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A Letter From the President: August 2015

Providing access to quality education to all students, regardless of race, gender, socioeconomic class or zip code, is one of the most important efforts of the GMC. Our education committee, co-chaired by Mark Sabljak, Nancy Sennett and Katherine Gehl, works to achieve this through a number of initiatives, including Teachtown MKE, the Milwaukee Talent Dividend, Milwaukee Succeeds and Bradley Tech. We work closely with educational leaders throughout the region to overcome challenges and find solutions.

To that end, in July, the GMC partnered with Milwaukee Public Schools to host a Strategic Actioning Session (SAS) with the goal of re-envisioning what MPS high schools can and should be in order for all students to be successful and to create a vibrant community. Sixty-two caring, divergent thinkers, including teachers, representatives from the MPS central office, school leaders, community and business leaders, students and the College Board, came together for three days with one goal: to transform MPS high schools.

Everyone agreed, over the course of three days, to commit to positive and sustainable change now. Small, flexible, rotating cross-sector groups with targeted, specific, critical topics focused on subjects broken out of larger ideas identified to redesign MPS high schools. Candid conversations about tough topics revealed game-changing opportunities as powerful stakeholders and influencers got out of their individual comfort zones and set aside agendas to collaborate and invest in a shared win for students.

This new vision puts students first in order to empower citizens who are resilient, learning and leading to innovate real world solutions.

Our MPS high schools will provide every student with a magnitude of opportunity and pathways to success in the community and adulthood with:

  • High standards for learning

  • An inclusive and celebrated multicultural student body

  • An excellent faculty

  • A vibrant environment

  • A caring community

Our high schools build curiosity and inspire creativity.

Some “big learnings” came out of the SAS:

  • Paradigm shift: If we want different results, we need different inputs

  • Business and philanthropic communities are on board for MPS high school success

  • Developing synergy amongst our community is critical

  • We have much to celebrate in MPS high schools

Out of the SAS emerged a courageous action plan to tackle critical MPS issues facing high schools to help them move forward. We developed 30- and 90-day plans that are already being implemented, as well as some quick wins that will immediately begin the shift towards better schools and outcomes for our children.

We hope you’ll join us in the journey towards better schools for our students. We will continue to update you in the coming months on our progress, and thank our GMC members for your ongoing commitment to providing quality education to all students.


Julia Taylor President Greater Milwaukee Committee

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