Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation
District 29 Hastings–Prince Edward

Kevin Manion Memorial Lecture Series


Kevin Manion Memorial Lecture Series

On Saturday, March 14, 1998 a tragic accident took our colleague Kevin Joseph Manion from us: husband and best friend to Mary, father to Hilary (deceased) and Jared, teacher to countless numbers of students, mentor and union brother to local Executive members.

Kevin started his teaching career at Trenton High School in 1970, where he taught Physical Education and English. Later in the 70’s he would work at a cadet camp at Canadian Forces Base (Trenton), where he earned the rank of Lieutenant. In the early 80’s he became English Head at Belleville Collegiate Institute (BCI), where he also coached volleyball and gymnastics. When BCI closed its doors to students in 1992, Kevin moved to Quinte Secondary School where he continued as English Head until his tragic and untimely death. 

Kevin understood, as all good teachers do, that at the heart of teaching stands the student-teacher relationship, particularly for those students less academically inclined and who look to their teacher for the ability to inspire and engage them in the learning process. Kevin understood the important role that extra-curricular activities could play in the development of the whole child and the perspective that it gives a teacher into the full potential of a child. He also understood the importance of the school-community alliance in bringing learning to life. No surprise then to learn that the Manion farm would become home to a multi-disciplinary team of Quinte Secondary School teachers re-enacting a Canadian novel for a group of students, a number of whom would come to surpass the expectations of their own teachers. These same teachers also benefited from a little help from members of the search and rescue team at the airbase who dropped in to teach some basic survival skills. It was a phone call from Lieutenant Manion to the airbase commander that created that very special moment for both teachers and students

And finally Kevin embodied the very notion of professionalism and commitment to life-long learning. In his long-time role as the union’s Professional Development Chair (the predecessor to the Educational Services Committee) and later as a Board Co-ordinator Kevin understood this simple truth about professional development: no positive changes can occur to the system without the enthusiastic co-operation of teachers.

Indeed, Kevin's philosophy to teaching and to life-long learning is best summarised by this quotation attributed to Kevin himself:

"Our concern for our fellow man, while it may vary in degree, should, nevertheless, not be altered by factors such as relationship, age or position. We share our lives with others and through association with others our lives are enriched. A person who is willing to risk being open with others and trusts her fellow man not only aids in the development of others but grows herself".

Chantal Desloges
Chris Turner 
 Wab Kinew
Wab Kinew
Diana Juricevic 
Jian Ghomeshi 
Maude Barlow 
Mark Kielburger 
Dr. Richard Heinzl 
Alfie Kohn
Linwood Barclay