Sussex — Lately Katherine d’Entremont has been causing controversy for her contentious questions of the public service, but new accusations are being levied against her on social media. While she has been under intense scrutiny for her bilingualism investigation of security guards, she’s now also under fire for her coaching work with volleyball point guards.
“She was our Junior Varsity volleyball coach, and spoke French to the team a lot,” recalled Sherrie Goguen. “I didn’t know what she was saying some of the time, but she wanted us to practise learning French while we were learning a sport. It was total B.S. I was like, ‘I’m not in French class now, and I don’t want to learn!’ She was forcing it on me.”
Katherine d’Entremont has a long and distinguished career in the New Brunswick Public Service, but “Kathy” McCuaig (her former name) started her professional career as a teacher in the late 1980s. She taught the French Immersion classes as well as coaching volleyball and gymnastics at Sussex Junior High School.
Now that she has stepped into the limelight with her recent investigations for the Official Languages Commission, her former students are recognizing her and recounting tales on Facebook of her longtime promotion of the French language.
“She’s the same about French now as she was then. When you walked into her classroom, she only let you speak French,” recounted Gilbert Hodgson. “I was like, ‘Whoa, someone is taking French a little too seriously’… you know? Class hadn’t even started.”
“I admit, loads of 13-year-old guys had harmless crushes on her — myself included,” remembers the now 42-year-old Leland Riopel. “She had long curly hair that she tied back, and this amazing frosted-pink lipstick that she always wore. I can still remember it so vividly…” he smiled, his voice trailing off quietly. Then, he quickly added, “But yeah, she was always pushing French on us… like it was her job or something.”
“She was always drinking Diet Coke and eating chips for lunch,” laughed Lewis Turnbull. “I was like, ‘What? That’s really healthy… not!’ Not that it had anything to do with anything, we just thought it was funny. In retrospect, I suppose it was just one of those things that kids notice grown-ups doing and gossip about. But yeah, she was super into French and everything — that’s all I really remember.”
Presently, d’Entremont is investigating who may be telling stories on Facebook about her and her first job. If caught, she intends to have the trash-talkers write out lines on the blackboard in her office — en français.
Update: Corrected former name details, June 6.