EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR UPDATE - Alan Burke May 2022

The WSSR-Foundation Trustees and the WSSRA Scholarship committee are scheduled to begin a series of meetings in May and June to review current scholarship procedures.  The goal is to have a draft set of recommendations for the Executive Board to consider at its August meeting. The past few years the number of applications for the high school and Neil Prescott (student teacher) scholarships have dropped significantly—even to the point where we are “leaving money on the table” in not awarding grants in multiple districts.  It is of vital importance for our organization to work closely with high school counselors and career center leads, plus key communicators in college financial aid offices, to get the word out about these valuable awards. Hopefully, refining and simplifying the application process will help.  

The 2022 WSSRA Convention is set for September 12-14 at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound.  Fortunately, it appears that most COVID worries are behind us, making a safe, on-site convention possible.  For the first time in three years, we are looking forward to getting together in person and setting the stage for a strong post-COVID WSSRA year in 2022-23.  To assure that leadership changes and budget approval is done before the end of our fiscal year on June 30, mail-in ballots will be distributed to convention delegates this month.  Also, without needing to schedule a live delegate assembly in September, this year’s convention will feature additional keynotes and breakout sessions.

As always, thanks for your ongoing advocacy support. The legislative session ended successfully on March 10.  See Peter Diedrick’s session summary posted under the legislative tab for the latest from Olympia. For now, work begins on establishing legislative priorities for the 2023 session, choosing legislative candidates for endorsement, and contacting legislators to assure their support of our longstanding pension and health care objectives. Specifically, we will be asking for retirees to contact members of the Select Committee on Pension Policy as that group meets during the summer and fall to review pension matters.

Alan Burke, Executive Director