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Ocho Rios Primary’s Althea Scott has a passion for helping troubled boys

Published:Wednesday | May 6, 2015 | 5:00 AM
Teacher Althea Scott gets a hug for Teachers' Day from some students.

For 14 years, Althea Scott taught at Retreat Primary and Junior High School in St Mary before moving on to Ocho Rios Primary School in 1994, where she has been since.

Over the past 21 years, Scott has become well-known among students and parents as part of the team that prepared students for the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), a period which she describes as successful.

Her entire career, in fact, has been rewarding, she admits.

"It has been very rewarding. It might not be from a monetary point of view, but when you see progress that children have made, it gives you that inner satisfaction," Scott said.

She outlined a recent incident that made her proud.

"Just a couple of weeks ago, I went into a supermarket in Ocho Rios and saw one of my past students who was a troubled boy here. He held my hand and took me to his manager and he said to him, 'Sir, this is my grade six teacher, somebody who taught me to have manners', and it made me feel good."

Scott is no longer a classroom teacher, having been appointed vice-principal in January. It is a position she enjoys, but she admits that she misses the classroom.

"I am enjoying my new position, but I still love teaching," she said. "But I see where, from this office, I can help students in another area. It might not be just academics, but it might be in another area."

And she is doing just that. At the beginning of this academic year, Scott took charge of 18 boys who had not mastered the Grade Four Literacy Test and so were not prepared for the GSAT.

"So I had them to work with, trying to improve their literacy and their numeracy skills, and these are boys who also have behavioural challenges. I worked with them for the first term of this academic year. Over the years, that was sort of my passion - working with boys who had behavioural challenges."

Three of the boys, Kieshawn Johnson, Ranjay Hinds, and Ean McDougall, all admit that Scott has been of tremendous help to them and has effectively turned their lives around both in terms of academics and behaviour.

"I used to give trouble, but now I stop because I am taking my education seriously," Hinds told The Gleaner. "I have Miss Scott to thank. I love her. She is a wonderful teacher."

"I love her. She look out for us," remarked Johnson.

And according to McDougall, "She is a nice and kind and beautiful teacher."

The students will be going on to the A-Step Programme.