Sun Prairie couple – both WEAC Retired members – honored by Assembly

Pete and Terry Twedell were given the Assembly Hometown Hero Award for their contributions to the community of Sun Prairie and to all the people’s lives they have touched. Photo courtesy of the Sun Prairie Star.

Pete and Terry Twedell – both retired Sun Prairie teachers and both WEAC Region10/Retired members – were honored recently as “Hometown Heroes” by the State Assembly.

According to an article in the Sun Prairie Star, the Twedells were nominated by their State Representative, Gary Hebl (D-Sun Prairie), for their years of continued commitment to their community.

The Star said Pete Twedell was active in Sun Prairie education and athletics as a math teacher and football and basketball coach, creating a positive environment for students both academically and athletically. Terry Twedell taught elementary school and volunteered her time at numerous organizations that benefit the community.

Together as a couple, the Twedells have contributed their time and talents to bettering their community.

Read the entire article:

Sun Prairie couple honored as Hometown Heroes

Pete Twedell was active in Sun Prairie education and athletics as a math teacher and football and basketball coach, creating a positive environment for students both academically and athletically. Terry Twedell taught elementary school and volunteered her time at numerous organizations that benefit the community.

70 WEAC members earn National Board Certification

At least 70 WEAC members have earned national certification in 2017, and at least 22 more renewed their certification through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Wisconsin was among seven nationwide that increased its total National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) by more than 10 percent, according to the Department of Public Instruction. Currently, Wisconsin has 1,082 teachers who have earned the voluntary, performance-based credential. Research from across the country confirms that students taught by nationally certified teachers gain one to two months of instruction over students taught by those who do not have national certification.

“WEAC congratulates these outstanding educators who have committed themselves to making sure they are the absolute best they can be,” said WEAC President Ron Martin. “WEAC is extremely proud to play a role in helping educators achieve this tremendous honor.”

All renewal and newly certified NBCTs will receive an invitation to the WEAC pinning ceremony at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 4, at the Concourse Hotel in Madison.

Nationwide, there were 5,470 teachers who earned new certification, including a total of 126 from Wisconsin. Another 3,957 renewed their credential to bring the total number of certified teachers across the country to more than 118,000. National board certification is open to all educators who have a baccalaureate degree and three years of classroom experience in a public, private, or tribal school. The process for national certification is performance-based and peer-reviewed, requiring teachers to demonstrate advanced knowledge, skills, and practice in their subject area by completing three portfolio entries and a computer-based assessment.

In Wisconsin, newly certified teachers can request up to $2,000 to reimburse costs associated with earning national certification. These teachers can also qualify for a grant of $2,500 per year for the remainder of the five-year national certificate. The grant is doubled for teachers who work in a high-poverty school. Educators who successfully renew their certification may continue to receive annual grants from the state.

This year’s new board-certified teachers are the first to certify under the redesigned assessment, developed to be more flexible and accessible for teachers. Established in 1987, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is an independent, nonprofit organization working to advance accomplished teaching for all students. The National Board Standards and the board’s certification process are created by teachers, for teachers.

Below is a list of newly certified teachers and renewals who are WEAC members. If you have earned certification or renewed your certification this year and are a WEAC member and your name is not listed below, please let us know by emailing us at editor@weac.org and we will be sure to add your name to the list.

Newly Certified Teachers 

Adams-Friendship Area School District 

Tara Brom, Friendship Generalist/Early Childhood 

Deborah Diemert, Adams Generalist/Early Childhood 

Rebecca Grabarski, Grand Marsh Career and Technical Education/Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood 

Angela Lory, Wisconsin Rapids Generalist/Early Childhood 

Baraboo School District 

Sandra Conley, Baraboo Generalist/Middle Childhood 

Bayfield School District 

Lorie Erickson, Bayfield Exceptional Needs Specialist/Early Childhood through Young Adulthood 

Beaver Dam Unified School District 

Melissa Hemling, Beaver Dam Science/Adolescence and Young Adulthood 

D C Everest Area School District 

Mallory Foss, Wausau Exceptional Needs Specialist/Early Childhood through Young Adulthood 

Heather Theiss, Weston Exceptional Needs Specialist/Early Childhood through Young Adulthood 

