Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Longtime Gary school advocate dead at 53 - Gary Post Tribune

Longtime Gary Community School Corp. board member Michael Scott died early Tuesday in his sleep from a heart attack, according to family members. He was 53.

Scott served as a member of the Gary Community School Corp. Board of School Trustees for 16 years and also served time as president of the board. He lost a bid for re-election and left the board in June of last year.

"He loved being a board member," said Scott's wife, Sharon Scott. "His whole thing was fighting for children. He always said it wasn't about the board. It was always about the children."

Friends and family members remembered Scott on Tuesday as a man who cared deeply about Gary schools and seeing children succeed. As a board member, Scott helped oversee the construction of three new schools, including Glen Park Academy for Excellence in Learning.

"He had a commitment for children that was unswaying," said Jesse Morris, who served on the board with Scott. "He had a deep commitment to children and a very, very deep commitment to education."

Morris called the new schools part of Scott's legacy.

"That was a very large project and the last time schools have been built in the city," Morris said. "That's a legacy many people have forgotten about. It was very good for our district to put children in schools that are modern. Their ISTEP scores and the rest are showing results for us."

Scott's nephew and Gary City Council President Ronier Scott will remember his uncle for his great, big smile.

"He spoke with a loud voice and the children all remembered him because he was a former PTA president," Ronier Scott said. "He was very instrumental in school improvements and not just the district but the entire community as a whole."

Gary Mayor Rudy Clay said he thinks it was God's will for Scott be a community servant in Gary. He offered condolences to Scott's family not just from himself but from the people of Gary.

"His love for Gary is, should I say, unapproachable," Clay said.

A visitation for Scott will be held from noon to 8 p.m. Friday, with family hour from 6 to 8 p.m., at Bethel Temple Church of God in Christ, 110 W. 43rd Ave., Gary. A celebration of his life will be held Saturday at Bethel Temple at 11 a.m. He is survived by his wife Sharon Scott and children Sharonne, Michel and Michael Jr.

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