny Parish during an interview for the Jamaica Information Service upon receiving the medal.

Scott began her career teaching in a high school for five years after graduating teachers’ college in 1972. Before beginning her tenure at Excelsior, she lectured for eight years at the University of the West Indies’ Institute of Education, and previously spent 21 years as the Principal Lecturer and Head of the Art Department of St. Joseph’s Teachers’ College, both in the Jamaican capital.

In the same 2010 interview, Scott reflected on her life in teaching without regret, and expressed a desire to do it again if she had the chance.

“I can feel very comfortable in myself that I have worked and contributed significantly to the education sector.”