Let’s Get the Party Started

I hope your summer has been relaxing, enjoyable, and filled with the things you love to do. I am happy that I have been able to spend time with my niece and enjoy the outdoors—two things I don’t do nearly enough of during the school year.

For me, this summer has been unlike any other because it has been filled with thoughts about and planning for the beginning of my term as president of WEAC Region 6. I have been active in my union since I started teaching 11 years ago, but this is a new, exciting role for me, and I can’t wait to get started.

One thing I already know is that Region 6 is strong and getting stronger. You should be proud of the organization you have helped build over the last three years through your membership and activism. Our recommendations in school board and referendum elections carry a lot of weight, and we win an overwhelming majority of them. We routinely garner more than 90 percent of the votes in recertification and certification elections. Reporters call us regularly to ask for the professional educators’ perspective on important issues. Region 6 locals have input and influence when it comes to their school districts’ policies, to the great benefit of students, staff and entire communities.

I hope that you are able to become even more involved with your local and with our region as the year continues. You will have many opportunities to work with the union to develop professionally, become more active in your community, make new friends, and have new experiences, including:

  • National Board of Professional Teaching Standards workshops and planning
  • Effective Educator, Professional Development Plan and mentoring assistance
  • Grant writing training and opportunities
  • Social and community events
  • Social justice action
  • New teacher meetings
  • Personal finance and student loan forgiveness workshops

Our political action committee (PAC) will continue to be highly active in elections and policy at every level. The PAC keeps us informed on pending or approaching legislation and what it means for students, families, and educators. The committee also helps with local referendum elections and candidate screenings. Be sure to watch your mail, email, social media, and Region6.weac.org for more information about what is at stake and what you can do.

Our plan for the future calls for even more local outreach from Region 6 officers. Expect to see us in your local, and be ready to tell us what the union can do for you and your colleagues. Use Region6.weac.org, and the Region 6 Facebook page and Twitter feed to learn about upcoming union events. Then add the events to your own calendar and sign up to join us.

On October 14, you and your family are personally invited to the first annual Region 6 back-to-school party at the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison! We are hosting a family day. Stop in under Region 6’s big tent any time on this day for face painting and children’s activities, ice cream treats, and tokens to ride the carousel and zoo train.

Every year, Region 6 participates in Labor Day events in Madison and Janesville. This year, we would love for you to join us in the parade in Janesville and at the festivities at the Labor Temple in Madison.

Our union is its strongest when the leaders and staff know what you are thinking and you know what we are doing. I look forward to seeing you and your colleagues in your local and at Region 6 events throughout the upcoming school year. Please do not hesitate to email me at kirahzeilinger@gmail.com, or call the Region 6 office at 1-800-397-2287, with questions, concerns and suggestions. I’m excited to hear from you.

In Solidarity,
Kirah Zeilinger
WEAC Region 6 President-elect