Spotlight on Locals: Owen-Withee Education Association

The strength of the Owen-Withee Education Association, leaders say, comes from its focus on students first and on having “home-grown teachers” who are involved in the community. “We see our students in and out of school,” OWEA leader Russ Weiler told WEAC Vice President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen in her latest Spotlight on Locals column, “and we are always working to keep our schools and community strong for our students.”

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Legislative Update: Republicans strip Evers’ budget of key items

The Joint Finance Committee Thursday killed a plan for $1.4 billion in federal funding that would have helped fund schools, roads and healthcare. The party-line vote to deny full Medicaid expansion was followed by a vote on a huge package of recommended budget provisions that would have increased special education funding and teacher quality measures, plus require transparency and accountability for taxpayer-funded private schools. “Wisconsin educators and parents have turned out in droves to be clear about our No. 1 priority – our students,” said WEAC President Ron Martin. “Our dedication is strong – we will continue to advocate in the best interest of our students for equitable funding for public schools.”

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Greendale’s Erin McCarthy is Wisconsin’s 2020 Middle School Teacher of the Year

In a surprise ceremony at her school Thursday, Erin McCarthy of Milwaukee, an eighth grade social studies teacher at Greendale Middle School who is a member of WEAC Region 7, was named the 2020 Middle School Teacher of the Year. McCarthy labors to ensure every student is included in her classroom’s community. “I’ve shifted the focus in my classroom to valuing the experience of each student and not teaching to the ‘average,'” she explained. “The work is exhausting but yields the greatest rewards.”

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MTEA member Chad Sperzel-Wuchterl is state’s 2020 High School Teacher of the Year

In a surprise ceremony Wednesday, Chad Sperzel-Wuchterl of Milwaukee, an art teacher at Reagan High School in Milwaukee Public Schools and a member of WEAC and the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association (MTEA), was named Wisconsin’s 2020 High School Teacher of the Year. Sperzel-Wuchterl’s students’ artwork has been displayed throughout that greater community, not only in the school but also in university campus art galleries, the Wisconsin Capitol, the Milwaukee Art Museum, and revolving displays in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward.

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Wisconsin has three winners of NEA Human and Civil Rights Awards

NEA has announced three Wisconsin winners of this year’s prestigious NEA Human and Civil Rights Awards. The Wisconsin winners are: Bayfield educators and WEAC members Rick and Lorie Erickson, Former State Senator Tim Cullen of Janesville, and GSAFE, a Madison-based advocacy organization devoted to creating safe educational environments for LGBTQ individuals.

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