News and Information for Education Professionals

Lisa Davis, Altoona Custodians

Matt Mercer, Altoona Custodians

Randy Goss, River Falls

Anna Zalusky, River Falls

Tessa Amundson, River Falls

Jaquelyn Healy, Rice Lake

Lauren Lindell, River Falls

Robert Duerst, River Falls

Kathleen Jardine, Durand-Arkansaw

Patrick Kinney, Bayfield

Gina Monroe, Bayfield

Roberta Flaherty, Bayfield

Nancy Rogers, River Falls

Pete Kolpack, Rice Lake

Leigh Riesgraf, Durand-Arkansaw

Micaela Hall, Bayfield


Dear Region 1 Members,

Welcome back!

It has been a wonderful summer to refresh ourselves and take a break from the fast pace of our school year. Now we are back into the routine of a new year. I don't know about you but as much as I love vacation, I love being back in routine again.

Also, while we are going back to school we are also constantly looking for new ways to reach our students and find ways to be better teachers. This year we are excited to let you know we have changed the WEAC Professional Issues Conference from February to October. It's a wonderful "Professional Issues Conference - Cultivating Creative Classrooms." Look for signup information in this newsletter and come see me at the conference. I'll be there in the sessions. So many great teachers sharing their talents. Just what a conference should be. I found it hard to narrow it down to one class per session.

By now I hope all of you members have had a chance to talk with a new teacher in your building to tell them how important it is to be a member. We need to talk to them more than once about joining. They have so many things to do, it's important to ask them if they have any questions or need any more information. If you need anything just call the office and we'll get you what you need.

We have our first event this week Thursday from 6-7:00, "Retirement 101" in Menomonie at the Ale House. We have set up events throughout the region so everyone can attend an event. You are never too young to start planning your retirement. I wish I would have attended one of these sessions long ago to know what to do right away to prepare for that day when you are no longer working. If you didn't get our calendar of events before school (they were emailed out), look in this newsletter for the calendar also.

We began "Red for Ed" on September 5th. Wear red on Wednesdays! More information on this soon.

Have a great year!

Debra H. Bell
Region 1 President

* Upcoming Events *
Ongoing Statewide Professional Development Calendar Available (including NBCT Jump Start Progam)


We highly recommend checking out this calendar if you haven't done so yet!

Southern Roundtable Meeting
September 17
5:00 - 7:00
Corral Bar and Riverside Grill
318 W Main St, Durand

Region 1 Board of Directors Meeting
September 19
6:30 pm
Rice Lake Office & Zoom
16 W John St

Meet and Greet
September 25
5:00 pm
Pour House, Siren
24136 WI-35

Rebuilding our Profession
A Bargaining Conference for a New Era
September 26
6:00 pm
Region 1 Rice Lake Office
16 W John St

Licensure Update
October 3
5:00 pm
Region 1 Rice Lake Office & Zoom
16 W John St

Region 1 Board of Directors Meeting
October 17
6:30 pm
Rice Lake Office & Zoom
16 W John St

Don't Be Jack
A Financial Literacy Game
October 22
Rice Lake Office
16 W John St

WEAC Professional Issues Conference
October 26-27
KI Convention Center, Green Bay


NEW! Roundtable Gatherings Expand South!

We hope you were able to take some time this summer to relax and unwind and are now looking forward to the new school year! As part of the back to school season, we are writing to invite you to enjoy some food and fellowship on Monday, September 17th, 5:00 - 7:00 pm in Durand at the Corral Bar and Grill for our first ever Southern Units Roundtable meeting.
If you are unfamiliar with the Roundtables, they were begun last year by Regional Director Josh Skubal, who worked in both Region 1 and 2, as a way for members and leaders in the northern reaches of Region 1 to get together and share ideas, concerns and gather information while having some fun and appetizers, too.
Now we want to expand the roundtables to the south with folks from all across the area. Thus, this invite to join us for a great get together!
Of course, we also want to make the roundtables worth your time and attendance for reasons other than apps, so the tentative agenda for the 17th is as follows;
  • Introductions
  • Review of 2018-2019 Programs, Offerings and Events
  • Sharing of your local plans, ideas and concerns
  • The opportunity to pick up membership materials if you haven't already done so
  • Put together a list of ideas for future roundtables that will be of interest and value to you
  • Set dates for future meetings
If you have any thoughts or requests for anything you would like to be included in the discussion on the 17th just let us know and we'll be glad to include it if possible and if you plan on attending please rsvp to so we can plan accordingly!