Delavan-Darien School District 

Sandra Ortiz, Delavan Physical Education/Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood 

Eau Claire Area School District 

Elizabeth Duellman, Eau Claire Generalist/Middle Childhood 

Elmbrook School District 

Lisa Camponeschi, Elm Grove Science/Early Adolescence 

Amy Digman, Brookfield Generalist/Early Childhood 

Shari Gajria, Wauwatosa Science/Early Adolescence 

Laurie Horne, Brookfield Science/Early Adolescence 

Caroline Kuhnen, Pewaukee English Language Arts/Adolescence and Young Adulthood 

Germantown School District 

Greg Siegert, Jackson Physical Education/Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood 

Marin Siegert, Jackson Physical Education/Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood 

Gibraltar Area School District 

Lauren Bremer, Baileys Harbor English Language Arts/Adolescence and Young Adulthood 

Greendale School District 

Megan Faherty, Wauwatosa Social Studies-History/Adolescence and Young Adulthood 

Ben Hubing, Shorewood Social Studies-History/Adolescence and Young Adulthood 

Kristin Martens, Franklin Generalist/Middle Childhood 

Holmen School District 

Susan Ausavich, Holmen Exceptional Needs Specialist/Early Childhood through Young Adulthood 

Jamie Meidl, Onalaska Exceptional Needs Specialist/Early Childhood through Young Adulthood 

Howards Grove School District 

Dannielle Arneson, Sheboygan Falls Art/Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood 

Gary Kalk, Howards Grove Mathematics/Early Adolescence 

Janesville School District 

Lisa Fuelleman, Janesville English as a New Language/Early and Middle Childhood 

Luck School District 

Kyle Clemins, Saint Croix Falls Art/Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood 

Madison Metropolitan School District 

Wendy Samaca, Madison Generalist/Early Childhood 

Jill Taglienti, Belleville Generalist/Middle Childhood 

Mayville School District 

Jessica Stortz, Mayville Art/Early and Middle Childhood 

Milwaukee Public Schools 

Deminica Carson, Milwaukee English Language Arts/Adolescence and Young Adulthood 

Ann Christensen, Milwaukee English Language Arts/Adolescence and Young Adulthood 

Amy Daroszeski, Milwaukee English Language Arts/Adolescence and Young Adulthood 

Stephanie Heinen, Milwaukee Exceptional Needs Specialist/Early Childhood through Young Adulthood 

Kelli Hook, Milwaukee English as a New Language/Early and Middle Childhood 

Elizabeth Howland, West Bend Exceptional Needs Specialist/Early Childhood through Young Adulthood 

Patti Koscielak, Milwaukee Generalist/Middle Childhood 

Brenda Mikell, Milwaukee School Counseling/Early Childhood through Young Adulthood 

Patricia Rian, Milwaukee Mathematics/Early Adolescence 

Nicole Seiler, Milwaukee English Language Arts/Adolescence and Young Adulthood 

Melissa Tempel, Milwaukee Generalist/Early Childhood 

New London School District 

Melissa Anderson, Clintonville Generalist/Middle Childhood 

Oconomowoc Area School District 

Ashley Bestor, Oconomowoc Generalist/Middle Childhood 

Racine Unified School District

Jennifer Humphreys, Racine Social Studies-History/Adolescence and Young Adulthood 

Lauren Kell, Lake Mills Generalist/Early Childhood 

Sarah Roth, Racine English Language Arts/Adolescence and Young Adulthood 

Joshua Sherman, Racine Music/Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood 

Reedsburg School District 

Brenda Bestor, La Valle Mathematics/Adolescence and Young Adulthood 

Stephanie Kroeger, Rock Springs Exceptional Needs Specialist/Early Childhood through Young Adulthood 

Cheryl Warming, Baraboo Exceptional Needs Specialist/Early Childhood through Young Adulthood 

Ripon Area School District 

Tanya Monet-Bakken, Fond du Lac Science/Adolescence and Young Adulthood 

Sheboygan Area School District 

Stacy Wetzel, Sheboygan Exceptional Needs Specialist/Early Childhood through Young Adulthood 

South Milwaukee School District 

Amy Altamirano, Cudahy World Languages/Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood 

