Ontario English Catholic Teachers

Second Vice-President - Rene Jansen in de Wal


Throughout his 30-year career, René Jansen in de Wal has maintained a passion for education and advocacy. As he explains, “Every class is a new challenge, with new dynamics. I look for something special in every student. In every one there is something special, and something to learn from.”

Beginning as a secondary school teacher in 1986, Rene' has worked tirelessly for students inside the classroom, as well as for Catholic teachers at bargaining tables and working groups across the province. As a teacher, Rene' has been honoured with several awards, such as being named Toronto Sun’s “Teacher of the Year,” receiving a Prime Minister Letter of Recognition for Teaching, and being the recipient of the Best Practices Award from the TCDSB.

In addition to his passion for the classroom, Rene' has dedicated himself to protecting and expanding the rights of Catholic teachers. Throughout his career Rene' has served on numerous OECTA committees, both at local and provincial levels. Among these, René has been Chief Negotiator and served as President of TSU for six years. He has served on the Provincial Executive as Councillor, Third Vice-President, and Second Vice-President. He also served as an OTF Governor.

His passion for advocacy, social justice, and education has allowed Rene' to work collaboratively with Catholic, labour, and community partners. He has always been involved in leadership development and is Co-Founder and Organizer of several longstanding annual student leadership development programs, including the student trustee conference “Voices That Challenge”. He serves as Director of the one-week student leadership course at Olympia Sports Camp in Huntsville, and in 2014, he served as trip leader on a joint Me-to-We/TCDSB venture, where a group of 30 students spent three weeks building schools for local communities in Kenya.

Outside of the school setting, Rene' is an avid learner and sports fan, who loves to play, watch, and coach football, hockey, and basketball. In all of his endeavours, René Jansen in de Wal enjoys confronting a challenge, and being part of a team. As he puts it, “You’re only at your best when you’re helping others to be better, and when you allow others to challenge you to be better. I always strive to be part of a group where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”