André Bidal, the former president of Conseil scolaire catholique Nouvelon, passed away March 28.
The school board announced his passing in a press release issued Monday. Details of his funeral arrangements have not yet been released.
In recognition of his contributions to French-language Catholic education, the flags at the CSC Nouvelon head office and all of its schools are at half-mast.
At the time of his death, Bidal was CSC Nouvelon’s trustee for district 5 (Greater Sudbury wards 7-12).
Asked about the school board’s plans to fill Bidal’s seat until the next trustee elections, which are coming up in October, a spokesperson for CSC Nouvelon said that item is on the agenda at the April 26 board meeting.
A press release from the school board said that for almost 45 years, Bidal tirelessly defended the interests of Franco-Ontarian parents.
Well-known for his commitment to French-language Catholic education, Bidal served with distinction as a school board trustee at the CSC Nouvelon since 2000.
Elected as vice-president for five terms, from 2004 to 2006 and 2010-2013, he later served as president for nine mandates in 2007, 2008 and from 2013 to 2021.
For 15 years, Bidal also served as chair of the Catholic School Council of Collège Notre-Dame (Sudbury) and as member of the Catholic Parent-Teacher Association.
At the provincial level, Bidal was the CSC Nouvelon’s representative on Parents partenaires en education (PPE) and a member of the Board of Directors of the Association franco-ontarienne des conseils scolaires catholiques (AFOCSC).
In recognition of his contributions to Catholic education, the AFOCSC recently honoured Bidal with the 2022 Catholic Education Award of Excellence (Prix d’excellence en éducation catholique).
“Our French-language Catholic community is saddened by the loss of a true pillar who was appreciated for his tireless work in defending our parents as well as our students,” said CSC Nouvelon president Suzanne Salituri, in the press release.
“Open and committed, André was very passionate in his efforts to ensure that all families throughout our territory have access to quality education.”
“André will be truly missed,” said Paul Henry, Director of Education and Secretary Treasurer at the CSC Nouvelon.
“Proud of his Francophone and Catholic identity, he was able to promote his values and his vision within our school communities for more than 20 years, thus contributing to the reputation of our schools.
“The CSC Nouvelon was very fortunate to have been able to count on his unifying leadership skills and boundless energy.”