Peter Ferren

tight shotPeter Ferren has left an indelible mark on Catholic education in Niagara and in Ontario.

A graduate of St. Michael’s College, Peter began his career teaching in Timmins, Ontario, before moving to Niagara. He was hired by the Welland County Roman Catholic Separate School Board in 1979 to succeed Alexander Kuska as Director of Education. During his years as Director of Education, Peter was instrumental in securing the transfer of three schools from the public board to the Welland County Roman Catholic Separate School Board – the only school board in Ontario to do so. Those schools became Lakeshore Catholic High School, Saint Michael Catholic High School and the Father Fogarty campus of the Continuing Education department.

A year after that, Peter led the Board in an evaluation and development of school systems project. The result was an action plan which contained 127 recommendations, most of which were implemented during his tenure.

Peter recognized the value of students connecting with their faith, and under his Directorship launched the Spiritual Centre and Outdoor Education Program (SCOEP), which continues today as the Journey Retreat for Grade 8 students. In 1994, he was recognized by his peers in the Ontario Catholic Supervisory Officers’ Association with  B.E. Nelligan Award of Merit for his contributions to Catholic education.

Peter has continued to serve Catholic schools and students throughout his retirement years. In 2007, he co-authored the book Catholic Education: A Gift from the Past, a Present for the Future (1842-2007) with Don Lefebvre. Peter is the founding President of the Niagara Foundation for Catholic Education, and has held the role since its inception in Niagara in 1996. Under his guidance, the Foundation has assisted hundreds of Niagara Catholic students, whether through the financial support of scholarships for post-secondary education, or by assistance to allow them to participate in programs at school they may not otherwise have been able to join. Through the Foundation, Niagara Catholic launched a capital campaign to provide high schools with turf fields.

Peter has been, and continues to be, a stalwart and unselfish supporter of Catholic education in Niagara and throughout Ontario.

Inducted April 20, 2018