Wisconsin Public Education Network is WEAC’s 2016 Friend of Education

WEAC President Betsy Kippers (left) presents the WEAC Friend of Education Award to the Wisconsin Public Education Network coordinator Heather DuBois Bourenane.

WEAC President Betsy Kippers (left) presents the WEAC Friend of Education Award to the Wisconsin Public Education Network coordinator Heather DuBois Bourenane.

The Wisconsin Public Education Network – which “connects education advocates and professionals to information, actions and each other” – is the 2016 WEAC Friend of Education. WEAC President Betsy Kippers presented the award Friday at a WPEN meeting in Madison.

“A powerful word, friend. In it for the long-haul. Has your back. Knows what you value and how you tick. I’m pleased today to present WEAC’s Friend of Education Award to an organization that fits all those descriptions – the Wisconsin Public Education Network, with coordinator Heather DuBois Bourenane,” Kippers said.

She went on to say:

As you know, this network encompasses a lot of grassroot groups and individuals who use their voices on a daily basis to support and promote public education in Wisconsin. These groups and individuals are grounded in the conviction that public schools are the heart of our communities. The statewide network provides resources to keep these partners connected, informed, inspired and involved!

As Chris Hambuch-Boyle said in her nomination letter, “The network has worked diligently to become the hub of all who support the miracle of public schools.”

As I looked back on the recent legislative session, I realized how many times in the past year friends from the network took action to advance and support what was good for public education and push-back against what was bad.  The network has consistently amplified support for public schools so lawmakers in Madison could not ignore us. The network’s collective action on behalf of students is frequently done on short notice, especially when certain politicians try to sneak through bills before anyone notices.  THANKS, to all of you, for being that voice for students.

It’s no secret that pro-public education groups are getting attention in our communities and as a network statewide! At his annual State of Education address, Dr. Evers thanked the network as a strong advocate for public education — and the crowd responded with a standing ovation. WEAC, representing educators from every corner of Wisconsin, thanks you for your advocacy and honors you with the 2016 Friend of Education Award. Public schools in Wisconsin truly do have a friend in all of you!

“There’s no shortage of people who aren’t afraid to raise their voices in this state, but there is a resistance to hearing it,” Dubois Bourenane said in accepting the award. “As a network, if we can do whatever small part we can that leads into a bigger and bigger and growing part to let that collective voice in support of public schools to be heard then we can accomplish great things.

“It is a tribute to all of the work that has gone on all over the state to receive this award. It’s a huge honor, and it’s also an amazing demonstration of the validity of that work and importance of it and the urgency of the need for coming together for the kids who cannot advocate for themselves in this state. They deserve the work that’s going into supporting their schools, and I’m really proud of doing that work with you, so congratulations to everyone.”

Read more in the Sun Prairie Star:

Wisconsin Public Education Network wins WEAC award

The partners represent grassroots groups from across Wisconsin who advocate for neighborhood public schools. “This network encompasses grassroots groups and individuals who use their voices on a daily basis to support and promote public education in Wisconsin,” Kippers said. “These groups and individuals are grounded in the conviction that public schools are the heart of our communities,” Kippers said.