Walt is a retired teacher with 34 years of instructional experience, 12 years in high school Phys. Ed. and Industrial Arts; then 22 years in Outdoor and Environmental Education with the Algonquin & Lakeshore Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario, (ALCDSB) running the outdoor education program and managing the Msgr. J.S.Ryan Outdoor Education Centre on Wolfe Island, Ont.
Qualifications, Awards, Recognitions
- B.A., B.P.E., B.Ed.
- Certified Wilderness First Responder
- Certified ORCKA Canoe Tripping and Canadian Style Paddling Instructor
- Lifesaving Society – Bronze Medallion
- Member – Council of Outdoor educators of Ontario (C.O.E.O)
- A.L.C.D.S.B. Robin Hood award for environmental Leadership 1998
- Nominee – Prime Minister’s Teaching Award 2004
- C.O.E.O. Dorothy Walter Award for leadership in Outdoor Education 2009
- Queen’s University Faculty of Ed. Alumni Outstanding Service Award 2011
- Cataraqui Conservation Foundation Education Award 2012
- C.O.E.O. Honorary Life Membership, 2019
- Featured in : CKWS TV “Hero’s in Education” 2010; Profile Kingston Mag. 1996; Kingston Magazine 2006.
Walt has taught over 70,000 children and adults in all seasons in the outdoors; over 20,000 in canoes. He developed and directed “Discovery”, a summer high school phys.ed.credit course in wilderness canoe tripping in Algonquin Park for 12 years. He also managed and taught at the Ryan Outdoor Education Centre on Wolfe Island for 22 years and co-ordinated his school board’s efforts in the “Eco Schools” program to reduce energy use and waste at schools.
“The perceptions of students, staff and community members about environmental issues have been transformed by the actions of this teacher.”
Carole Weir, Director of Education, Superior North Cath. Dist. Sch. Brd. (retired)
——————————————————————————————– “Walter Sepic is an exemplary teacher that ‘walks the talk’. His love of children, teaching, learning and the outdoors is exemplified in everything he does. Walter is one of those gifted educators who sees a teachable moment with every child crouched by a puddle. His patience is legendary! He meets each child at their level of understanding and helps them to grow. Whether he’s leading a canoe trip for high school seniors or boiling down maple sap for fourth graders, Walter makes the experience educational and memorable.”
Maryanne Bullock, Superintendent of Education, A.L.C.D.S.B.
——————————————————————————————– “I’m the director of the Shad Valley program at Queen’s University in Kingston. Every July for the past 4 summers, our program has engaged Walter Sepic to provide outdoor activities and team building for our camp participants. I would recommend him wholeheartedly to anyone looking for education and guiding in outdoor activities and education and team building. He is competent, careful, passionate about his work and completely respectful of the needs and fears of the participants.
Walter provides many things including instruction and support in canoeing, campfire building, camping and valuable exercises in team building, communication, trust and empathy, and hands on exposure to the science and technology of renewable energy, sustainability and observation of the natural world.
As in previous years, I was impressed with the care he took in working with us to tailor the trip to our program objectives. His manner with the students is empowering, respectful and age appropriate, and I have learned some important lessons watching him deal with students. It’s clear he enjoys the kids and he enjoys passing on his love of nature and his concern for the future. His risk management experience and thorough preparation allow us to give these young people exciting experiences without worrying about it. We appreciate both his professionalism and his sense of fun.”
Louise Mallory, P.Eng., Shad Valley Co-ordinator
“I would like to extend my personal congratulations on being awarded the Cataraqui Region Conservation Foundation’s Education Award. This award recognizes your ongoing passion for the environment and your dedication to encouraging this passion and love of the environment in others, particularly youth.
Sincerely, Mark Gerretsen, Mayor, City of Kingston.
“Hi Walt, I wanted to thank you and express how much we enjoyed and learned from the trip. It was a pleasure meeting you and spending the most extraordinary three days of my life on your trip. You made the trip exceed my expectations as well as Antoine’s. I shall never forget the stargazing from the canoe! You’re a wonderful guide; you made me feel safe and your fascinating knowledge about nature and camping kept me alive and enthusiastic throughout the trip. I appreciated learning from you and your gentle pushing and your approach towards people. Thanks again.
Aznita , Dubai.
Walt had everything planned, prepared and packed; we didn’t have to worry about anything.
-following Walt’s canoe in the mirror water; enjoying 3 course meals at the fire pit while Walt accompanied our fresh baked pie with songs on his guitar.
-canoeing silently before midnight to see the bright stars as Walt whispers their names.
We laid our lives into the hands of a complete stranger and followed him into the wilderness. In return, Walt gave us, in his quiet lead from behind manner, confidence in our new abilities. Our son became a master of fire and fishing. Thank you Walt for leading us into the wilderness and teaching us so many new aspects of life. Patrick, Switzerland.