Mrs. Hunt-Ford says Good-Bye

Mrs. Hunt-Ford says Good-Bye

After teaching her entire career at Central Algoma Secondary School, Carole Hunt-Ford will spend her last day with students in the gymnasium this Friday, before she says good-bye.

Carole grew up in Elmira Ontario, an area known for Old Order Mennonites and maple syrup, two things it has in common with Central Algoma.

After graduating from Teacher's College at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Carole applied to a tiny advertisement she found in the Globe & Mail, for a high school in Desbarats.

Of course, this was pre-Google and she had a hard time finding Desbarats on an Ontario map. When she did and realized it was surrounded by water, Carole was thrilled. She loves the water, and at the time was really into windsurfing, so what better place than a school on the shores of Lake Huron.

She flew up for an interview and remembers meeting Al Prodan- Vice Principal and John Catterick- Athletic Director for the first time.

She instantly fell in love with St. Joseph Island the first time she crossed the bridge, and decided that's where she wanted to live.  Mel Prodan found her a cottage to rent on Shore Road in Richards Landing, where she taught windsurfing lessons to kids her first summer.

Carole also joined a women's ball team in Desbarats. One weekend, she was asked to play for a co-ed ball team that was short a female player for a tournament. That's how she met her husband, Raymond Ford.  

Carole has many fond memories of her years teaching at CASS. Outdoor survival, building shelters and spending the night in frigid winter temperatures and trying to build a fire in 6' of snow.

Rock climbing at the Desbarats caves, ice climbing at Gros Cap, windsurfing at Ojibway Park, skiing and snowboarding at Searchmont, and cross country skiing on trails through the property at CASS, where all done with her classes over the years.

Carole recalls a Wacky Triathlon they used to do in the fall at CASS. Students ran to the water, grabbed a canoe and swam or pushed it to a rock outcrop in the lake. From there students were handed paddles and had to canoe over to Kensington Point, and run back to the start to tag a partner.

During her time at CASS, Carole has met some great Canadians in Desbarats; Rick Hansen traveling through on his Man in Motion tour, Olympian Clara Hughes on her Let's Talk cycling tour, and of course Rick Mercer's visit to CASS in 2016.

Carole says, "I am very fortunate to have taught at such a great school and to work with teachers who've provided excellent opportunities for our students."  Over the years CASS teachers have ensured students had access to leadership conferences, as well as programs like Intramurals, SAA, and worked with the local Legions for art, literary and public speaking contests, all of which teach them life-long skills.

"Plans for the future definitely include travel.", says Carole "Starting with the World Junior CAN/US outdoor hockey game in Buffalo after Christmas." Somewhere hot might be in the works later this winter. A trip to New Zealand, maybe England, with a stop in Belgium to visit Louis, the exchange student who lived with Carole and her family last year, are all on the bucket list.  The turtles in Costa Rica, and the northern lights in Iceland are also on the list, along with white water rafting, kite boarding, and skating on the canal in Ottawa.

Carole's dedication to CASS, always going over and above what is required as a teacher, her genuine interest in the students, and her amazing school spirit will leave a huge hole at CASS in the New Year.

Friday December 22nd is Alumni Day at CASS and Carole's last day on the job.  Stop by and say thank you for all she's done and wish her the best on her well-deserved retirement and the new adventures that await.