December 29, 2016
Wisconsin Public Education Network Announces Full Time Executive Director
Appointment reflects strong show of statewide support for public school advocacy.
MADISON — The Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent School (WAES) Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Heather DuBois Bourenane has agreed to serve as full time Executive Director of the Wisconsin Public Education Network (WPEN) starting January 2017.
Heather DuBois Bourenane was named the part-time WPEN Coordinator in the spring of 2015; since that time, she has provided consistent leadership and skillfully supported Network partners in building their own coalitions of advocates for our Wisconsin public schools. The Board is grateful for Heather’s outstanding work thus far and the Board is excited to be able to bring her on in a full time capacity, allowing her to expand her efforts.
Her accomplishments as the WPEN Coordinator are numerous, including inaugurating a tradition of well-attended annual Summer Summits and facilitating organizer training for advocates statewide. Under her leadership, Wisconsin Public Education Network was the recipient of the 2016 Friend of Education Award from Wisconsin Education Association Council and has earned the praise and esteem of Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Evers and other decision-makers.
WAES board President Dr. Julie Underwood (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Vice President Jenni Hofschulte (Parents for Public Schools-Milwaukee) wrote, “Heather has built a place for partner organizations to collaborate and support one another in their grassroots and localized advocacy work and has grown the profile and the urgency of the work to support Wisconsin’s public schools. The Board is grateful for the passion and vision that Heather brings to the WPEN project and is excited to see what the future holds.”
DuBois Bourenane holds a BA in English and a Masters in African American and African Studies and her career includes many years of teaching and outreach experience at UW-Madison and Madison College. Her commitment to local-level action can be seen in her support for grassroots engagement in Sun Prairie. She serves as co-director of the SPARC Local Action Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that runs a snack program to help address hunger and equity issues in Sun Prairie public schools. She’s also co-founder of Support Sun Prairie Schools, an education advocacy team that recently helped ensure passage of a major referendum. Heather is deeply committed to protecting and improving Wisconsin’s public schools, and she and her husband are proud parents to two students in the Sun Prairie Area School District.
The Wisconsin Public Education Network is a project of the Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent Schools, a 501(c)(4) non-profit devoted to advocating for strong public schools. The Network is a coalition of individuals, organizations, school districts, and grassroots advocacy teams working to ensure that every child in Wisconsin has equal opportunity and equal access to an excellent public education. WAES relies on the new and continued support of Network partners, and thanks all who have made it possible to take their advocacy to the next level in hiring a full time Executive Director.
“I could not be more thrilled to accept this opportunity to expand our efforts to connect and support public education advocates around the state,” said DuBois Bourenane. “I am so inspired by the way people are standing up and speaking out at the local level in groups throughout Wisconsin in recent years. My job is to help these people get organized, get connected, get informed. By working together and amplifying our voices, we can continue to hold elected officials accountable for doing what’s right and what’s best for our kids. I can’t imagine more important or more timely work and it’s a privilege to be doing it with such amazing people. I hope others are taking notice, and will join us.”
Those who wish to connect with the Network and be part of the growing movement to support local schools are invited to visit http://WisconsinNetwork.org. To contribute to our efforts, please click on the “donate” button at the top of the page. Thank you for your continued support of our students and the public schools on which their future depends.