Nigel D. Pillay
Otis A. Mason Elementary School
Saint Johns County District
Saint Augustine, Florida
Dr. Nigel Pillay has served several schools in his decade-plus career as an administrator, most recently leading pre-K through fifth grade Otis A. Mason Elementary (OAM). In his five years as principal of OAS, Pillay has led an impressive turnaround effort, while enhancing the professional and learning culture of the school through a collaborative, community-driven approach to leadership. In the first year of his tenure, when OAM received a “C” grade under a new state evaluation system, Pillay was quick to engage the internal experience and expertise of his team, leading a collaborative process to analyze root causes and chart a long-term plan for improvement. In just one year, these efforts elevated the school’s grade to a “B,” an impressive gain that has been sustained ever since. Meanwhile, Pillay has diversified and enhanced the teaching and learning environment at OAM through strategic investments to bring the school’s technological resources up to date and aligned with 21st Century learning goals. Pillay is known by his colleagues as a trusted resource and mentor and prides himself on cultivating a professional culture of risk-taking and growth. Pillay holds an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction and a B.S. in Mathematics Education from the University of Central Florida, as well as an M.S. in Educational Leadership from NOVA Southeast University.