Four outstanding individuals honored with WEAC Awards

WEAC President Ron Martin presented four major WEAC Awards at the 2017 WEAC Representative Assembly. Below are his remarks:

FRIEND OF EDUCATION

Maggie Beeber

“I’m pleased today to present WEAC’s Friend of Education Award to a professional who shapes the future of our profession with her wisdom, example and dedication. Join me in congratulating Maggie Beeber, coordinator of undergraduate advising for UW-Stevens Point School of Education.

“With a comprehensive, high-touch, compassionate approach to student success, Maggie and her team is all about effective recruitment, support, retention and licensure of new teachers. She leads a program that includes graduation plans for EVERY student, peer advising and close partnerships to smooth the path of becoming a teacher. She’s also a co-advisor of WEAC’s Aspiring Educators.

“Maggie has made an impact on the lives of thousands of teachers. She has high expectations, empathy and knows how to have hard conversations with Aspiring Educators to make sure they’re prepared for the real world of teaching today.

“Olivia Guralski, of UW-SP’s Aspiring Educators, says Maggie’s there to help our student members learn, plan and prepare for their future careers. She attends events with our members and places Aspiring Educators ahead of herself. For all you do, Maggie, WEAC honors you with the 2016 Friend of Education Award.

RICHARD J. LEWANDOWSKI AWARD FOR HUMANITARIAN SERVICE

Sharon Bowen

“I’m pleased to be here to honor a shining example of a teacher who has promoted equity for decades. Sharon Bowen, you are the Wisconsin Education Association Council’s 2017 Richard J. Lewandowski Award recipient for your humanitarian service to the Fox Valley.

“Sharon is a retired counselor from the Appleton Area School District and a lifetime WEAC member. She is a founding member of Fox Cities Multicultural Center/Celebrate Diversity Fox Cities. Sharon has worked tirelessly to build Community Conversations – fostering growth and healing injustice in her community. She also volunteers in the New Voices choir, Fox Valley Memory Project and countless efforts, like voter registration.

“She is well-known for her outreach – and was awarded by Outagamie County for AODA prevention efforts and received the Wisconsin New Promise Award. She successfully advocated for change in emergency room procedures at a local hospital to more sensitively relate to the Hmong and other diverse patients.”

EDUCATION SUPPORT PROFESSIONAL AWARD

John Linneman

“Every employee plays a part in inspiring students. I’m proud to announce the 2017 WEAC Education Support Professional of the Year Award, John Linneman.

“John stands firm in his support and promotion of unions and public education. He is president of the East Troy Education Association, a wall-to-wall local he was instrumental in forming to ensure the local’s survival.

“Those who know John say union is a way of life for him. He stands next to his members in support, and makes sure the union gives back to the community by running a food drive at Thanksgiving and a toy drive at Christmas.

“Michael Mass, tech ed teacher in East Troy, had this to say: ‘In a time when it is challenging to be a union member, John Linneman has not only continued to be a union member, but also a union leader and positively represent our union to the community.’

“John, congratulations. All of us – custodian, paraprofessional, bus driver, teacher – are called to make a difference in the lives of each other, the children who are entrusted to us, and the larger community.”

CUNNINGHAM, DICKINSON, WATSON STAFF AWARD

Miguel Salas

“I’m pleased to be here to honor a man who inspires WEAC members and helps them find the power within themselves. The Wisconsin Education Association Council’s 201 7 Cunningham, Dickinson, Watson Award recipient is WEAC Region 7 Director Miguel Salas.

“Miguel has demonstrated through his ideas, actions and performance why he is deserving of this award. Miguel has worked on the local level as well as in regional and statewide efforts to empower educators in their profession.

“Rachel Meyer of WEAC Region 7 describes Miguel as an educator of educators who possesses calm professionalism, confident competence, reliability, integrity and leadership. Tammy Johnson credits his mentorship with shaping her into a union activist.

“He expertly helps members with things that come up in the course of our careers – retirement issues, insurance concerns, recertification strategy, electing pro-public education school board candidates, handbooks, legal help, EE, PDPs, SLOs, NBCT and so many other acronyms that are part of our world. Congratulations on this accomplishment, Miguel.”