OUR FOUNDER
Hon. W.C. Kennedy, P.C., M.P.

The Honourable William Costello Kennedy was born in Ottawa in 1868. At a young age his family moved to Toronto where he attended school and graduated from college. His first business experience was attributed to his job with the London and Canadian Loan Agency Company and at age 29, Mr. Kennedy move to the Windsor area to work for the Walker Oil Company in Walkerville. Moving on, he became President of the Windsor Gas Company in 1908 and four years later Mr. Kennedy sold off his interest in the Gas Company and dedicated the rest of his life to his other business interests and public service. He became a Separate School Board Trustee and after WWI, Mr. Kennedy was elected as a representative to the House of Commons for North Essex. Re-election in 1921 saw Prime Minister King appoint Mr. Kennedy as a Member of the Privy Council and Minister of Railways and Canals which he held until his death in 1923.

The Honourable W. C. Kennedy Collegiate Institute stands as a tribute to a man whose pioneering leadership in education, business, civic life and Canadian government will always be admired.


Kennedy Collegiate Institute, during the past 80 years, has enjoyed the leadership of sixteen well-qualified and highly respected people. Together with a very capable staff of teachers, they fashioned Kennedy into a wellrounded school, not only recognized for its academic and athletic achievements, but its students' eager participation in a variety of extracurricular activities.

A.G.Hooper 1929-1930

Arthur G. Hooper, a University of Toronto graduate and K.C.l.'s first principal, came to Windsor in 1919 from Strathroy High School. He taught classics at Windsor Collegiate (later called Central Collegiate and then Patterson) and succeeded Mr. W. D. Lowe as Principal in 1922. Assisting the board with Kennedy's planning, Mr. Hooper was appointed principal when it opened in 1929.

His career flourished and in 1930 he became a high school inspector. Later, the Department of Education assigned him to the position of Superintendent of Secondary Education for the Province of Ontario. For his achievements in the field of education, Western University conferred the honorary degree of L.L.D. on Mr. Hooper in 1950.

Retiring in 1953, Dr. Hooper lived in the Toronto area for many years until his death in 1975. Kennedy is indeed proud to have had him as its first principal.

George Campbell 1930-1936

Many of the school's early graduates were taught by Mr. George Campbell, a mathematics' specialist and graduate of the University of Toronto. Brought from Windsor Collegiate to Kennedy's first staff as teacher and vice-principal, Mr. Campbell succeeded Dr. Hooper as principal in 1930.

A very genial gentleman, Mr. Campbell was well liked by everyone associated with him. His Scottish humor and his appreciation for his colleagues and students endeared him to Kennedy Collegiate. He originated the "Forum", the student government which is still in existence today.

In 1936, Mr. Campbell left Kennedy to become superintendent of schools for the City of Windsor. A tragic auto accident in Western Canada in the summer of 1939 ended his brilliant career.

Leonard Wheelton 1936-1939

The third leader of Kennedy was Mr. Leonard Wheelton. After graduating from Queen's, he taught in Lindsay, and from 1915-24 he was an art and math instructor at Windsor Collegiate. When the school became overcrowded, he was appointed principal in charge of overflow classes (grades 9 and 10) housed at John Campbell School and Benson. In 1929, he replaced Dr. Hooper at Central Collegiate and became Kennedy's principal in 1936.

Mr. Wheelton was described as "an outstanding educator and a man who was never too busy to spare the time to give a word of advice or word of praise for a job well done," his two children, Marion (now Mrs. William Stoneman) and John (former Windsor Mayor and Provincial Court Judge) were Kennedy graduates and attended the school during his principalship.

Three years after coming to our school, Mr. Wheelton was appointed Superintendent of Education for the City of Windsor and remained in this position until retiring in 1950. He was highly respected in the teaching profession and was honored by the University of Western Ontario in 1951 with the Degree of L.L.D.

Dr. Wheelton enjoyed an active retirement and was a member of both the Windsor and Ontario Housing Authorities as well as Chairman of the Board of Referees for the Unemployment Insurance Commission in Windsor. He died on December 31, 1971.

Alfred S.F. Gilbert 1939-1958

The man who became Kennedy's fourth principal, Mr. Alfred F. S. Gilbert, gave able leadership to the school for 1 9 years. A well-educated man, he had tremendous energy and an eager mind. While a student at Queen's University he also carried on studies at the Ontario Agricultural College. In 1920, he was graduated from Queen's with a Bachelor of Science degree and in '21 with a Bachelor of Arts. Later, he received a B.S.A. degree from the University of Toronto and a Master of Arts from Wayne State University.

