In 1971 John Pratt was asked to conduct a feasibility study to determine whether an independent school in King Township would be viable. He went on to serve as the founding Headmaster from 1972-76.
While at CDS, John helped to create a school philosophy based largely on the development of the student as an individual; something that continues to be the School’s primary focus today. In an article in a January 1972 edition of The Era newspaper, he cited the following quotation from the British “Plowden Report” of 1967: “Children need to be themselves, to live with other children, to learn from their environment, to enjoy the present, to get ready for the future, to create and to love, to learn to face adversity, to behave responsibly, in a word, to be human beings.”
Prior to coming to CDS, John had taught at the Senior School level at Trinity College School in Port Hope and Bishop’s College School in Lennoxville, QC. He was a graduate of BCS and went on to earn a BA degree in English & History, as well as his teaching qualifications from Bishop’s University. John also held a Master of Arts degree in English from the University of Denver and a Master of Education from Columbia University. A sports enthusiast his entire life, he was a recipient of the Bishop’s University Golden Mitre Award and inducted to its RBC Wall of Distinction for outstanding achievements in football, skiing, hockey, leadership and contributions to school life in the 50s.
John passed away in February 21, 2013 in Montreal at the age of 76. He is survived by his three children, Robert (Nicky), Julia (Tim) and Jennifer (Kirby). Julia and Jennifer are both original CDS students.