62 WEAC members earn National Board Certification in 2018

Sixty-two WEAC members recently joined the ranks of Nationally Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) in Wisconsin, and 26 renewed their certification. Known as one of the top honors in the profession, NBCTs are assessed by their peers on 5 core propositions of accomplished teaching. WEAC is the state leader in providing candidate support; WEAC supports include intensive summer Jump Start training, monthly in-person cohorts, an online prep course, virtual mentors, and a winter writing retreat.

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Spotlight on Locals: Reedsburg Education Association

Reedsburg Education Association members are dedicated every day to the students in their schools and classrooms, but their dedication extends beyond the school walls, REA leaders told WEAC Vice President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen in her latest Spotlight on Locals column. “In our area, the school is the core of the community,” says REA Treasurer Ann Schmitt, “and it extends out from there. Our teachers are known and recognized in our community as an integral part.”

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Lindsey Guenther of Tomah is latest WEAC Badger Red for Public Ed winner!

Congratulations to Tomah teacher Lindsey Guenther, the latest winner of our WEAC Badger Red for Public Ed promotion! The honor goes to WEAC members in appreciation for their dedication to students. Recipients are treated to a UW Badger athletic event. Lindsey will get VIP treatment at the November 30 UW Badger hockey game against Penn State at the Kohl Center in Madison. Lindsey is entering her seventh year of teaching at LaGrange Elementary school in Tomah. She is a fourth grade teacher and works with a variety of students each and every day. “I became a teacher mainly because I wanted to pay tribute to the efforts of all of my amazing teachers in the past,” Lindsey says.

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WEAC locals are successful in 98% of recertification elections

Ninety-eight percent of 2018 fall recertification elections for WEAC locals passed, according to results released by the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission. In all, 229 of 234 elections were successful. The overwhelming support for local unions mirrors similar results in recertification elections since 2011. “In the local associations holding recertification elections, educators show tremendous support for the union,” said WEAC President Ron Martin, a middle school teacher. “Unions play a very strong role in their local schools and partner to ensure the best for students.”

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A new era supportive of public education and educators is about to begin, Evers says in phone call to WEAC members

Governor-Elect Tony Evers personally thanked WEAC members for the critically important role they played in helping him win this month’s “watershed” election that will change the way Wisconsin state government treats public schools and educators. “The hard work of the campaign is over. The hard work of governing and making sure that we are being supportive of the people who work in the schools begins now in earnest,” Evers said during a Tele-Town Hall conversation with WEAC members throughout the state. All WEAC members were invited to participate in the phone call last week.

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With a new record for approving referendums, Wisconsin residents sent a strong message in 2018 that they support their public schools

Wisconsin residents made it very clear in 2018 that they stand behind their public schools and will do whatever it takes to support them. After years of state funding reductions by the Republican Legislature and the about-to-be-former Republican governor, voters went to the polls in droves to make up for the lack of state funding by approving a record number of local school referendums. According to a new report by the Wisconsin Policy Forum, voters this year signed off on a record $2 billion-plus in debt and revenue increases for local schools. The approval rate was 90 percent.

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Public education champion Tony Evers is Wisconsin’s new governor!

State Superintendent Tony Evers, a staunchly pro-public education Democrat, is Wisconsin’s new governor, defeating incumbent Republican Scott Walker, long known for his attacks on public schools and educators. WEAC President Ron Martin applauded WEAC members for their hard work in helping to elect Evers. “Today is filled with possibilities and opportunities, leading us to a better future,” Martin said. “This victory belongs to you. But more importantly, it belongs to our kids.”

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Labor leader Phil Neuenfeldt dies

A great leader of the Wisconsin labor movement, Phil Neuenfeldt, has died. Neuenfeldt, president emeritus of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO, died in his home November 4. “Phil Neuenfeldt stood side-by-side with WEAC members during our most tumultuous struggles, always insisting that whether in the public or private sector, union brothers and sisters stand together,” said WEAC President Ron Martin. “As Phil would expect, those of us who mourn his passing will carry on to advance solidarity in Wisconsin.”

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Spotlight on Locals: Bayfield Education Association

“The reason for our strong participation is that people see the BEA as a collective teacher voice for the district, and our voice is focused on kids, families, and our community. We want to make our school district the best place it can be.” That is how former Bayfield Education Association President Rick Erickson – also a former Wisconsin Teacher of the Year – sums up the BEA’s success as a local association. Rick spoke with WEAC Vice President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen for her latest Spotlight on Locals column. “We’re all part of a community,” adds current BEA President Eric Iverson, “and we stick together.”

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Lisa Bellile of Ashwaubenon is latest WEAC Badger Red for Public Ed winner!

Congratulations to Ashwaubenon teacher Lisa Bellile, the latest winner of our WEAC Badger Red for Public Ed promotion! The honor goes to WEAC members in appreciation for their dedication to students. Lisa will get VIP treatment at the November 3 UW Badger football game against Rutgers at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison.

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