WEAC President Elected to National Post, Vice President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen to Step In
Ron Martin, an Eau Claire middle school teacher serving as president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council, has been elected to the National Education Association Executive Committee. Marshfield Teacher’s Association member and WEAC Vice-President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen will complete Martin’s remaining term of office, effective September 1.
The NEA Executive Committee is the highest-level governing body that oversees and helps establish policy for the 3-million-member National Education Association. Martin is currently in the second of a three-year term as WEAC President.
Martin Has Long History with Union
Martin, an Eau Claire social studies teacher, has been involved in many national endeavors along with decades of work at the local and state levels. He previously served as WEAC vice president and secretary-treasurer and is past-president of the Eau Claire Association of Educators and formerly a director on the National Education Association board.
Throughout his union involvement, he has placed special emphasis on outreach to new educators, inclusion and acceptance for all students and school staff, and strengthening local education unions in rural areas. He is WEAC’s first Native American president.
“Duff Martin has spent his life and career passionately advocating for the eradication of intuitional racism in our education system, and his election to NEA’s Executive Committee is especially timely as our country grapples with racial, social, and economic justice,” said NEA President Becky Pringle. “As we have discussions about today’s injustices and the threats to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that still exist for many, Duff’s personal and professional experiences are important additions to our national conversation.”
Wirtz-Olsen To Step In
Wirtz-Olsen, a high school Art and English teacher and member of the Marshfield Teacher’s Association, embraces a platform to improve the lives of educators, students and families including addressing educator attraction and retention; restoring the professional role of educators; advancing social justice; and partnering for a comprehensive school funding overhaul that reimagines what is possible for all of our students.
“Peggy Wirtz-Olsen has extraordinary leadership skills that give her the ability to organize and mobilize educators,” said Nathan Ugoretz, President of WEAC Region 3 who has worked closely with Wirtz-Olsen. “She is strategic and has a clear vision for the advancement of public education as well as improving conditions for public education workers. I am excited to work with her in the movement to support public education in Wisconsin.”