WSST Elected Positions
President-Elect: Jay Gullickson
I have been teaching science to 6th, 7th and 8th graders for 28 years - all in the Whitnall School District. As an elementary education major with minors in business and history, I found myself teaching two sections of 8th grade physical science in my second year. I was instantly engaged with the content! I try each year to convey that spark of passion to my students. As the world around us constantly changes, teachers and students must interact with the content in a more dynamic way. As we all know, change isn’t always easy, but when change is purposeful, the extra work is worthwhile, but it is exhausting! We, as educators, are being looked at to do more with less, so networking can be your best friend! My involvement with WSST as the District 7 director has provided me statewide connections and resources, allowing me to engage in worthwhile learning opportunities for myself, as well as my students. Ideally, every teacher in the state should be made aware of WSST and the incredible opportunities it provides for science teachers statewide. By increasing interest in our organization and forming partnerships with higher education institutions and corporations in the state, the quality of science teaching in Wisconsin will benefit. One of my strongest pushes will be getting elementary teachers to become more involved in WSST, helping them to explore ways of teaching science in their busy daily schedules, and provide them with access to content experts and quality resources to bring to their classrooms. My 8th grade students see the way that literacy and math skills are being integrated into 3-dimensional science classes - so why not make that connection state-wide in K-5 classrooms and include it on the state report card alongside math and literacy? This, in my mind, would be the best way to prioritize science in ALL classrooms, pushing Wisconsin to the forefront of science education in the United States, while helping to best prepare a STEM workforce to move the great state of Wisconsin... “Forward!”
Secretary: Stephaine Baker
I have served on the WSST board as secretary for the past year and I have really enjoyed it. WSST has long served as an advocate for science education and I hope to contribute to positive changes and maintenance of science education in the state of Wisconsin by serving as secretary. I would like to give something back to an organization that has helped me increase my content knowledge, improve my methods, and meet many positive energetic professional teachers, etc. I have multiple teaching experiences in grades K-8 ranging from urban settings in Knoxville, TN, and La Crosse, WI, to rural Wisconsin that will help me relate/help WSST continue to help science teachers. I believe that being a member of WSST is valuable because it allows greater access to teaching resources, including convention sessions, professional development opportunities, and other teachers who can share their ideas.
District 2 Director: Brad Wysocki
WSST is for teachers and by teachers. The strength of this organization is all of the amazing people that we have included in it. When you put a group of educators together it can be said that “the answer is in the room.” You know this is absolutely true with WSST if you have ever attended the conference or other events. I want to continue to see WSST grow as a place for science teachers to turn to when they are looking for answers, need help or motivation, or when they want to share and show off the amazing work that they do every single day in their classrooms across the state.
District 3 Director: Dennis Rohr
I am the teacher I am today because of 3 things: My wife Janice, who is an amazing Head Start teacher who has a heart of gold and we continually share with each other our daily classroom trials and tribulations, my fellow teachers through the years whom I have borrowed and modeled their best techniques, and all of my many experiences through my involvement in WSST. My first WSST Conference was in 1991 in Stevens Point where I had just graduated from UWSP the previous year. It was there that I learned about Earth Science Resources Associates led by Leroy Lee, and my involvement as the result of WSST has been an amazing adventure ever since. WSST has allowed me to meet amazing people to build incredible connections and friendships, learn about the latest advancements and teaching techniques in science, and experience many once in-a-lifetime adventures. Here are some highlights: 1993 Science World for Teachers; Larry Scheckel’s summer “make and take” in Shawano in 1992 and 1993; presenting at WSST conferences since the early 90’s; Space Education Initiatives from 2003-2007 where we visited and met with NASA scientists at JPL, Goddard, APL, Kennedy, and Johnson space flight centers; being awarded numerous student research grants including a national 2007 Toyota TAPESTRY Large grant for Local Groundwater Research (where our data discovered previously unknown strontium deposit in central Brown County that has the highest known concentrations in the state); 2013 Science Futures; 2017 DPI Earth Science Curriculum writing team; serving on each WSST Conference planning committee since 2014; WESTA Committee Chairperson since 2016; and leading Field Experiences in Wisconsin Earth Science for Teachers since 2016.
WSST is an organization comprised of dedicated volunteers providing professional development opportunities and experiences for teachers across the state. I wouldn’t be the teacher I am today without my many experiences and opportunities through WSST. I feel it is imperative for WSST to improve its offerings of professional development opportunities for teachers from throughout the state, especially those that are at small rural schools who do not have other science teachers who are there to bounce ideas off of in person. WSST must make every effort to continue to make connections of science teachers from every district to improve science education across the state. With your help, it is my mission to continue to give back, and to take on a higher leadership role in WSST.