Mr. Gilbert began his teaching career at Windsor Collegiate in 1921 and in '29 was chosen as a chemistry instructor on Kennedy's first staff. He was appointed vice-principal in 1930 and replaced Dr. Wheelton as principal of the school in 1939.

Extremely proud of Kennedy's accomplishments he described it as "one of the outstanding schools in our province." During his long association with K.C.I., Mr. Gilbert saw numerous changes. He watched the enrollment increase to just over 1,000 and then steadily decline in the war years as many students left to join the armed forces.

Over the years, several of his students returned to the school as teachers and later many of his pupils were the children of former Kennedy graduates. After 25 years at Kennedy, he had the honour of greeting these graduates at the reunion in 1954.

Mr. Gilbert retired in 1958 and died on September 5, 1963. A believer in hard work and its rewards, he will be remembered by his students for instilling in them throughout the years that "without effort there is no learning".

Marshall Thomson 1958-1967

Fortunately for Kennedy, Mr. Marshal C. Thomson, who became principal in 1958, spent most of his teaching career here.

Born and educated in Aylmer, Ontario, he is a graduate of O.A.C. and the College of Education. His first two years of teaching were at Harrow and Teeswater, Ontario. Coming to Windsor and Kennedy Collegiate in 1939, he spent the next 18 years in Room 108 as a teacher of science, including biology. One highlight for him in this period was "the tremendous effort of Kennedy students during the war years with the scrap and paper drives."

The proceeds from them enabled our soldiers to enjoy some of the pleasures from home. Mr. Thomson's interest in the school's activities extended to athletics and at various times during his teaching career he coached hockey, football, soccer and swimming.

During his principalship, Mr. Thomson set high standards for his students and was respected by all. With a chuckle and the familiar twinkle in his eyes, he recalls to the main office that the greatest satisfaction in his position was the distribution of report cards to the students.

His two sons were among the hundreds of students he proudly watched graduate from Kennedy. David is a doctor involved in cancer research at Montreal General Hospital and John (now deceased) was a dentist practicing in Windsor.

Mr. Thomson left Kennedy in 1967 with his appointment to the position of Superintendent of Secondary Schools for the Windsor Board and retired on December 31, 1972. Marshall Thomson passed away in 1997.

Looking back over his long association with the school, Mr. Thomson states that, "I could not ask for a better life or better friends than were provided for me in my 28 years at dear old Kennedy."


John Pentland 1967-1975

An early dismissal on October 9, 1929, enabled many of Windsor's high school students to be present at Kennedy Collegiate's opening ceremonies. In attendance that day was J. R. M. Pentland, a grade 11 student at Central Collegiate. Some 38 years later, he became Kennedy's sixth principal.

Mr. Pentland, an honour graduate in economics and political science, attended Assumption University (then affiliated with Western). After teaching a year at the Sudbury Mining and Technical School, he joined the Windsor school system and taught at Patterson for 13 years and Lowe Vocational for 3 years.

Prior to his appointment as principal of Riverside in 1962, he was head of Kennedy's Commercial Department for two years, Commercial Director at Harry E. Guppy High School of Commerce for two years and the 1960-62 vice-principal at Vincent Massey. Mr. Pentland became principal of Kennedy in 1967 and remained in this position until retiring in 1975.

While at the school, Mr. Pentland maintained an even composure in the face of the turbulent 60's and 70's. He ushered in the credit system, individual timetabling and the grade 13 common room.

William Rogin 1975-1980

K.C.l.'s seventh principal was Mr. William Rogin. Born and raised in Windsor, he attended Assumption St. School (now Begley) and Patterson Collegiate. He received a BA. from Assumption College (then affiliated with Western), held a certificate in math and science from the Faculty of Education in Toronto, and a specialist standing in physical education from a summer at Queen's.

Mr. Rogin began his career in 1939 at Sarnia Collegiate and Technical School. Deciding to leave the teaching profession in 1945, he became athletic director of the Toronto Young Men's Hebrew Association until 1948 when he came back to Windsor to enter the sporting goods business.

He returned to teaching in 1956 and taught at Patterson for 12 years until his appointment as vice-principal of Riverside in '68. Two years later, he became principal of Forster and in 1975 was transferred to Kennedy as principal.

An excellent athlete, Mr. Rogin was active in a variety of sports while in high school and college. He was a member of the first all-city basketball team, set two world records in college basketball and held the shotput record for nineteen years. Involved for many years in refereeing, he was a charter and life member of football and basketball referees' associations for both Toronto, Windsor and districts.

While officiating in the 1947 Grey Cup Game, Mr. Rogin recalls that "Hec" Crighton, Kennedy's first football coach and athletic director was also among the officials. Playing in that game and scoring the final two points to win for the Argos, was Joe Krol, one of Kennedy's finest athletes.

