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New French Catholic school in Ottawa to be named after Jonathan Pitre

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WATCH: The young Ottawa area man known as the "Butterfly Boy" has died at the age of 17. Jonathan Pitre had spent his life trying raise funds and awareness for the rare and debilitating disease epidermolysis bullosa. Mike Le Couteur looks back on Pitre's life and legacy – Apr 6, 2018

A new elementary school in Riverside South will be named after Jonathan Pitre, an Ottawa-area boy who spent years raising awareness about a rare and debilitating skin condition he was born with, Ottawa’s French Catholic school board says.

Pitre died at age 17 in April 2018. At the time, he was seeking treatment in Minnesota for epidermolysis bullosa, or EB, which made his skin extremely fragile and prone to blistering.

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The board of Le Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est (CECCE) approved the new name for the school — located at the intersection of Ralph Hennessy Avenue and Mount Nebo Way in the city’s south end — on Tuesday evening.

L’École élémentaire catholique Jonathan-Pitre is expected to open for the next school year this fall, welcoming more than 400 students in kindergarten to Grade 6.

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In a French letter to parents announcing the commemoration, the CECCE’s director of education described Pitre as a “young hero.”

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Despite the hardship he faced, Pitre never stopped seeing the positives in life and naming the school in his honour keep his memory alive and pass on his values to students in the French Catholic system, the letter said.

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In a tweet posted in French late Tuesday, Pitre’s mother, Toni Boileau, called the board’s decision a lovely tribute to her son.