Andrew Beddoe

The community is mourning the loss of Floradale PS principal Andrew Beddoe, who passed away suddenly on April 5 at the age of 54.

Beddoe had served as Floradale PS principal since December 1, 2017, having served at several schools in the Waterloo Region District School Board. His stints included serving as vice-principal at Wellesley, Forest Glen, and Silverheights public schools, a consultant at Learning Services, and teacher at Queensmount and Margaret Avenue public schools.

Bob Armstrong is serving as Floradale’s principal for the time being.

“Bob does have some familiarity with the school. He’s a supply that we bring in – he does have some history with the school,” said Peter Rubenshuh, superintendent for student achievement and wellbeing at the WRDSB, whose district covers Floradale PS.

“He was there prior to Mr. Beddoe for about three months. So there’s some familiarity with the staff and so on. And then we’ll make more long-term decisions in the future.”

The board has yet to determine who will be the permanent principal. The needs of the school, eligible candidates in the pool structure, and formal feedback through school councils all affect the decision-making process, said Rubenshuh, adding now is the time to honour the many contributions Beddoe made to the community.

“It’s a tremendous loss to the school, to the community, and certainly his family,” said Rubenshuh. “Very committed leader, very passionate about every child. He really wanted all of our students to succeed to the highest levels. He had really strong relationships with the staff and the community and making that happen.”

Beddoe leaves behind his wife Valerie and children Eric and Claire, as well as two siblings.

Family, friends and former colleagues gathered for a celebration of life at Bingeman’s in Kitchener last Sunday.

“There was a huge outpouring from former colleagues, from family, from the community in general,” said Rubenshuh. “It was a wonderful tribute. I think it was an excellent opportunity for some sharing with family that knew him as a father and husband.

“But I think people who had worked with him had some really wonderful things to say about him and his whole leadership and his approach to the school. And his real passion for the work. It was really great to see the community coming together to support a family that, under the circumstances, was hurting.”