Stevens Point Area Public School District 

Laura Leahy, Stevens Point Mathematics/Early Adolescence 

Sun Prairie Area School District 

Bridgette Baldwin, Madison Generalist/Early Childhood 

Jami Dugan, Sun Prairie Generalist/Early Childhood 

Verona Area School District 

Julie Berndt, Madison Social Studies-History/Adolescence and Young Adulthood 

Melissa Bremmer, Verona Music/Early and Middle Childhood 

Debra Breunig, Verona English Language Arts/Adolescence and Young Adulthood 

Amy Cartwright, Verona English as a New Language/Early and Middle Childhood 

Angela Davis, Madison Generalist/Early Childhood 

Elizabeth Folberg, Madison English as a New Language/Early and Middle Childhood 

Sarah Greenlaw, Verona Exceptional Needs Specialist/Early Childhood through Young Adulthood 

Kabby Hong, Madison English Language Arts/Adolescence and Young Adulthood 

Stephanie Symes, Madison English Language Arts/Early Adolescence 

Teresa Voss, Verona Library Media/Early Childhood through Young Adulthood 

Washburn School District 

Elizabeth Reed, Washburn World Languages/Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood 

Whitefish Bay School District 

Jessica Wintheiser, Whitefish Bay Generalist/Early Childhood 

Wisconsin Rapids School District 

Teri Thomas, Wisconsin Rapids Generalist/Early Childhood 

Recertified Teachers 

Adams-Friendship Area School District 

Linda Ruhland-Stage Exceptional Needs Specialist/Early Childhood through Young Adulthood 

Ashwaubenon School District 

Gina Jones Social Studies-History/Early Adolescence 

East Troy Community School District 

Kristin Michalski Science/Adolescence and Young Adulthood 

Eau Claire Area School District 

Tricia Helms Generalist/Early Childhood 

Ellsworth Community School District 

Michelle Krajacic English Language Arts/Adolescence and Young Adulthood 

Elmbrook School District 

Jenifer Berthold Literacy: Reading-Language Arts/Early and Middle Childhood 

Kiel Area School District 

Jessica Gruenke Exceptional Needs Specialist/Early Childhood through Young Adulthood 

Madison Metropolitan School District 

Jill Cohan Generalist/Middle Childhood 

Evan Gnam Mathematics/Adolescence and Young Adulthood 

Laura Godfrey Mathematics/Early Adolescence 

Manitowoc Public School District 

Rachael George Social Studies-History/Adolescence and Young Adulthood 

Tammy Hyler Exceptional Needs Specialist/Early Childhood through Young Adulthood 

Carl Sieracki Social Studies-History/Adolescence and Young Adulthood 

Deanne Stokes English Language Arts/Adolescence and Young Adulthood 

Merrill Area Public School District 

Scott Mackin Literacy: Reading-Language Arts/Early and Middle Childhood 

Milwaukee Public Schools 

Jessica Apitz Exceptional Needs Specialist/Early Childhood through Young Adulthood 

Kristi Hepp Generalist/Middle Childhood 

Lori Huebner Avila English Language Arts/Adolescence and Young Adulthood 

Oak Creek-Franklin Joint School District 

Emily Barczak Music/Early and Middle Childhood 

Waukesha School District 

Amanda Desua School Counseling/Early Childhood through Young Adulthood 

Boyd Roessler Generalist/Middle Childhood 

Wisconsin Dells School District 

Michael Michalsky English Language Arts/Adolescence and Young Adulthood 

Read the DPI news release, with the list of all new certified teachers and renewals.

 

More teachers pursuing National Board Certification, many with WEAC’s help

More teachers are earning National Board Certification, and in Wisconsin many are using resources provided by WEAC to help them achieve this honor. Three members of WEAC and Madison Teachers Inc. are featured in an article in the Wisconsin State Journal highlighting their journey to National Board Certification and discussing how they used monthly workshops and other support offered by their union to get the guidance they needed along the way.

“By providing the support, we promote this and let them know there is support available to achieve that,” said Doug Keillor, executive director of MTI.

Lyman Elliott, National Board Certified Candidate Support Provider at WEAC,  is quoted in the story as saying that although the National Board process is still “elaborate,” it was recently reworked, possibly leading to more interest.

