Leontine Dillon Scott, 83, Phila. school official

Leontine D. Scott
Leontine D. Scott
Posted: August 29, 2011

In 1984, Leontine Dillon Scott, executive director for early childhood education in the Philadelphia School District, summoned all of her kindergarten teachers and aides to a full day of training.

It was the first time that had happened in at least 10 years.

Emphasizing the new, 55-page kindergarten curriculum, Mrs. Scott explained: "The image once held of the young child at play has begun to give way to an image of the thoughtful and serious individual whose intellectual development cannot be left to chance."

In December 1986, The Inquirer reported that for the first time ever, report cards were given to all kindergarten students in Philadelphia public schools.

Mrs. Scott, 83, who went on to be an associate superintendent for the School District, died Friday, Aug. 19, at the Wesley Enhanced Living at Stapeley nursing home in Germantown of complications from a stroke. She had resided in Wynnefield.

In the story about kindergartens, Mrs. Scott explained that the report card is "not academic, it's developmental. . . . It's another area of communication between home and school."

In August 1986, School Superintendent Constance Clayton named Mrs. Scott to the newly created post of associate superintendent for instruction.

A 1989 Inquirer story reported that, now with the title of associate superintendent for school operations, Mrs. Scott was leading the recruitment and training of teachers.

"Too often we get teachers with urban phobia," she explained.

And a 1992 story reported that she was "the School District's chief negotiator" in contract talks with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.

In 1993, when Clayton retired, so did Mrs. Scott.

Born in Mount Holly, Mrs. Scott earned a bachelor's degree in early childhood and elementary education and a master's in education, both at Temple University.

In 1975, Mrs. Scott was among the founders of Black Women's Educational Alliance, a Philadelphia-based organization to promote equal opportunities.

Her son, Daniel L., said that at the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas in West Philadelphia, Mrs. Scott served terms as the accounting warden and as a member of the vestry.

At the Absalom Jones Day School at the church, she was an original member of the board of directors.

Mrs. Scott was also a board member of the Please Touch Museum and the Lincoln Day Education Center.

Besides her son, Mrs. Scott is survived by a brother, a sister, two granddaughters, and a great-grandson. Her husband, Daniel B. III, died in 1984.

A viewing was set from 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 30, at the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, 6361 Lancaster Ave., before an 11 a.m. Requiem Mass there, with burial in Rolling Green Memorial Park, West Goshen.

Contact staff writer Walter F. Naedele at 215-854-5607 or wnaedele@phillynews.com.

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