Brac school renamed
The Cayman Brac High School is now officially called the Layman E. Scott Sr. High School, after its first principal.
The late Mr. Scott’s family, including his wife, children and grandchildren, attended the renaming ceremony at the school on Wednesday evening, 20 April, along with government officials, members of the Ministry of Education and many people from Cayman Brac who had been pupils of Mr. Scott.
Current students at the high school were also among the audience.
“I am really thankful to Mr. Layman, as he was the one who set the foundation for the education for myself and for the young people of today, and for that I can say ‘On behalf of all the young people of Cayman Brac, thank you’,” said Christopher Barnes, a student at the school, in a tribute to the man who helped to found the first high school on the Brac.
Mr. Scott, who died on Christmas Day last year, served as principal of the high school for six years from 1967. His son, Jude Scott, speaking at the ceremony, told the large audience that the date of the renaming of the school was apt as it fell on his father’s birthday.
He said his father had dedicated his life to the development of education in the Cayman Islands.
“This day is a celebration of Dad, but he would insist we recognise the many heroes who make these accomplishments possible,” he said, adding that parents played a vital role in encouraging their children, through support and by setting an example.
“Dad’s legacy lives on in the minds and the hearts of his family and his students. With the renaming of this school in his honour, his legacy will continue to live on through the lives of the students that pass through the halls of this great institution that he loved so dearly,” he said.
The Scott family gave a $10,000 donation as a gift to the school during the ceremony.
Others also paid tribute to Mr. Scott, including Deputy Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, Minister of Education Rolston Anglin and Principal Adrian Jones. The opening prayer was offered by the school’s vice principal Pedro Lazzari, while Tammy Banks-DaCosta, learning community leader, was the master of ceremonies.
Prior to offering a closing prayer at the event, District Commissioner of Cayman Brac Ernie Scott shared some anecdotes of his days at the school, describing how Mr. Scott always called the boys “lads” and one day quickly solved the maritime mystery bothering those lads of how ones tells whether a boat’s left is starboard or port, or one which side one finds a red or green light on a boat.
“He said ‘Lads, it’s as simple as this. Keep the short words together,’” said the district commissioner, meaning of red, left and port go together, and green, right and starboard go together. “I will never forget that,” he said.
Mr. Scott, who was born on Cayman Brac, attended high school and teacher training college in Jamaica before furthering his education at the University of Monmouthshire in Wales. He returned to Cayman Brac and became headmaster at West End Primary School in 1956.
After serving at the school for nine years, he moved to Canada where he was a principal in northern Ontario, before returning to Cayman Brac to take up the post as principal in the new high school, which opened on 23 January, 1967 with 73 students and four staff members.
Mr. Scott was responsible for introducing O Levels exams to Cayman Brac. The policy of the Board of Education at the time was for students older than 16 who wanted to sit GCE exams at O Levels and A Levels to relocate to a Grand Cayman high school.
He served as principal of the high school until October 1973 when he resigned his post and began working in the real estate and tourism fields, before returning after nine years to education when he took charge of the Department of Tourism’s Hotel Training school, as well as the Marine School and Building and Trade School – the forerunner of what is now the University College of the Cayman Islands.
“His contribution to the advancement of all areas of education in the Cayman Islands – academic, technical and vocational – was later recognised by the board of governors of UCCI with the naming of its Vocational Studies Building as The Layman E Scott Block,” said Mary Rodrigues, chief officer of the Ministry of Education, who also spoke at the ceremony.
Following the speeches, the group moved outside to unveil a plaque at the door of the school and a large sign bearing the school’s new name at the roadside entrance.