Peace Corps Mourns the Loss of Volunteer Patricia D. Scatoloni
January 4, 2005WASHINGTON, D.C. January 4, 2005 – Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez announced today with deep sadness the death of Patricia D. Scatoloni, a 74-year old Peace Corps volunteer serving in Macedonia. Patricia died as a result of natural causes on Saturday, January 1.
"Even though she had just begun her two year service, because of her passion and experience, Patricia knew how to step into a community and make a real difference, immediately. People with a lifetime commitment to education and serving others are extraordinary, and her loss is deeply saddening to all the people she touched in her years of teaching," said Director Vasquez.
Patricia began her training in Veles and Prevalec, Macedonia in September 2004, and was sworn in as a volunteer on December 6. With her approximately 50 years of teaching experience at the primary school level, Patricia gained the respect of her peers and host family during training. She put her teaching skills to use, helping the mother of her host family learn English while she learned Macedonian. She developed a close bond with her host family and particularly enjoyed learning to cook traditional Macedonian foods and desserts.
Assigned to teach in the village of Leskoec as an English Language Resource Teacher, Patricia made a lasting impression in her short time there by reaching out to staff and parents. The school director and her colleagues told Peace Corps staff that they were amazed by Patricia's enthusiasm, creativity, and energy for improving English language instruction in the school. The teachers in Leskoec particularly were excited for the opportunity to work with Patricia because they were eager to share ideas about teaching and other cross-cultural information that would enrich their lives, since they have never been to the U.S.
In her aspiration statement for the Peace Corps, Patricia wrote: "From my Peace Corps experience, I hope to live, work and make new friends in another country. I find that even after teaching 50 years in the U.S., I am eager to work in this new setting. When I was a child, I carried my Sunday school offering to church in an envelope, on which was printed, 'come over to Macedonia and help us.' Here I come!"
A resident of Pasadena, Calif., Patricia taught pre-kindergarten classes in Los Angeles public schools for over 18 years and kindergarten and first grade classes in the White Plains, N.Y. school district for nearly 24 years. Since 1997, Patricia had been acting as a full-time elementary school substitute teacher in the Pasadena public school system. She held a master's degree in education from California State University and a bachelor's degree in education from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Patricia is survived by her daughter Barbara, sons Michael and Frank Jay, and her sister Joan Walter, among other relatives.
The Peace Corps is currently organizing a memorial service for staff and Macedonia volunteers to honor Patricia and her love of teaching and helping others.