Iona Naughton

15th December 2006 at 00:00
A popular Fife primary teacher with a particularly love of music, Fiona Naughton died after a boating accident in the Dominican Republic on October 26.

Ms Naughton, 52, taught at Mountfleurie Primary, in Leven, for 13 years.

She lived with her partner, Davie Milligan, in Kennoway.

Friends remember her as an "immensely popular" person and an excellent teacher. A Primary 6 teacher, she had a good rapport with all her pupils and was fondly remembered by many of those she had taught in the past: she would often find former pupils stopping to chat.

Ms Naughton devoted much of her time to the school, often outwith class hours, by teaching the school choir, helping out at discos, and taking children to the Ardroy outdoor centre on the shores of Loch Goil, in Argyll; she loved the outdoors and would frequentlydefy foul Scottish weather to take off on a walk.

The choir was particularly active, regularly leaving the school to bring music to the community, whether in factories, old folks' homes or the Rotary Club.

Ms Naughton was a pioneer of the Kod ly approach, a way of teaching music through singing and an appreciation of rhythm that bypasses the technical problems of learning an instrument. She was one of the first teachers in Fife to train in Kod ly techniques, and felt that they could help learning in many areas of the curriculum.

Ms Naughton managed to make time for her interests out of school. She was a talented singer and a member of a Glasgow choir, as well as the Kinghorn Singers.

She was also a natural dancer. One member of staff at Mountfleurie Primary recalled accompanying her to salsa classes but not lasting more than a few sessions; meanwhile, Ms Naughton quickly moved up to advanced lessons.

Scottish country dancing, too, figured prominently in her life. She took pupils to competitions, but also organised events for the community. She had been planning to organise a ceilidh at the school; it is now intended to hold one in her memory in February.

Those who knew her best, however, feel she will be remembered most for the compassion she showed family and friends, who said she was always willing to listen to them and offer advice. One person close to her described Ms Naughton as an inspiration who would be sorely missed by everyone she knew.

She had a daughter Freya, 24, and son Russell, 22, and a one-year-old granddaughter, Cerys, whom she described as the light of her life.

A memorial service held by the school, attended by Ms Naughton's family, saw staff and pupils recall fond memories of their colleague and teacher.

The child-ren wore casual, bright-coloured clothes, as staff did not want the event to be a sad occasion.

The choir sang "Thank You for the Music" in recognition of the passion for music that Ms Naughton passed on to her pupils.

The TESS invites obituaries and appreciations from contributors, or suggestions for obituaries. Please email, or write to The TESS, 10 South St Andrew Street, Edinburgh EH2 2AZ.

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