Rural Advocacy Award

The Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance (WiRSA) Board of Directors established this award to recognize an individual educator, legislator, business/industry leader or community leader in Wisconsin who has devoted significant time and contributed substantial effort to strengthen and preserve rural schools in Wisconsin.

To be nominated you must be an individual educator, legislator, business/industry leader or community leader in Wisconsin.

Award winners will be selected by the WiRSA Board of Directors Executive Committee.

2016 Rural Advocacy Award Winner


Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance (WiRSA)

2016 Rural Advocacy Award Winner 

JAM Academic Cooperative |

JAM Academic Cooperative was honored by the Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance (WiRSA), a non-profit organization that is dedicated to helping address challenges faced by rural school districts, at the annual Rural Schools Conference on November 10, 2016.

The JAM Academic Cooperative is a cooperative between the school districts of Juda, Albany and Monticello. JAM has turned the challenges facing many small districts into incredible opportunities for students by leveraging the power of technology, innovation and collaboration. “Rural collaboration creating endless opportunities” is a simple but powerful mission statement that guided these districts since its founding.

Beginning in 2012 a robust partnership with the Wisconsin Technology Initiative truly transformed teaching and learning for JAM with the deployment of real-time, interactive video technology. The Telepresence platform is used to share classes with other districts and institutions of higher learning. JAM schools had previously discussed sharing classes and instructors with each other, but the obstacle of putting students and/or instructors on the road was a constant obstacle. All three districts shared a commitment to offering a variety of higher level and dual credit courses to better prepare our students, but we could not accomplish this individually considering the limitations of staff certifications and declining enrollment. Telepresence technology changed all of that and cleared the way for innovation, collaboration and exponential growth. JAM went from offering one AP or dual credit course in 2010 to ten in 2015-16

The Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance 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.  Members include a cross-section of administrators, educators, school board members, post-secondary representatives, rural community members, business leaders, and other concerned individuals who want a strong voice for rural education.