Elizabeth Folberg, a teacher of English language learners at Stoner Prairie Elementary School, said she went through the challenging National Board process because she feels, “I owe it to my students and families.”

Sarah Greenlaw, a special-education teacher in Verona, referred to the certification process as “grueling” but told the Wisconsin State Journal she found the WEAC workshops “invaluable.”

Click here to find out more about WEAC’s National Board Certification resources.

Read the entire article:

More teachers pursuing national board certification

VERONA – Elizabeth Folberg, a teacher of English language learners at Stoner Prairie Elementary School, had looked into obtaining her National Board Certification 15 to 20 years ago. But she had just started working as a foreign language teacher in Ohio and had not been teaching for three years in the same role and in the same school, which was required, and then she wound up moving around some.

Roger King of Holmen wins $5,000 NEA Foundation Grant

Roger King

Holmen High School agriscience teacher Roger King has received a $5,000 Student Achievement/Learning and Leadership grant from the NEA Foundation. The award, King said, will be used to help Holmen High School educators learn how to instruct farm-to-school techniques in a number of settings.

In his application, King said, “Educators will become familiar with greenhouse labs, outdoor gardens, and offsite farms, which they will use to provide students context for math and science concepts through the observation of food production. The project will create a learning environment that fosters the development of meaningful collaboration and problem-solving as students produce food for the school lunch program.”

King was Wisconsin’s 2015 High School Teacher of the Year and our representative to the National Teacher of the Year program.

Nationwide, the NEA Foundation is awarding 30 grants to NEA members across 22 states for a total of $123,000.

“With these grants, we are supporting educator-driven solutions that contribute to improved student performance in public schools,” said Harriet Sanford, president and CEO of the NEA Foundation. “Our support enables educators to engage in a wide variety of innovative approaches to the benefit of students across the country.”

The NEA Foundation awards two levels of grant funding, $2,000 or $5,000, for two categories of grants to public education professionals: Student Achievement Grants for initiatives to improve academic achievement, and Learning and Leadership Grants for high-quality educational professional development activities.

A team of 20 educators, many former grantees, carefully reviewed all applications and evaluated each one against a set of criteria. Funded educator grants were selected for the quality of the grant proposal ideas and their potential for enhancing student achievement.

Over the past decade, the NEA Foundation has invested more than $7.1 million in teaching grants to support the work of almost 4,500 educators from every state in the country to help students succeed. Each year, the Foundation awards approximately 150 Student Achievement and Learning and Leadership Grants. To learn about these educators’ projects, visit the NEA Foundation’s Grantee Archive. Search for grantees and projects by most recent, grade level, subject, state, or keyword.

The NEA Foundation awards its grants to educators three times a year. Grants are available for NEA members only, and the next education grant deadline is February 1, 2017. Application forms and a video with step-by-step instructions on how to apply can be found in the Grants to Educators section of the NEA Foundation website.

 ABOUT THE NEA FOUNDATION

The NEA Foundation is a public charity supported by contributions from educators’ dues, corporate sponsors, and others. The NEA Foundation supports student success by helping public school educators work with key partners to build strong systems of shared responsibility. Visit www.neafoundation.org for more information.

Spotlight on Locals: Tomahawk Education Association

WEAC Vice President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen presents Ann Swenty, Tomahawk EA Co-President, and Jon Marin, Tomahawk EA Treasurer, with a certificate recognizing them as a strong local affiliate.

By Peggy Wirtz-Olsen, WEAC Vice President

I interviewed Co-President Ann Swenty from the Tomahawk Education Association to ask her how her local has maintained strength holding steady with a membership of 77 teachers of their 100 teachers on staff.

“First and foremost, you must have a strong leadership team,” Ann told me. She credited her long-time treasurer Jon Marin for his “conscientious dedication to the union” and Angie McPherson, their local secretary, for her follow-through. “Angie gets things done, and she is always a voice for our members.”

Ann also discussed the local’s decision to switch to a Co-President team, training Allison Shantz to take the reins when Ann steps down. Allison has been teaching in Tomahawk for just a few years and was eager to not only join the mission of the local but to become a leader.

Tomahawk EA has a structure that trains building representatives to be leaders who are informed about policy and legislation that will affect them. Ann said it is part of the mission of their local to develop new members because no one will teach forever. If we can involve our new hires in the work of our local, our future will stay strong.

