Professional Development Institute

WEAC Professional Development Institute

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Why become a teacher?

And I said because you can make a difference in the lives of students. You might not notice the very beginning, but you can make a difference. He might find out tenders later or 20 years later or someone’s gonna write.

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The 2019 WEAC Professional Development Institute was November 1-3 at the Best Western Premier Hotel in Oshkosh.

The conference brings together hundreds of WEAC Aspiring Educator members, Educational Support Professionals, Teachers and Community Schools advocates for a weekend of learning and professional networking.

Click here for a PDF of the breakout sessions.

Jill Prushiek

Our keynote speaker on Friday evening, November 1, was Dr. Jill Prushiek, who has served as the Associate Dean for the College of Education and Human Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 2011. Prior to her becoming the associate dean she worked as the Director of Field Experiences at UW-Eau Claire, placing thousands of future teachers in Western Wisconsin.

Throughout her time at Eau Claire, she traveled around the state working with initial and veteran educators on their professional development plans as part of the license renewal process. Working closely with school districts in Western Wisconsin, Jill has helped design and implement numerous mentor programs for new teachers beginning their teaching careers.

She became an advisor for the Aspiring Educator organization at UW-Eau Claire and a newly created living learning community on campus. She hopes that students in the living learning community will join Aspiring Educators and make great connections with others interested in teaching. As she tells her university students, “teaching is the best profession in the world!”

Jill earned a master’s degree in communication and a Ph.D. in Administration and Curriculum Instruction from Marquette University. As a passionate educator, Jill believes that teachers need to understand not only the curriculum they teach, but the unintended lessons students may learn as part of the hidden curriculum.

Erin McCarthy

Our keynote speaker on Satuday, November 2, was Erin McCarthy, the 2020 Wisconsin Teacher of the Year. Erin teaches 8th grade social studies at Greendale Middle School. In her eight years of teaching, she has collaborated to create a welcoming environment where students turn up the volume on the untold stories of history. She believes all students can be curious, self-directed activists and influencers and that we need to amplify the stories of educators who are grassroots change agents.

After receiving her MA in Public History from Loyola University, Chicago, Erin managed museum education programs at several Chicago area museums. After moving to Milwaukee in 2009 she attained her teaching license from Alverno College and has been teaching since 2011.

Ron Borkowicz

Our keynote speaker on Sunday, November 3, was worksite wellness expert Ron Borkowicz. Ron has over 35 years of experience teaching at the elementary, middle, high school and university levels. He holds master’s degrees in both Curriculum and Instruction and Human Kinetics and a Ph.D. in two areas: Allied Health and Exercise Physiology for Heart Care.

Ron has served as a consultant and speaker on worksite wellness programs for over 20 years and has certifications in Biomechanics, Personal Training, Heart Rate monitors, Tri-Fit, Health-Fitness Specialist, and Health Promotions Director.

Ron has received many prestigious awards in his career including the Lifetime Achievement Award for Health Education, The Kohl Fellowship Award, The All-USA Today Teaching Award, the WEAC Teaching Excellence Award, and the Christa McAuliffe Fellowship Award. Ron was recognized by the American Association for Health Education as the National Health Education Teacher of the Year in 2003. He is the Founder and President of Enjoy Teaching Health LLC which provides health and wellness resources for K-12 teachers.