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Wisconsin Public Education Network: Jennifer Black Announced as 2022 Changemaker of the Year

The Wisconsin Public Education Network announced Jennifer Black as its 2022 Changemaker of the Year at its eighth annual Summer Summit on July 21.

Jennifer Black is a public school guardian and advocate in Tomahawk, Wisconsin, a small city in Lincoln County between Wausau and Rhinelander. With her alma mater’s school district’s budget tight and two ballot efforts slightly unsuccessful, Jenn formed a regional advisory board, Tomahawk School District’s Champions, to support a notable referendum effort in the spring of 2022. Founded and chaired. A member of the corporate, educators union, school administrators, professionals, and board members, Jen has educated communities, brought them together to support public schools, and won the largest election in Tomahawk history in a non-presidential election. We were able to pass the latest referendum with voter turnout. This effort under Jen’s leadership was a tremendous show of support for public schools in rural Wisconsin.

“There is no amount of money that can be invested in the efforts and values ​​of Jen Black’s advocacy for our public schools, our children and our communities,” said Tomahawk Board of Education member Deb Bellew. Jen has an amazing ability to reach out to all types of mindsets and perspectives and have a mutual understanding of the needs of our school district and our students. I am also blessed with the community.”

Jen Black says: And when schools thrive, communities thrive. “

Denise Gaumer Hutchison, Northeast Regional Organizer of the Wisconsin Public Education Network and a close follower of the Champions of Tomahawk Public Schools work, applauded the 2022 Changemaker of the Year selection. She didn’t shy away from difficult conversations and was happy to discuss all factions of the community and the importance of supporting strong public schools. “

Black added:[One] What I am most proud of, and what I believe other champions across Wisconsin can do to achieve similar goals, is our continued focus on the nonpartisan nature of our education. Children should not be pawns or traders in political warfare. “

Jennifer Black is the fourth recipient of this annual award that recognizes local advocates who make a transformative impact on students and their public schools. Past winners are Chris Hambuch-Boyle (2019, Eau Claire), Tara LeRoy (2020, Palmyra-Eagle) and Martha Siravo (2021, Madison).

Jennifer Black Selected from a group of nine finalists who are brave enough to help students across the state. Read about the other finalists in paraphrased excerpts from the nominators below.

Diana Delbecchi, Green Bay

Community School Coordinator, Green Bay Area Public School District

Diana works tirelessly for the children and families of her school, including writing grants, coordinating student community projects, and building community partnerships. She works many hours to provide her children with experiences that families cannot.

Andrea Gumbel, Saint Prairie

Educator, Sun Prairie Area School District

Andrea strives to make her classroom a welcoming place for all students. She is intentional in everything she does to support diversity, inclusion, equity and social-emotional learning. We customize curricula, stay on top of best practices, and build meaningful connections with students and families.

Mike Jones, Madison

President, Madison Teachers Incorporated

Mike takes an active role in supporting students, teachers and communities and goes above and beyond to bring people together and uplift. have sought to work together to support Everything he does is uplifting and working to create real change.

Christopher Jorgenson, Eau Claire

UW-Eau Claire Director of Gender and Sexuality Resource Center

Chris has provided powerful insight and guidance to Eau Claire Area School District staff on issues of equity and diversity that have challenged and strengthened teacher practice. Throughout his difficult year, he has courageously supported teachers who work to support their students.

Ray Mendes, Madison

Disability Advocates and Parents of Madison Metropolitan School District

Ray is passionate about bringing special education issues to the public and networking with leaders and community members. He works to transform Madison’s language into equity, access, and inclusion, and is an innovative advocate for the community.

Megan Miller, Beloit

Vice President, Beloit School Board

Megan is in her second term at the Beloit School Board school district. She is a lifelong advocate for public education as a teacher, parent, and board member. Megan remains positive and a voice for public schools, students, and educators in the face of powerful challenges and opposition.

Tim Nordin, O Claire

Eau Claire Area Board of Education President

Tim has served as president of the Eau Claire School District School Board during difficult times and continues to provide leadership in providing the best possible service to all students. Leads equity efforts with board members, including Tim is committed to serving all ECASD children.

Sendy Tena, Milwaukee

Co-Executive Director, Leaders Igniting Transformation (LIT)

Sendy has been a strong advocate of public education for years. As the Organizational Director of Leaders Igniting Transformation, Cendi led her LIT organizers and student chapters at Milwaukee Public High Schools to transform the culture of MPS and redefine safety. Her efforts end the school-to-prison/deportation pipeline, move beyond failed practices, and invest in making public schools a place where all students grow and feel supported. It was an important step.

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