After 46 years of dedicated service to Upper Canada College, Bernard Lecerf has shared his intention to retire at the end of this school year. Kind, thoughtful and caring, Bernard will long be remembered as a wonderful role model to the thousands of students fortunate to have known him. Amongst his colleagues, he has been a steadfast supporter and mentor to many.
Bernard was appointed as French teacher and Form master by Prep headmaster Dick Howard in 1968 after a short stint teaching in St. Catharines. Over the years, he has served as boarding housemaster, guidance coordinator, director of student affairs, admission counsellor and director of studies. He’s coached volleyball, track and field and soccer and served on many committees including two headmaster’s selection committees.
He led the French department with expertise and vision for 20 years. It was during his time that we started to group students in three levels to better meet their varying needs and backgrounds. He also initiated the very successful La Source French exchange in 1987. Bernard is very proud of his contributions to Canadian education as an author and co-author of many French as a second language readers, textbooks, workbooks and teachers guides.
Bernard loves sports, art, music and the theatre, and he has always been a strong supporter of our rich and vibrant co-curricular programs. Over the years, his legacy as a coach has become known nationally. His U13A soccer teams have been consistently praised for their disciplined and skilled play in addition to their outstanding sportsmanship at both the CISAA and the CAIS national tournaments.
His keen interest in pedagogy has been reflected in his leadership to drive curriculum improvements at the Prep. In his capacity as Assistant Head Programs and Middle Division Head, he has thoughtfully guided our curriculum mapping work, the induction, growth and evaluation of teachers and the professional development of faculty.
For many years, we have valued Bernard’s gentle and calm manner, his sense of humour, his passion for teaching and learning, and his commitment to making UCC the best school possible. Throughout his years of service, he has always put the best interests of our boys first. Thanks to his leadership, he leaves the Middle Division in a position of strength, with a team of dedicated and talented faculty who will continue to build on its successes.
In the meantime, the difficult task of filling his shoes will begin in the coming weeks as we engage in a national search.
I know that you will join me in wishing Bernard and his wife, Monique, the very best as he retires this year. Please stay tuned for the many opportunities I’m sure we’ll have to bid him adieu.
Head, Prep and Upper Schools