JIS News

Nadine Scott can be easily characterized as a stalwart educator, who from an early age, set her eyes on the teaching profession and never looked back. Currently a principal at the Excelsior Community College in Kingston, she has made the rounds at every level of the teaching profession.
On Monday, May 10, she was among 40 educators, who were awarded the Prime Minister’s Medal of Appreciation for Service to Education. A graduate of the Westwood High School for Girls, she later went on to the Shortwood Teachers College in
St. Andrew, where she studied Art Education, Geography and Mathematics.
She told JIS News that while in high school, she was one of only two persons who wanted to be a teacher. She said while she made the decision without much influence, it was very easy to do because she was brought up in a family of teachers.
“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,” she says.
A native of Trelawny, after graduating from teachers college in 1972, Dr. Scott worked in the high school system for five years, where she taught at a number of schools both in the Corporate Area as well as rural areas in Jamaica. She said that her journey has been good and considers herself to be very fortunate in that her days in the high school system were not very difficult.
“I have been very lucky as an educator, because when I did my internship at Maldon Secondary School in St. James, most of the people on staff were really young, and so it was real fun to teach. In those days we had very disciplined students, especially ones from the country areas, they had good values. we did not really have any challenges,” she outlines
After her one year internship, she taught at Papine High and then went back to her alma mater, Westwood High School, where she not only taught Art, but also English Language and Speech and Drama.
According to her, the experience at Westwood was easier than previous schools, because she was aware of the culture of the school. She said because of her strong connections to the school, she was able to be very productive and was assisted well by staff members.
Her final three years in the high school system were spent at Ardenne High School. She also completed a Diploma in Art at the Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts.
After her five years of teaching high school students, she moved on to tertiary education system where she spent 21 years at St. Joseph Teachers College. She entered St. Joseph in 1980, as the head of the Art Department, and left as the Principal Lecturer and Head of the Education Department.
Dr. Scott says that her years at St. Joseph were the most positive period in her teaching career.
“I found that the laissez-faire style of leadership was superb and it made me work harder. I liked the fact that I could approach staff members when I have a challenge,” she says.
She says that another positive thing about teaching at St. Joseph Teachers College was that she could be asked to teach in any subject area. She even taught ‘early childhood’ classes and later studied that area in Israel.
After leaving St. Joseph in 2001, she went on to the University of the West Indies (UWI) where she worked for eight years. At the UWI she was in charge of the visual arts programmes for the eight teachers colleges in Jamaica. She was also in charge of the practicum for primary, secondary, early childhood and special education for the teachers colleges in Jamaica. She says that her time at UWI was very significant, because it solidified who she is.
A major part of Dr. Scott’s work was also outside of the classroom, as she was named to many boards and organisations linked to the teaching profession. She says this side of her was a part of what her parents, particularly her father, wanted her to be.
“My life has not only been in the sphere of art education. I am presently a chief examiner for art and design, and those are the happiest things that I have been able to do. I have been a consultant, since 1980, for every visual arts syllabus in this country. I have delivered papers in countries across the world; I did workshops across the Caribbean. A major part of my work was not just with teaching, but with being a part of professional organisations,” she adds
Dr. Scott also taught at the Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts from 1984-2004. She worked at the Money Index, a financial magazine in Jamaica, as an Art Critic from 1992 to 1993 and worked as producer and presenter in 1989 using art to teach mathematics on a children’s programme.
Other work experience include being the Chief Examiner and member of the panel (CAPE-Art Design); from 2000 to 2005 member of the National Committee of Teacher Representative; 2000-2002, Jamaica’s representative on Council and Schools’ Examinations Committee; and 1996 to 2001, Chief Examiner and member of Panel (CSEC-Visual Arts/Art and Craft).
She is also the co-author of the book “Voices in the Field” and submitted for publication, “A Compendium of Caribbean Artists and Art Forms”, a resource book for CXC, CAPE Art and Design.
After working in the teaching profession for more than 30 years, Dr. Scott says that she is honoured to know that she is being recognized for doing something she loves.
“I can feel very comfortable in myself, that I have worked and contributed significantly to the education sector,” she states.
Dr. Scott completed a Masters of Arts in Heritage Studies, Master of Science in Education and her Doctor of Philosophy in Art Education and Cultural Anthropology. She says that, if she was to live her life over again, she would have chosen once more to be a teacher.
Medals are awarded each year to teachers, who have been serving the education system for at least 15 years, whose service has been outstanding, and who have shown community involvement, innovation, and creativity in their work.

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