New WEAC President wants to raise level of respect for the education professions


Eau Claire teacher Ron Martin, who takes over as WEAC President on Monday, feels strongly that we must restore respect to the education professions and create an environment that makes young people want to become educators.

“We have to figure out ways to encourage people to go in the profession and bring people back to what is an admirable profession,” Martin said in an interview this week with WISC News. He said it’s also important to lift up school support staff – paraprofessionals, bus drivers, secretaries, cooks and others – who are an extremely valuable part to everyday school life.

Martin, a social studies teacher and former president of the Eau Claire Association of Educators, has been an educator for more than 20 years. He succeeds Racine teacher Betsy Kippers, who is retiring. Marshfield High School English teacher Peggy Wirtz-Olsen will take over Monday as WEAC Vice President, a position held by Martin for the last three years.

Martin is a longtime student council advisor for Eau Claire’s South Middle School and was the Altoona High School head volleyball coach for more than a decade as well an advisor for the Where Everybody Belongs orientation program for sixth-graders.

He has directed faith-based youth programs and ministries was a member of the Board of Directors for the Greater Eau Claire United Way. He has been the president of the Eau Claire Patriotic Council for over a decade, spearheading Memorial Day celebrations and more in the area.

When he was elected WEAC President at the WEAC Representative Assembly this spring, Martin told delegates he is honored to be elected WEAC President.

“Like you I believe wholeheartedly in the profession and what we do,” he said. “I believe in our union and the power we have to transform public education and to continue to serve as its guardians.

“I truly believe our organization will be a new exciting organization that represents the voices of tens of thousands of educators all across this state. We will be known all over this state as the premiere association of educators who advocate for a diverse democratic society and quality public education. We will be known by educators as the union that promotes and advances professional practice, personal growth, as well as the economic welfare and rights of our members.”

Read the entire WISC News article:

WEAC head learns some lessons in Mauston

It’s no secret that Wisconsin, like many states in the nation, is facing a teacher shortage. Ron Martin, the Eau Claire Middle School teacher set to take over as the president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC) Aug. 1, wants to help – and he received some inspiration from a Juneau County teacher.

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