WEAC Region 1 Presents:
A Bargaining Conference for a New Era
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
16 W John Street
Rice Lake, WI
WEAC Region 1 Office
As educators, we are charged with saving and improving the economic status of the teaching profession in Wisconsin. High quality schools depend on high quality teachers and staff. High quality teachers and staff depend on professional level compensation. Act 10 adversely affected compensation for all teachers and support professionals statewide - and it caused many districts to impose significantly flawed systems of pay. Wisconsin educators must demand new and improved standards in pay to defend our proud tradition of high quality public schools. Join us to discuss how!
Participants Will:
      Understand the history of salary schedules and how we got to today's alternative schedules
      Discover the requirements of any professional compensation system
      Understand the ineffective and negative features of many current systems
      Review the effect on salary systems of eliminating the requirement for PDP's and graduate credits for licensure
      Learn how micro-credentials can be a part of the path to a better compensation system
And most importantly, begin the process of reviewing your own districts compensation model in comparison to state wide goals and standards and start developing a plan for ways to improve your present system now!

River Falls Hosts New Teacher Luncheon

On August 22 , the Executive Committee and Building Representatives for the River Falls Education Association hosted their annual New Hire Luncheon during the new employee in-service. As all such events do, it provided new staff with the opportunity to put a face to a name, and allowed for building reps to sit down and have a one-on-one conversation with people who will be working in their building. It also provided the opportunity to explain who the Association is, what was accomplished in the previous year, and what opportunities and plans are on deck for this year. Also in attendance were several school board members who were impressed and found the luncheon to be a very positive experience. 

Remember, these types of social gatherings don't require that you be given time during formal in-service or new hire induction time. All you need is a place and a time, and somebody to make the invitation. And don't forget - membership activity grants of up to $300 are available to help cover the costs to your local.  Find the local activity grant application HERE!


The three most important things in politics: Vote, Vote, Vote!

If you've paid any attention to the news - either statewide or nationally - it has been made more glaringly obvious than ever how much elections matter. This fall's elections are our next and best opportunity to change the direction of the nation and the state, and support for public schools. Winning elections does not happen by magic, or by wishing it happens. Elections are won when thousands of people do their small part in making it happen.

So, talk to family and friends. Let them know how important voting is and why you're voting #votepublic - in other words, in support of candidates who support public schools. Volunteer for a candidate in your area or with a statewide campaign. Check out a candidate's website to find opportunities. Send a pro-public education candidate $5 or $10. 

The point is, we can all find something we're comfortable doing that will help to make sure that after November 6th we will have elected officials who will support public schools and the people who work in them. Who believe that facts are facts and will act on them with policies designed to make everyone's lives better, rather than a select few. As Nike says, Just Do It.


The Public Believes:

Two-thirds of Americans say teachers are underpaid, and an overwhelming 78% of public school parents say they would support teachers in their community if they went on strike for more pay, according to the 2018 PDK Poll of the Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools.

Even as most Americans continue to say they have high trust and confidence in teachers, a majority also say they don't want their own children to become teachers, most often citing poor pay and benefits as the primary reason for their reluctance.

See full poll results here:

The Public is Right:

The teacher pay penalty has hit a new high.

Nationally, teachers are now paid 18.7% less than people in comparable professions. That is an increase from 17% three years ago. In Wisconsin, when accounting for all individuals with 4-year degrees, the pay gap is 22.2%. 

When you think of alternative compensation systems and their requirements, the following paragraph from the Conclusion of the EPI study is particularly interesting:

"If the policy goal is to improve the quality of the entire teaching workforce, then raising the level of teacher compensation, including wages, is critical to recruiting and retaining higher-quality teachers. Policies that solely focus on changing the composition of current compensation (e.g., merit or pay-for-performance schemes) without actually increasing compensation levels are unlikely to be effective. Simply put, improving overall teacher quality, preventing turnover, and strengthening teacher retention requires eliminating the teacher pay penalty."

By  Sylvia Allegretto and  Lawrence Mishel * September 5, 2018
Teaching the 'Hard History' Behind Today's News

By John Rosales

Staff at Green Valley Middle School in Fairfield, Calif., broke with tradition several years ago by canceling Christmas activities. No tree. No decorations. No parties. The decision was made to honor the doctrine of separation of church and state.

"Students may not have a tree anymore at the school but they do enjoy discussing world religions," says David Fulton, who teaches history and social studies at Green Valley. "I have Christians, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, and Hindus in all my classes, and they are extremely inquisitive about each other's religions."

Like Fulton, educators today teach students from a variety of ethnic, racial, religious and cultural backgrounds. Addressing sensitive issues in class, from Santa Claus to the Ku Klux Klan, is inevitable.

Did You Know?
This Month's Member Benefits Highlight
WEA Member Benefits:
This is your program

Offering retirement and investment programs, personal insurance, and financial planning services. Visit .

WEA Member Benefits is the ONLY financial organization created by Wisconsin educators for Wisconsin educators.

Created more than 45 years ago by WEAC, WEA Member Benefits helps Wisconsin public school employees and their families achieve their financial goals by providing high-quality personal insurance and retirement and investment programs.

How we're different.
  • WEAC member discounts and preferred pricing.
  • Operates as a trust that reinvests any profits back into programs that benefit participants.
  • Program oversight by a Board of Trustees made up of current and retired WEAC members.
  • Nationally recognized 403(b) program.
  • One of the highest customer retention and satisfaction rates in the industry.
This is an 11.0101 (10) (b) communication with WEAC members