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Scholarship to be presented in memory of Andy Monk

Donations sought for new award in memory of much-loved local teacher who died last September
2018-03-20 andy monk.jpg
A scholarship in memory of Andy Monk will be awarded annually, starting in June, to help an OSS student, proficient in history, math or computer science, pursue post-secondary education. Supplied photo

A new award, in memory of one of the city’s much-loved teachers, will be presented for the first time at the June commencement ceremony at Orillia Secondary School (OSS).

The Andrew Monk Scholarship is in memory of Andy Monk, who taught math and computer science at OSS’s forerunner, Orillia District Collegiate and Vocational Institute (ODCVI), for 28 years. Monk, 76, who died last September, was also an avid bridge player, football and wrestling coach, amateur historian, ardent community volunteer and master of puns.

“We are now ready to accept donations for the award,” said Dick Johnston, a long-time friend of Monk’s who is the driving force behind the award.

Johnston, also a local history buff, set in motion the plan to set up a scholarship not long after his friend’s death last September.

Monk’s widow, Sandy, told OrilliaMatters she is thankful for the scholarship and the way it will honour her late husband.

“My children and I were incredibly pleased and very grateful that some of Andy's friends and colleagues suggested honouring Andy in this way,” she said.

Johnston said the award will be presented annually to a "student proceeding to post-secondary education who has shown an aptitude and proficiency in mathematics, computer science or history and who has also made a significant contribution to the extracurricular sports program at OSS."

“The plan is perfectly appropriate because it recognizes several causes reflecting Andy's interests,” said Sandy Monk. “He taught mathematics and computer science at ODCVI for 28 years and coached wrestling there for many years as well. He had a great interest in history and gave several talks and wrote many articles on a variety of historical topics and was a passionate supporter of Orillia's veterans.

“He would have been delighted to be able to help like-minded students continue their post-secondary education,” she said.

Johnston said the parameters of the award were developed after “consultation with the school, friends and colleagues, and Sandy and the family.”

The amount of the award and the number of years it will be presented will be determined by the amount of funds donated, said Johnston. The funds will be collected in trust and then forwarded to the Simcoe County District School Board “which will hold the funds and distribute the amount annually until the funds are depleted.”

Johnston is hopeful former teaching colleagues from ODCVI, history lovers, students he touched and others might step up to help fund the legacy scholarship. Donation cheques should be made out to the Simcoe County District School Board. They can be sent to William Belfour (438 Bay St., Orillia, L3V 3X6) For information, email Bill at [email protected]


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Dave Dawson

About the Author: Dave Dawson

Dave Dawson is community editor of
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