Ontario English Catholic Teachers

Catholic Teachers Honour James J. Carey


“We are the leaders who are preparing the leaders of the future.” - James J. Carey

The Association has lost a dear friend and valued leader, James “Jim” Carey died on February 27, 2022, at the age of 83.

A former OECTA President (1972-73), OTF President (1977-78) and OECTA General Secretary (1991-95), Jim devoted most of his professional life to OECTA and Catholic education, serving as Vice-president of the Catholic Education Foundation of Ontario (CEFO) right up until his death.

Growing up in rural Ontario, Jim thought he would someday become a farmer; it was Jim’s mother who steered her son in the direction of Teachers’ College. By the age of 17, Jim began teaching, and by the age of 19, he would become a teaching principal, a position he held for four years.

By this time, Jim had decided against farming and in favour of teaching. He moved to a large urban board in London, Ontario, where there were opportunities, security, and a university to pursue further studies. He accepted a position at Blessed Sacrament school, and the following year he was promoted to principal by the London Separate School Board, while also serving as a spokesperson for the principal’s association.

During his career, Jim acquired his B.A. from the University of Western Ontario, M.Ed. from Wayne State, specialist’s certificate in religious education, principal’s certificate, and supervisory officer’s certificate.

Jim devoted most of his professional life to OECTA and OTF. He served on a number of local and provincial committees, was President of District 5, won elections to Third Vice-president of OECTA, and held every executive position above that afterward. He then repeated this accomplishment, becoming Third Vice-president of OTF and moving up through the executive. He served a total of 10 years at the provincial level.

In January 1984, Jim was the successful applicant for the position of Executive Assistant at OTF. He held this position until becoming General Secretary of OECTA in 1991 when Father Kavanagh retired. A provincial Past President of OECTA, Jim assumed leadership of the organization and its more than 30,000 members, at the time, and at the beginning of some financially difficult years in the province. Jim served the Association and its members as General Secretary through to 1995.

Jim was an exceptional leader who fought for the recognition of the professionalism of teachers and the importance of Catholic education. His memory will remain a part of OECTA’s history.