Not limiting himself to athletics, Mr. Rogin had numerous other interests. A music lover, he played the violin and was a member of the original Windsor Symphony Orchestra. He was president for 1978-79 of the Windsor Secondary Schools' Association.


Graham B. Jenkins 1980-1984

Graham Jenkins grew up in Beamsville, Ontario and attended McMaster University.  He graduated with a degree in Honours History.  Two decades later, he received a Master of Arts degree in History from the University of Windsor.
 
Prior to coming to Windsor, he taught History and English in Clinton, Sarnia and Hamilton.  In the 1950's, he left the teaching profession to join a family bakery.  His next move was to Windsor to own and operate a Dairy Queen business.
 
However, in 1957, he returned to teaching and taught History and English at Walkerville, Forster and W. D. Lowe Technical School.  At Lowe, he served as Head of History and then as Vice Principal.  His next assignment took him to Riverside S. S. as Vice Principal.  Following this, he was promoted to Principal at Forster S.S.  His last assignment was as Principal of Kennedy C. I.
 
After his retirement, he remained in the Windsor area for several years, before moving to Wasaga Beach.  He lived there until his death in 1997.

Thomas R. Michie 1984-1989

My first year at Kennedy was 1945. My last year at Kennedy was 1989.

The first year I was sent to the Principal's Office was 1946. The last year I was sent to the Principal's Office was 1984.

As The King said to Anna, "It's a puzzlement."

Solve it as you enjoy your "80's" Reunion. There is no prize, only a chuckle or two.

My best to all of you "80's" kids.

Tom Mitchie



Alex Aiken 1989-1993

Born in Windsor attended F.W. Begley public school, Mr. Aitken went on to graduate from Kennedy's rival school, Patterson C.I. He then graduated from Assumption University of Windsor in 1958. While at Assumption College, Mr. Aitken was awarded two Gold Governor General Medals for Academic Studies in Biology.

His career began as a teacher at W.F. Herman C.I. in 1958, where he participated in extensive activities as convenor, coach and general mentor.

Transferred to Walkerville C.I. in 1968 as Science Department Head, Mr. Aitken eventually became Vice-Principal in 1969, then Principal in 1974. From there, he assumed the Principalship of Centennial Secondary School in 1980 and remained there until its closure in 1986, when he went to Cal-Tec Secondary School, serving as Principal until 1989. He became Principal of Kennedy C.I. in 1990.

Of his tenure at KCI, Mr. Aitken recalls: "I had the pleasure of a rewarding high school experience at Patterson C.I. and I thought that those days of fulfillment were long gone. It was at Kennedy that I realized the same enjoyment I had experienced as a high school student."

"So much was similar to the Patterson student programs under William Davidson who made high school a pleasure for the students. Many of my former high school classmates in search of a school for their children chose Kennedy when informed of the similarities. Kennedy exemplified the joys of high school with its school spirit, and academic and athletic achievements. I was honoured to be your Principal."

Sue Zanin 1993-1995

Ms. Susan M. Zanin (nee Parr) was born and raised in Windsor and attended Hugh Beaton Public School and Walkerville Collegiate Institute before completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Geography from the University of Windsor in 1967. She followed her parents into the teaching profession after obtaining her secondary school teaching diploma from Althouse College, UWO. She taught History, Geography and Man in Society for 12 years at Vincent Massey Secondary School and then two years at Centennial Secondary School.

Ms. Zanin served in many positions with the local branch of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation including chief negotiator and then became its president for three years. During this time she also had two maternity leaves to have her two children. She received her Master of Education degree in 1987 from the University of Windsor while working as the Resource Teacher-Affirmative Action for the Windsor Board. She was appointed a Vice-Principal in 1989 first at Shawnee Secondary School for a year and then at Vincent Massey Secondary School for 3 years.

Ms. Zanin became Kennedy’s principal in 1993 and during her two years she oversaw the renovation of the library and the adjoining computer lab and finalized plans for the addition of the art, music and classroom wing on the far west side of the school. She says this of her years at Kennedy: “What a privilege it was to be principal of this outstanding school with its excellent students, involved and committed staff and wonderful traditions and spirit!”

Two years after coming to our school, Ms. Zanin was appointed Superintendent of Education for the Windsor Board, which later became the Greater Essex County District School Board and remained in that position until retiring in 2002. She enjoys an active retirement travelling, golfing and serving her community as a Rotarian.


