Councillor - Dean Demers
Dean Demers has been a Catholic teacher for more than 20 years.
He has taught a variety of subjects in the French Immersion program at St. Thomas Aquinas High School (Kenora Unit), including math, science, geography, history, physical education, and civics.
Dean currently teaches a Northern Studies program for Grades 4 and 5 students across the Kenora Catholic District School Board, with a focus on fostering the truth and reconciliation process with Indigenous communities. It is one of the only programs of its kind in the province. He co-ordinates with Indigenous elders, and spends a great deal of time outdoors with students, passing along traditional knowledge and skills. Dean says this has been an amazing opportunity to help develop understanding and co-operation.
Dean is also known for having spearheaded a book drive for remote Indigenous communities. Despite the daunting logistics, he gathered donations from OECTA units around the province, and personally delivered more than 2,000 books to areas such as Sioux Lookout, Whitedog, Shoal Lake 39, and Shoal Lake 40. “I did it because it was the right thing to do,” he says.
Dean has been active in the Association for most of his career. He served as Association Representative at St. Thomas Aquinas and Chief Negotiator for the Kenora Unit from 1997 to 2008, then as Unit President from 2008 to 2017. In that time, he also sat on a variety of committees and work groups at the local and provincial levels. He has been a regular delegate to the OECTA Annual General Meeting, and to the conventions of the Ontario Federation of Labour and the Canadian Labour Congress.
“OECTA is like a family,” says Dean. “I really enjoy working with my colleagues and friends, and I am excited to serve the membership at another level. It is a great honour to serve on the Provincial Executive alongside members I have looked up to for years.” He also aims to bring the unique perspectives of Catholic teachers from northern and remote communities, while working to foster continued solidarity among members across the province.