Ann also discussed local visibility as a key factor in their strength. She discussed how the local needs to be engaged in conversations with colleagues about their work. Ann also mentioned that the Tomahawk EA still meets regularly, one time a month, to discuss what’s happening. The leaders and members know that our union meeting is a place to discuss needs in their classrooms and their school buildings. The members know the regular meeting schedule, which is clearly publicized and shared with them, starting at the opening day luncheon for all teachers, hosted by the Tomahawk EA.  Even if the meeting only lasts 10-20 minutes, it’s a place for listening and information-sharing.

As part of their push for additional visibility in their tight-knit community, the Tomahawk EA launched a shop local campaign this past Fall. Each member of the Tomahawk EA has a card offering special deals to their members. Ann said that teachers are leaders in her community, with many serving as members of their churches and local boards. She said that she is often reminded when shopping locally when business owners say, “Where’s your card?” In this small community, they recognize Ann as a teacher and a supporter of their community.

Finally, Ann discussed the need for unity to maintain strength in her local. She cited the network of other leaders within both the region and the state that she and her fellow leaders can rely on for training and support, noting that leaders of the Tomahawk EA attended the WEAC Summer Leadership Academy this past summer at UW-Eau Claire to connect and broaden their network and to offer further training to Allison, her Co-President.

Ann encourages others who are struggling to reach out and to not go it alone. Ann said it is difficult to do this work as an educator with a full plate, but the support of her colleagues in her local, region, and state keep her going every day to be her best for her students.

WEAC member E-Ben Grisby ‘is not afraid to speak up where there is injustice’

Green Bay teacher E-Ben Grisby, an active member of WEAC and the Green Bay Education Association, is the subject of an Appleton Post-Crescent article about his work to “embrace the broad spectrum of diversity in the Fox Cities.”

“E-Ben’s life has been rich with experiences, which he readily shares with us, which give us perspective,” said Jody Harrell, who serves with Grisby at Celebrate Diversity Fox Cities. “He is not afraid to speak up where there is injustice and is willing to do something to help change happen. We appreciate his gifts, and all benefit from his wisdom and actions.”

Grisby, a special education teacher at Green Bay West High School who lives in Appleton, regularly attends WEAC events, and serves as Vice-Chair of the WEAC Human and Civil Rights Committee. At GBEA, he is an Executive Board Member at Large and serves on the Internal Communication Committee.

According to the Post-Crescent article:

Celebrate Diversity works with local school districts, government agencies and police departments, provides book talks at the public library and hosts celebrations such as a community picnic.

“We work in partnership with other groups and let you know we are there to work alongside other groups to make sure this is a much more livable community in the Fox Cities,” said Grisby.

Read the entire article:

Appleton’s Grisby embraces dialogue on diversity, outreach

Whether at a board meeting, a cook out or a community event, E-Ben Grisby of Appleton is ready to work with others to help them embrace the broad spectrum of diversity in the Fox Cities. “E-Ben’s life has been rich with experiences, which he readily shares with us, which give us perspective,” said Jody Harrell, who serves with Grisby at Celebrate Diversity Fox Cities.

‘365 Artists 365 Days Project’ connects students with artists across the globe

The 365 Artists 365 Days Project – created by WEAC Region 3 member Frank Juarez of Sheboygan North High School – highlights contemporary artists from across the globe through an online interview platform. Since its inception in 2014, it has introduced artists on a daily basis via online and social media. To date, the 365 Artists 365 Days Project has featured over 700+ artists working in various media, processes, and studio practices.

Juarez has shared the story of his success with the 365 Artists 365 Days Project in a column distributed by the Department of Public Instruction via its ConnectEd newsletter.

Juarez, who was selected as the 2015 Wisconsin Art Educator of the Year by the Wisconsin Art Education Association, is an art teacher at Sheboygan North High School and is a committed and involved advocate for the arts and arts education. He is a member of the Sheboygan Education Association and WEAC Region 3. Juarez serves as the Sheboygan Area School District Art Department Chair, a North High School Learning Leader, a Professional Development Plan reviewer and the Secondary-level Art Liaison. He has established an Artist-in-Residence program at North High School, created the North High School Art Gallery, and is the co-advisor of the North High Art Club.

