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“It has always been my goal to ensure that students knew the connection with them, rather than the content of my lessons, was more important to me.”

“The best thing about Fort McMurray is the small town sensation it has even as it grows into a vibrant large community. The feeling of being part of a family is present here, if you choose to work at it. I love that while most people are from somewhere else, they are one big family here.”

Unlike many in the community, Scott’s ‘far away’ isn’t that far. Born and raised in Sherwood Park, he came to YMM for a teaching post, and never left. When pressed as to why he thinks he’s on this list he can only put it down to what he hopes to have been a sustained positive influence on the youth of the community.

That’s a bit of an understatement. It’s difficult to estimate the number of kids that Scott has influenced for the better, but it runs into the thousands, and maybe even tens of thousands. He has taught at many of the schools of the Fort McMurray Public School District, and is currently the Principal of Ecole McTavish. He has also taught GoJuKai Karate for most of that time, giving lessons to the public wherever he has worked, as well as teaching self-defence and personal space lessons to the schoolkids.

Trying to measure Scott’s value to YMM is like trying to weigh air. It can be done, but it’s really difficult. The consensus among parents, students and staff is that Scott is a very special kind of educator, one who cares about his charges, not only while they are in his care, but for the rest of their lives. They, and by extension the people of YMM, are his family, and you watch out for family.

“We all have blood relatives that live around the province, country, and world, but we have an amazing ability in this town to create ‘Fort McMurray Families’, The people we surround ourselves with become those connected units, more than just friends.”

Family. Scott’s been here for over 20 years now. Let’s hope we all get to go to his family reunions.