Dan MacPherson 1995

The twelfth principal at KCI was Dan MacPherson.  He was born in Windsor and attended Riverside public schools.  After his graduation from Windsor Teachers' College in 1967, he began his teaching career at Central Public School.  In 1972, he moved on to Shawnee Secondary to teach math and physical education and then Monarch Secondary where  he became Head of Math and Sciences.

Before he moved to Kennedy to assume the principal position in September of 1995, he was vice-princpal at Monarch in 1984, vice-principal at W. F. Herman in 1987, and then principal at Herman in 1991.

Along the way, Mr. MacPherson earned his B.A. and M. Ed. from the University of Windsor and a specialist certificate in special education.

A real love of athletics led Mr. MacPherson to be a long time coach and official of basketball and volleyball at the high school level.

His appointment as Kennedy principal was short lived as after 4 months there he was promoted to Superintendent of Schools with the Board.  As he recalls his short tenure at KCI, Mr. MacPherson says that time "was one of the most interesting, exciting, and enjoyable educational experiences" of his career.


Ted Laurendeau 1995-1999

Mr. Laurendeau graduated from Forster Collegiate in 1965 and received a Master of Health and Physical Education from the University of Windsor in 1971. He earned his Diploma in Education from the University of Western Ontario the following year.

He began his teaching and coaching career at Vincent Massey in1972. In 1980 he was transferred to Riverside Secondary School and continued there until his promotion as Vice-Principal at the Adult Learning Centre in 1990. He returned to Massey as the Vice-Principal in 1992 and was promoted to Principal at Kennedy in 1995, a true highlight in his career. He enjoyed the role and working with respected colleagues, especially long-time friend Günther Wolf, who replaced him when he was subsequently returned to Riverside in 1999. He completed his Supervisory Officer’s qualification in 2002 but chose to “retire” in 2005. He has been serving as Faculty Advisor at the University of Windsor and completing supply assignments as needed for the Greater Essex County District Board of Education as a Principal.

Mr. Laurendeau is enjoying his five grandchildren and retirement with his wife Stacie in LaSalle.


Günther Wolf 1999-2001

Günther Wolf is a true Clipper on many levels: as a KCI student, teacher, coach, Vice Principal, and ultimately Principal.

Mr. Wolf graduated KCI in 1961, and went on to obtain his BSc. from the University of Windsor in 1964. He attended the Ontario College of Education in Toronto in 1965, after which he became a Science teacher at North Albion Collegiate in Etobicoke, Ontario in 1966, He accepted the eqivalent appointment at Kennedy Collegiate, and taught Science at KCI from 1966-1977.

After receiving his Permanent High School Assistant’s Certificate, June 1967, High School Specialist's Certificate, and his Master of Education Degree (University of Windsor), Mr. Wolf took on the position of Assistant Head of Science at Herman Secondary School 1977-1984. From there he headed the Science Department at Kennedy Collegiate 1984-1993.

During his tenure at KCI as a teacher, Mr. Wolf was also a highly successful coach, his soccer teams achieving several championships and wrestling teams winning many gold, silver and bronze medals in various weight classes.

Mr. Wolf became Vice-Principal at Kennedy 1993-1999, and then Principal 1999-2001. He retired in 2001, after 33 combined years as a student and teacher at KCI.

In his retirement Mr. Wolf spends his time golfing and fundraising for the Hospice of Windsor and Essex County, as well as evaluating potential teachers at the Faculty of Education (University of Windsor).

Of his time at KCI, Günther says: "I still miss being at the school and interacting with the students and staff. I never met a student I didn't like for at least a little while. Many became dear friends and colleagues after graduation. I will always bleed blue and gold."


Jon Elcombe 2001-2007

Biography to come.



Allan Timmins 2007- present

Al Timmins has enjoyed a twofold career, both in Geological Engineering and Education. After graduating on the honours role from Assumption College School, he went on to Royal Military College and then to University of Windsor, achieving his M.A.Sc in Geological Engineering.

From there he worked as an environmental consultant throughout the USA and Iceland, involved with oil spills, and environmental issues.

After having achieved his teaching Diploma, Mr. Timmins took on three consecutive positions on the Windsor/Essex County District Catholic School Board, then Vice Principal Positions at Essex County High School and Riverside.

In 2007 Mr. Timmins became the current Principal of Kennedy Collegiate and is presently working with many administrative committees and student leadership programs. Of his first term at KCI, Mr. Timmins relates: "I have been very impressed by the devotion of the teaching and support staff and the school spirit of the students. The involvement of our students in school and community events demonstrates Kennedy's school spirit and commitment to our neighbours."

Al and his wife Beverly (Hardcastle), a KCI graduate employed by the City of Windsor, have two lovely daughters, Kaitlin and Rachel, both enjoying local high school and elementary school, respectively.