March President’s Connection

Dear Members, At the time of this writing, we are completing what is hoped to be the last storm of the season. Clocks have just sprung forward and that is another sign that we are going to make it through one of the snowiest winters in history. Now we can move forward with the work of the Representative Assembly. Our WEAC leadership has been collecting information for over three years and written a “report” with the findings of our officers and research they have done. Much of the research has come from visiting locals, asking members for input, to put together a plan to move WEAC forward with our new set of goals to drive our future. This report was shared at our last Board of Directors meeting and will be shared at the RA on April 27th in Oshkosh. If you’d like to read this document ahead of time please contact our office and Ali would gladly email this out to you. It has been posted on our Ed Communities for all Presidents of each local to pull up and share.

After attending our Summer Leadership Conference (led by Lisa Glaser, Gina Pagel and myself) on leadership and governance workshop, President Martin felt it was important for WEAC to update our own WEAC Mission, Vision and Values. He had Vice-President Peggy Wirtz Olson and Lisa Glaser form a committee to do this work. I am attaching this to our newsletter as a draft for you to take a look at. I would really love to see all of you bring a team (at least two) from your local to come and learn how to improve your local. This year the Summer Academy is at UW-Steven’s Point. It is at no cost to you. We stay in the dorms. I haven’t missed one since we began doing these. This will be the fifth year. Each year it gets better! Our goal is to support local teams to improve their leadership skills, team building and learn ways to move forward with their local union. We are there to help you! Please come and take advantage of this great experience. It is from July 29-31.

One final note: I have been on the board of directors since the late 2000s. I have traveled the ladder as I started out as a secretary, negotiator, head negotiator, Vice-President, President of local, As President you were automatically on the board of directors of our WCEA (which is the model we have returned to as Region 1), then NCUE BOD, next it was Region 1 BOD, now President of Region 1 . It seems I’ve been doing this for a long time, through a lot of different and challenging times. I have really enjoyed this work. I love meeting new friends and learning how to be a leader. I have learned so much from my union and am eternally grateful for all the opportunities I have had because of my union. I have decided that it is time for some new blood and new ideas to come into Region 1. It is my plan to work one more year at my school. I’d like to focus on my class and just teach my last year before retiring after 35 years and 40 student teachers.
Please consider getting involved in your union, The more people involved the easier it is to get the work of the union done! It has made me such a better teacher, leader, person, and more.   WE NEED YOU! Jump in – YOU CAN DO IT!!!

Deb BellRegion 1 President