By Charlie Senack, Manotick Messenger
A new Ottawa Catholic School Board Trustee has been appointed for Zone 1 after the passing of John Curry.
In a statement sent out by the OCSB, eight candidates put their name forward to fill the seat of Curry, who was trustee in West Carleton-March/Stitsville-Kanata West/Rideau-Goulbourn/Osgoode for more than two decades.
The position will now be filled by Mardi de Kemp, who has been associated with the Ottawa Catholic School board and its predecessors for over 30 years. She was involved in three parent councils — two de Kemp chaired — along with a handful of other positions on parent groups and provincial organizations.
In 2002 de Kemp received the inaugural award for volunteer recognition from the board, and later was awarded a Director of Education Commendation Award.
In a statement sent by the Ottawa Catholic School Board, de Kemp said she was honoured to fill Curry’s seat.
“John Curry was a great man and a wonderful advocate for Catholic education,” she said. “I’ll work hard to continue John’s legacy as a champion for all students, Catholic education, and the students and parents in Zone 1.”
Curry, 75, died unexpectedly in hospital this past February. The local Stitsville journalist entered the media business in the 1970’s and never looked back. He was still writing just weeks before his passing.
A man who cared deeply for his community, Curry was passionate for the students he represented, attending countless school functions. He was a household name at St. Marks High School in Manotick, which for years has been holding successful food drives.
De Kemp said she plans to keep Curry’s legacy alive.
“I believe the fundamental building blocks to a safe, inclusive, and caring Catholic School community are the relationships and partnerships between administrators, staff, parents, the parishes, students, and the community,” she said. “ A Catholic School Board trustee must be committed to accountability and model effective stewardship of resources.”
De Kemp and her family are long-time parishioners of St. Patrick Parish in Fallowfield.
She will serve in the role of Trustee until this year’s municipal election in October. It’s unclear if de Kemp plans to run.