Liz Dostal, Vince Breunig, Governor Tony Evers , Dr. Jordan Sinz, Dr. Chanda Kulow

For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Jordan Sinz, District Administrator
Phone: 608-767-2595
GROW Cooperative Awarded $264,000 Workforce Innovation Grant

Mazomanie, WI – June 23, 2022
The GROW Cooperative, which consists of the Cambridge, Lodi, Sauk Prairie, and Wisconsin
Heights School Districts, were awarded a $264,000 Workforce Innovation Grant to foster a “grow your own” program to develop teachers using a multi-layered approach at a ceremony at Southwest Technical College in Fennimore on Thursday, June 23.

The GROW Cooperative school districts, a group of four rural school districts, are facing a teacher shortage and proposed a “grow our own'' teachers model using a multi-layered approach that begins with current high school students and continues through college matriculation. When the program is in place, high school students will have the opportunity to take up to 12 credits through UW-Whitewater while also being mentored by classroom teachers at the grade level or subject area they are interested in teaching. Each district will offer a $1000 scholarship to support a senior intending to major in Education. Ten -- $2000 scholarships will be available annually to college students (first- and second-year students) who intend to major in education. Then when students are admitted to Schools of Education, they may apply for $10000 scholarships to support their degree completion. In return, scholarship recipients agree to apply and interview at GROW districts. If hired, they will commit to teaching for three years in a GROW district. GROW will use grant funds to provide seed money to launch this program; while grant funds are being expended, GROW districts will make twice-yearly deposits in a savings account to sustain the program past the grant period. GROW will
address the teacher shortage, a significant workforce issue that has ramifications across all career pathways. “The ability to mentor and support high school and college students in their career goals, to make a meaningful, long-term difference in the lives of students across four school districts reflects an innovative approach that will yield significant benefits for all of our communities,” stated Wisconsin Heights MS/HS Principal Liz Dostal who will also serve as the Grant Director for the project.

“The School District of Wisconsin Heights is so grateful to partner with our colleagues in Cambridge, Sauk Prairie, and Lodi to create this program to address the issue of teacher shortages in a proactive way,” commented Jordan Sinz, District Administrator of the School District of Wisconsin Heights. “We are excited about the possibility that this program has to offer and are looking forward to working with our partner schools to develop the dual credit class opportunities for our students while creating a process that will help support those pursuing an education degree at the postsecondary level in a way that benefits the students and the GROW cooperative districts.

Pictured are representatives from three of the four school districts with Governor Tony Evers at the award ceremony. Pictured from left to right:
Liz Dostal -MS/HS principal from Wisconsin Heights
Vince Breunig - District Administrator from Lodi
Governor Tony Evers
Dr. Jordan Sinz -District Administrator from Wisconsin Heights
Dr. Chanda Kulow -Curriculum & Instruction Director from Sauk Prairie
absent from photo: Cambridge School District