He also has been featured by WEAC in our public relations campaigns for his dedication to opening art to all students.

Read more in DPI ConnectEd newsletter:

DIY Gallery: A Deeper Look into the 365 Artists 365 Days Project

In 2014, I created a project called the 365 Artists 365 Days Project. The project highlights contemporary artists from across the globe through an online interview platform. Since its inception in 2014, it has introduced an artist on a daily basis through online and social media.

 

 

Kay McLain of Florence is named Wisconsin Rural School Teacher of the Year

Florence County High School business education teacher Kay McLain, a member of the Florence County Education Association and WEAC Region 3, has been named the 2017 Rural School Teacher of the Year by the Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance (WiRSA).

The award was presented at WiRSA’s annual conference in Wisconsin Dells. WiRSA annually recognizes one rural teacher statewide who makes significant contributions to their school district, most importantly to the students they serve. McLain is automatically a semifinalist for the National Monsanto Fund Rural Teacher of the Year competition sponsored by the National Rural Education Association.

McLain was nominated by Florence School District Administrator Ben Niehaus who said she far exceeds criteria for the award. “This award acknowledges the devotion of Kay, along with her supporting colleagues, to never be satisfied with the status quo in the interest of student success and opportunities. The persistence of Kay’s leadership is contagious throughout the high school,” Niehaus said.

Appleton’s A-Tech program provides unique career training opportunities for students

Paul Lindberg

The Appleton Technical Academy, or A-Tech, a public charter school operated by the Appleton Area School District within Appleton West High School, is providing unique career training opportunities for students interested in manufacturing, according to an article in the Appleton Post-Crescent.

The article includes an interview with Paul Lindberg, a WEAC Region 3 member and lead instructor at A-Tech, which has 76 students in grades 9 through 12. Students can pursue tracks in welding, machining, automated manufacturing and mechanical design.

Lindberg said the  tracks were determined by the governing board made up of local business leaders in the manufacturing field and Fox Valley Technical College, and are the career areas with the most jobs and the most need.

According to the Post-Crescent article:

Lindberg described the program as a “gradual release” into A-Tech classes. As freshmen, students spend two hours in A-Tech a day during which they get a broad sense of the topics covered. Sophomores are in A-Tech all but one hour, which is devoted to life science. By the time they’re juniors and seniors, if the students have done well in classes and don’t have another commitment like band or a foreign language, they’re fully immersed in A-Tech.

Read the entire article:

Appleton high school students learn by doing manufacturing jobs

CLOSE APPLETON – Grace Dempsey sees a direct relationship between her schoolwork and the path she’ll take in her future career. The 16-year-old high school junior has learned to work with lathes and mills, read blueprints and calculate exact measurements.

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Appleton’s Marcia Engen to receive education leadership award

Retired Appleton educator Marcia Engen will be honored this week as recipient of the tenth annual Thomas G. Scullen Leadership Award, the Appleton Education Foundation has announced. Engen is a longtime active WEAC member and currently a member of WEAC Retired/Region 10.

The Appleton Post-Crescent quotes Carol Lenz, a member of the Fox Cities Advocates for Public Education who nominated Engen for the award, as describing Engen as a tireless advocate for public education.

The Post-Crescent quotes Engen as saying: “It is so much fun to be involved with the Fox Cities Advocates because they also have strong public education outlooks and that’s what I am drawing great strength from -—being part of a group that is so committed to a long-held quality service that the state of Wisconsin has provided for its young people.”

It continues:

Engen said the state and national push for vouchers “is part of a broader effort to privatize education,” which motivates her to keep advocating for public schools.

“No one is ever excluded from a public school … and I believe common schools that were the vision of our state constitution have provided all of us with an opportunity to serve our communities and our public schools,” she said.

Read the entire Post-Crescent article:

Engen receives Scullen Award for education advocacy

APPLETON – Marcia Engen, a retired educator and public education advocate, will receive the tenth annual Thomas G. Scullen Leadership Award on Wednesday, the Appleton Education Foundation announced. Engen, of Appleton, is a tireless advocate for public education who always jumps in to help, said Carol Lenz, a member of the Fox Cities Advocates for Public Education.