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CECCE Superintendent of Education Marie-France Ricard receives AGÉFO Award of Merit

June 8, 2016, OTTAWA – Last Friday, the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est celebrated 62 of its employees as they embarked upon retirement, including Superintendent Marie-France Ricard who was recently honoured with the prestigious Award of Merit from the Association des gestionnaires de l’éducation franco-ontarienne (AGÉFO). This annual award goes to an individual who, in the course of their career, has made an exceptional contribution to Franco-Ontarian education.

Marie-France Ricard, a native of Shawinigan, began her career as an educator at the Centre Jules-Léger in Ottawa in 1981. From the outset, her multiple talents and skills as a teacher were recognized, and she went on to continue her education training and pursue a 35-year career in Ottawa’s French-language schools and with the CECCE.

In 1987, Marie-France accepted a teaching position at the Centre Jules-Léger. There she demonstrated her great passion for education in general and special education in particular, an area that has remained close to her heart throughout her career.

In 1989, Marie-France accepted a teaching position with the Conseil des écoles catholiques de langue française d’Ottawa-Carleton and went on to meet the challenge of working as an educational consultant in the area of early and continuous screening. Over time, Marie-France developed her leadership skills, delivered courses at the University of Ottawa, and pursued a master’s in educational administration.

Her drive to serve the Francophone community, her mission to provide the highest quality education, and her ability to bring people together led her to accept a vice-principal position and then, in 1998, a principal position. In 2001, Marie-France wanted to contribute to the development of the CECCE’s corporate vision and, in particular, to the student exit profile. She therefore accepted an Assistant Superintendent position and, in 2002, went on to accept a Superintendent of Education position with the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est.

As Superintendent, Marie-France relied on her vast experience to manage a number of files. She expertly piloted corporate files in special education, staffing, parent participation, and early childhood education and supervised several elementary and secondary schools.

Her community involvement has been exceptional. She represented the education sector on the Ottawa United Way campaign cabinet for two years and, in 2010, received the Ottawa United Way’s Community Builder Award.

In 2011, Marie-France was a finalist in the Leader of the Year category, parapublic sector, at the Gala of Excellence of the Regroupement des gens d’affaires de la capitale nationale. From 2007 to 2009, Marie-France chaired the RSE (Regroupement des surintendances de l’éducation) and went on to serve as the organization’s secretary.

In 2011, she accepted a three-year term at the Centre Jules-Léger. Since returning as Superintendent of the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est, she has helped make the CECCE a leader in the education field.

In the words of Réjean Sirois, Director Education of the CECCE, “I have had the privilege of being able to rely on Marie-France Ricard’s expertise, know-how, and vitality since commencing my duties with the CECCE. Her energy and passion are contagious and, over the years, the CECCE has benefited greatly from her dedication. She has played a key role in making the CECCE’s pedagogical, strategic, and political priorities a reality, and it has been an honour and a privilege to count her as a colleague.”

On the eve of a well-deserved retirement, Marie-France Ricard has become the most recent member of the CECCE’s team to receive the AGÉFO Award of Merit. Her name thus takes its place beside those of François Massé, Mario Lajoie, Alain Fortin, and Pierre Filiatrault –educational leaders all who had a significant impact on the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est.


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