#GreatMTLer: Meet Judy Kelley, teacher, mother and tireless volunteer

23/11/2018 Posted by admin

Judy Kelley retired a year ago after teaching for nearly four decades. Kelley mainly taught English literature, imparting her wisdom to high school students before moving on to a position teaching at the CEGEP level.

Kelley took her passion for education even further, working on a government advisory board on English education, as well as being part of a working group for the Ministry of Education that oversees the CEGEP English exit exam dossier. Kelley also found time to be a commissioner at the Lester B. Pearson School Board.

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Retirement however hasn’t slowed Kelley down.

“I love the morning so much that I’ll set the alarm for 5:30 and get up even now that I don’t have to,” she confessed. “I look forward to whatever I can do and whatever I can help with.”

Being  a grandmother is just one of the many things that keeps Kelley busy.

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When she’s not helping out with her three grandkids, she’s out volunteering in the community she loves.

“I sit on a few governing boards for the Lester B. Pearson School board for which I used to be a commissioner,” she said. “I’m on a little culture and leisure committee in the city of Beaconsfield, I’m helping out doing some tutoring and doing a project with my husband’s aunt. She’s 95 and we’re doing a memoir project.”

It’s a list that would leave anyone breathless, but Kelley is an unstoppable force.

She also volunteers on the board of the John Abbott College Foundation, helping the West Island institution with important fundraising.

“It’s a great foundation. It’s small but I love the fact that I can still be involved in education.”

Kelley considers the work essential to keep a community ticking.

“It’s really important for people to realize that all of those organizations —; whether it be your community pool or the soccer team —; whatever it may, they are successful because of the people behind the scenes who are the manager, the coaches…You have to have volunteers in order to make those organizations work.”

Kelley and her husband Geoff, raised their five kids in the community of Beaconsfield. She credits both their families for instilling a spirit of giving.

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“Both my husband and I come from families who are giving and give back to their communities,” she said.

Geoff Kelley has been the MNA for Jacques-Cartier since 1994.

“It’s an interesting job being a political spouse,” she said. “You have to be able to give your spouse the room in order to fulfill the mandate that’s been given to him by the populous.”

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Fitting in work and five kids is a juggle for anyone but especially so, when your husband spends half his week in Quebec City.

“That was a challenge… very much of a challenge. Our children are very lucky in that they have a father who is extremely involved whether he’s physically in front of them or whether he’s in any other place where he happens to be working.”

The Kelley children are carrying on with what has become a family tradition of sorts. They are now giving back to the community in their own ways and Kelley admits she’s blessed that all five are pursuing their dreams close to home.

There are so many Great Montrealers around us. If you know someone who should be profiled as part of Global News’ Greater Montreal campaign, don’t forget to nominate them!

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