Where are they now? Bay woman teaching in South Korea

BARRY’S BAY – A woman who grew up in Barry’s Bay is broadening the horizons of children in South Korea.

Maureen Kelly was born at St. Francis Memorial Hospital in Barry’s Bay. She’s the daughter of the late Veronica and Bert (Barclay) Kelly, and the youngest of eleven children. Her siblings include Ethel (Albertini), Carmel (Rumleskie), Michael, Paul, Peter, Chris, Greg, D’Arcy, Grace (Dresch) and Sean.

After attending St. Joseph’s Elementary School from Kindergarten to Grade 3, she attended St. John Bosco Catholic School and then Madawaska Valley District High School.

She spent her teenage years babysitting for families in the Valley; it’s a job she said she thoroughly enjoyed.

“It taught me how to take care of children and be responsible for their safety,” Kelly said. “The parents of the children I babysat were always so kind and generous to me and I really looked up to them.”

Her fondest memories of growing up in the Bay included picking wild berries in the summer, tobogganing in the winter, figure skating at the old Barry’s Bay arena, singing in the choir at St. Lawrence O’Toole Church, walking or biking to the public beach, and buying five-cent freezies at the tennis club.

“Summer time was the greatest in the Bay,” she said. “It truly is my favourite place to be in the summer.”
But Kelly was destined for something more, and she majored in English and Psychology, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts at Carleton University. She later went on to earn a Bachelor of Education degree at Ottawa University for primary and junior grades.

Teaching is in her blood; her mother and some of her older siblings were educators.  

“So the idea of working in education felt very natural and familiar to me,” Kelly said. “My mother and older siblings always told me I was great with children and should become a teacher too.”

It was her mother, Veronica, that inspired Kelly to set her sites on teaching overseas.

Get your July 15, 2015 edition of The Valley Gazette to read the full story.