Board mourns death of com­mis­sio­ner

John Killing­beck first An­glo ad­mi­nis­tra­tor hai­led by pro­vince

L'Etoile - - IN OTHER WORDS -

Les­ter B. Pear­son School Board com­mis­sio­ner John Killing­beck pas­sed away on Oc­to­ber 1 at the age of 77. He was sur­roun­ded by his wife and five chil­dren at the time of his death.

The board an­noun­ced his pas­sing Fri­day mor­ning and it was not long be­fore ma­ny be­gan to re­mem­ber the up­beat man who not on­ly made edu­ca­tion his life’s work, but who did it with a smile on his face.

“When you would see him at any school func­tions, he not on­ly took the time to say hel­lo to you, he re­mem­be­red the name of your husband and the names of each of your chil­dren and how old they were... No one else has ever done that since,” said a tea­cher, re­cal­ling Killing­beck du­ring his time as Di­rec­tor Ge­ne­ral un­der the old La­ke­shore School Board, from 1993 to 1997.

In 1997, Killing­beck was the first An­glo­phone and first edu­ca­tio­nal ad­mi­nis­tra­tor to be awar­ded the Prix de Car­rière as part of the Prix d’ex­cel­lence de l’ad­mi­nis­tra­tion pu­blique, an an­nual award given out by the pro­vince of Que­bec.

“John tou­ched so ma­ny lives in so ma­ny good ways over a li­fe­time of edu­ca­tio­nal and com­mu­ni­ty ser­vice. He was a lea­der in the true sense of the word. His en­thu­siasm and op­ti­mism were in­fi­nite,” said Mar­cus Ta­bach­nick, Chair­man of the LBPSB last week. “To me, he was a col­league, a men­tor, and more than a friend. He will be mis­sed by eve­ryone.”

Long ca­reer

Killing­beck’s ca­reer in edu­ca­tion be­gan in 1956, when he be­came a tea­cher at Ce­dar Park Ele­men­ta­ry school. In bet­ween, he wor­ked as a tea­cher, a gui­dance coun­sel­lor and a prin­ci­pal, among ma­ny other jobs he held in edu­ca­tion.

Killing­beck came out of re­ti­re­ment to take a po­si­tion as a Les­ter B. Pear­son School Board Com­mis­sio­ner in 2003, where he re­pre­sen­ted Pointe-Clai­reWest (Clearpoint Ele­men­ta­ry, St. Tho­mas High School and John Rennie High School).

In a 2007 ar­ticle writ­ten for the As­so­cia­tion of Ad­mi­nis­tra­tors of En­glish Schools of Que­bec, tit­led My Life as a Re­ti­ree, Killing­beck re­cal­led how he al­so spent time wor­king as a curb-side “door­man” for aWest Is­land ele­men­ta­ry school.

“By chance, it rai­ned hard one ear­ly Sep­tem­ber mor­ning and as I drop­ped (my wife) Ol­ga off at her school. I wit­nes­sed ma­ny pa­rents de­li­ve­ring their chil­dren to a ve­ry bu­sy curb­side spot near the school. To say conges­tion exis­ted would be an un­ders­ta­te­ment. That same rai­ny night pas­sing a down­town ho­tel, I saw ano­ther curb­side spot un­der control. Here the ho­tel door­man gree­ter was doing his thing and it struck me that this sup­port may prove help­ful at the school. Prin­ci­pal Pat Deans was open to a sug­ges­tion and so was laun­ched the Kiss and Go Lane with yours tru­ly being the curb­side gree­ter. Re­ti­re­ment didn’t seem so bad af­ter all.”

John Killing­beck, son of Elsie and El­dred Killing­beck, was with his wife Ol­ga at the time of his death. Al­so with him were his five chil­dren: Ma­ri­na, Na­ta­sha, Alexandra, Vic­to­ria and Gre­go­ry. He is al­so sur­vi­ved by his grand­chil­dren Sa­van­na, Tris­tan, Na­dia, Ele­na, Ni­cho­las, An­na, Maya, Ava, Lei­la, Sophie and Tho­mas.

The fa­mi­ly re­cei­ved condo­lences Mon­day, while a pri­vate fa­mi­ly ser­vice will be held. In lieu of flo­wers, do­na­tions can be made to the John Killing­beck Me­mo­rial Fund, c\o the Pear­son Edu­ca­tio­nal Foun­da­tion, 1925 Brook­dale Ave­nue, Dor­val QC H9P 2Y7.

John Killing­beck, a Les­ter B. Pear­son com­mis­sio­ner and the first An­glo­phone school ad­mi­nis­tra­tor to win the Prix de Car­rière award, died last week at age 77.

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