John Paul Scott Elementary School, Harrisburg, PA

John Paul Scott

John Paul Scott, PMWGM (1914)

Education and the first African American principal in the Harrisburg School District

John Paul Scott was born on December 25, 1859 in Chambersburg, PA. He was a leading student at Old Harrisburg High School, located at the current site of the Greater Harrisburg Chamber of Commerce. There he was a scholar of and spoke both Latin and Greek. John graduated as Salutatorian in 1883.

Immediately upon graduation, Scott began teaching at the Calder School, in the uptown Harrisburg area. He later became the district's first black school administrator as principal. In addition, he also taught adult education three nights a week at the Wickersham Building. "J. P.", which his friends so lovingly called him, was known for his friendliness, scholarship and deep pleasant voice. At a husky 5'11 ", he was envied by other teachers for having no discipline problems with his students. He taught several generations of Harrisburg youth over his forty-seven (47) years of service in education. John Paul Scott was interested in raising the literacy rate of Blacks, and in so doing, raising the functional citizenship of parents and grandparents.

John Paul Scott died on April 28, 1931 in Harrisburg, PA. He left behind a legacy of educators, who taught in the Harrisburg School District.

Cornerstone laying ceremony Wesley Union AME Zion Church, Harrisburg, PA

The ceremony was held on Sunday, October 18, 1914, included a parade that featured the Masonic band and the Grand Lodge of colored Masons, led by the Grand Master Prof. John P. Scott #43. Also visible in this picture are members of the Grand Chapter of Odd Fellows in their official dress.