Sharon Scott-Hunter, 59, a retired assistant superintendent of the Chester Upland School District who spent 25 years teaching special education elementary students in Philadelphia, died of cancer Tuesday, Dec. 11, at Penn Hospice at Rittenhouse.

Mrs. Scott-Hunter was a "consummate educator," said Gregory Thornton, former superintendent of Chester Upland.

"She certainly was ready for the task of leading the instructional reform in Chester," said Thornton, currently superintendent in Milwaukee.

Mrs. Scott-Hunter was born April 23, 1953, in Philadelphia, daughter of Gertrude and Odell H. Simmons. She was raised in East Falls and graduated from Roxborough High School.

She received a bachelor's degree in education from Millersville University in 1971, and later a master's degree in education from the University of Pennsylvania.

Mrs. Scott-Hunter began her career as a special eduction teacher in Boston, where she worked for two years before joining the Philadelphia schools.

In Philadelphia, she worked for 25 years as a special-education teacher at Lowell School in Olney.

"At Lowell, she was very creative and set up programs for all students," said her longtime friend Emilee Taylor, a teacher support specialist for the Philadelphia schools.

In 1975, she married Tyrone Michael Scott. The couple had two sons.

After earning her master's degree, Mrs. Scott-Hunter specialized in instruction and professional development. She coached teachers and held workshops and information sessions for them.

In 1989, Mrs. Scott-Hunter received the Rose Lindenbaum Improvement of Education Teacher Award, given to outstanding principals, teachers, and building engineers in the School District.

Her last position in Philadelphia was executive director for teaching.

She joined the Chester Upland district in 2007 as assistant to the superintendent, Thornton, with whom she had worked in Philadelphia.

Naomi Gubernick, a former Chester Upland school official, said Mrs. Scott-Hunter "was totally committed to improving the life outcomes for all students, especially students of color."

Thornton said he talked with Mrs. Scott-Hunter every month in recent years and they shared ideas on improving schools.

In addition to her mother, she is survived by sons Tyrone Michael Scott II and Brendon Keith Scott, and three sisters. Her husband died earlier.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 21, at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, 230 W. Coulter St.

Contact Vernon Clark at 215-854-5717 or vclark@phillynews.com.