17th December 2010 at 00:00

Atricia Wilson, or as she was known to many Trish Wilson, died last month aged 58 after a long battle with cancer.

Those who knew her and her contribution to education will view the world as poorer for her passing. Few have left such a rich legacy of learning and development of the teaching of literacy in the primary sector.

After graduating with distinction from Craigie College in 1975, Trish took up her first teaching post in High Blantyre Primary. Drive and dedication defined her approach. With an interest in and talent for the expressive arts, she developed a love for the performing arts in all the children and parents she supported.

In 1984, she took up a two-year secondment as staff tutor in the then Lanark division. Popular with heads, staff and pupils, Trish could be found promoting her passion for music or developing the creative imagination of pupils via the arts.

She was appointed headteacher of Gartsherrie Primary in Coatbridge in 1986 and immediately displayed her reputation and enthusiasm for and commitment to the education of young people. She led from the front, yet all who worked with her shared her agenda based on quality and excellence.

In the 1990s, Trish finally moved into the area of education development, first as a seconded development officer, then as a primary adviser with North Lanarkshire in 1996. Developing primary literacy was to be her passion. She was imaginative, creative and adventurous, and her confidence in taking her remit forward was based on the premise that every child had the right to essential literacy skills, thus improving their life chances.

Under her inspirational management, North Lanarkshire's Literacy Base quickly developed a reputation for cutting-edge practice in literacy development.

Importantly, her success was built on the sure foundation of exemplary classroom practice. She was a credible practitioner, committed to the attainment and achievement of the children to whom she had committed her professional life. It was in this role as quality improvement officer that she gained national recognition for outstanding work in active literacy, training teachers across the authority and from many other local authorities.

Throughout her career, Trish Wilson offered the children she taught a curriculum for excellence. She exemplified visionary and courageous leadership; she embraced change and enjoyed the adventures it offered; and she always recognised the joy in the job, the need for fun in learning and the privilege of having the opportunity to make a difference to the lives of children.

She was a remarkable lady who leaves behind her a remarkable legacy in the field of literacy teaching.

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