Ron Eamer, a former employee of Cornwall Electric, has served as a trustee for the local Catholic School Boards since 1981. This year, he has chosen not to file for re-election.
“41 years is a long time,” Eamer said when asked what made him decide not to run again, “There comes a time when there are younger people out there with a vision of what they can do in the future, as I started with. They’re going to bring new energy to the board, new insights, and I’m sure that we’ll see the board prosper under their leadership.”
In his time as a trustee, Eamer has been fortunate enough to witness the expansion and modernization of the Catholic School Board system and play an integral role in its growth and success. The amalgamation of school boards in 1998 is one example, when the SDG Roman Catholic Separate School Board transitioned to the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario. He also saw the role of trustee change over the years from one of active decision-making to one of general governance.
One thing that has not changed over the years is the trustees’ responsibility to ensure student success.
“We have to monitor that on a regular basis and make sure we are providing students with what they need to succeed,” explained Eamer, “In our local area, we are blessed with some of the best employees, the best senior administration, the best principals, teachers, maintenance staff, and support staff. We’ve really been fortunate. I can only say that I truly appreciate everything that they’ve done for us over the years.”
In his time as trustee, Eamer met people from coast to coast who dedicated their lives to Catholic Education and it was a pleasure for him to work with these individuals.
Looking back, Eamer shared several highlights during his time as a trustee. One of those is when they were finally able to build Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School after challenges with finding the right location and then negotiating with the City for water and sewer services. His pride in the school is evident when he speaks of its success and strong sense of school spirit.
A second, more recent highlight is the completion of the St. Joes Complex on Cumberland Street. With Sacred Heart moved over, they have created a school where students can start at one end in JK and graduate from Grade 12 at the opposite end.
“As far as participating in Catholic Education on a broader scale, we’ve been most fortunate to be very active members of both the Ontario Catholic School Trustees Association and the Canadian Catholic School Trustees Association. Over the years, we were fortunate to be able to bring them to Cornwall for their annual general meetings … They were amazed that we had so much local history and that it went back so far.”
Overall, Eamer’s 41 years as a trustee has been a rewarding experience. “As I meet students on the street, they recognize me. I see them growing up, how successful they are, and I know that we’ve done a good job. I see the loyalty they have to their schools after they graduate – I like that.”
When asked if he had any advice for new trustees, Eamer said, “The biggest thing is to savor every moment, appreciate what staff does for the students every single day, and provide the enthusiasm and support necessary for success.”
Thank you for everything you have done during your years of service, Ron Eamer!