About the Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance
The Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance (WiRSA) is more than our state’s heritage; it’s home to almost 44% of the state’s 860,000 public school students. Rural schools share the same responsibility to the community as their suburban counterparts—to prepare all students for successful futures in a globally competitive marketplace.
WiRSA was formed to help rural school districts address the unique issues that affect rural schools as they seek to achieve the highest quality education for every student. Our members include a cross section of educators, school board members, rural community members, business leaders and other concerned individuals who want a strong voice for rural schools.
WiRSA strives to meet the unique needs of rural schools throughout the state. As such, our site is designed to be a central source for news, events and pertinent resources related to the issues faced by rural educators.
Supported by the Wisconsin Cooperative Education Services Agency (CESA) districts, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, the UW System and rural school districts, our aim is to continually enhance and improve rural school education.
President — Ben Niehaus, District Administrator, Florence
President Elect — Chuck Keller, Weston
President — Robert Smudde, Dodgeville
Treasurer — Jerry Walters, Agency Administrator, CESA 11
Board of Directors
- Bobbi Damrow – Technical College Representative
- Jeremy Biehl – Agency Administrator, CESA 5
- Diana Bohman, Regional Library Representative
- Cheryl Gullicksrud – Agency Administrator, CESA 4
- Jeff Hicken – Agriculture Consultant, DPI
- Bob Houts – District Administrator, Owen-Withee
- Ken Kasinski – Agency Administrator, CESA 12
- Chuck Keller – Social Studies Teacher, Weston/CESA 3
- Julie Kodl – Business Education Teacher, Owen-Withee
- Valorie Kulesa – Board Member, Gilman
- Leah Luke – Spanish Teacher, Mauston
- Kay McLain – CTE Teacher, Florence
- Ben Niehaus – District Administrator, Florence
- Rick Pedretti – Board Member, De Soto
- Fred Reckling – Board Member, Portage
- Gail Saari – Board Member, Maple
- Robert Smudde – Dodgeville
- Patricia Vickman – District Administrator, Southern Door
- Jerry Walters – Agency Administrator, CESA 11
- Fred Yeo – Retired Dean of Education, UW-Oshkosh