Our organization exists to serve student services leaders in Wisconsin. We recognize that while the context for the work varies, the commitment to ensure each and every student has what they need to learn is common. We focus on professional learning and shaping educational policies and practices and are always looking for new ways to serve our members. If we can ever be of service to you, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to serve you!

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Phone: 608/245-2511

School Administrators Alliance (SAA) Names Dee Pettack Next Executive Director

We are excited to share an important announcement from the School Administrators Alliance (SAA). As you may know, the SAA Executive Board has been engaged in selecting a new Executive Director to succeed John Forester, who is retiring at the end of the calendar year. Today, the SAA is announcing the appointment of Dee Pettack as SAA's next Executive Director, effective July 1, 2022. The press release below has the details. We thank John for his many years of dedicated service to the SAA and wish him the best in his retirement.


MADISON — The School Administrators Alliance has named highly regarded policy director and education advocate Dee Pettack as its next executive director.

Pettack has spent the past decade advocating for Wisconsin’s children and public school communities. She currently serves as senior policy initiatives advisor for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, where she provides legislative and policy updates to advocacy groups, coordinates cross-agency efforts on high-level statewide policy initiatives and directs stakeholder engagement around the agency’s budgeting and policy development.

Pettack will replace current SAA Executive Director John Forester, who is retiring after more than 20 years of leading the organization.

“I am incredibly excited and honored to be named the next director of SAA, which does a tremendous job of advocating for Wisconsin public schools and the students and families they serve,” said Pettack. “I look forward to working with all the organizations within our alliance, along with educational leaders and educators across the state, to advance policies that lead to greater opportunities for public school children. I have had the privilege to work with John for many years, and while he leaves big shoes to fill, I cannot wait to get started.”

Pettack also has experience as a legislative liaison with the DPI, conducting advocacy on legislative and regulatory matters on the agency’s behalf. She was also chief of staff for Wisconsin State Senator Luther Olsen, who was vice chair of the Joint Finance Committee, chair of the Senate Education Committee and co-chair of the Joint Legislative Council. Pettack delivered remarks, testimony and other communications on behalf of Sen. Olsen, while working across agencies and party lines to help craft state policy and budget solutions.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dee Pettack as SAA’s next executive director, as she is someone who has already made her mark on Wisconsin education through her work in the State Capitol and later at the DPI,” said Jon Bales, executive director of the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators and SAA board chairman. “We look forward to seeing the impact she will have on state education policy that affects all Wisconsin school children. We also want to thank John Forester for his exemplary leadership over the past two decades in advocating for policy action that will address the needs of all public education students. We wish him the very best in his retirement.”


The SAA is an alliance of the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators, Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials, Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators, Wisconsin Association of School Personnel Administrators and Wisconsin Council of Administrators of Special Services. It advocates on behalf of school leaders in their efforts to strengthen Wisconsin’s national leadership in education to ensure that the state’s children receive the highest-quality education possible. 

The Benefits of Membership

WCASS is a statewide organization devoted to improving services to children with special needs by promoting professional leadership, providing opportunity for study of issues pertaining to special services, and facilitating communication and collaboration on behalf of special needs students. 

Read: Top 10 Reasons to Join WCASS
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Who We Are

The Wisconsin Council of Administrators of Special Services, Ltd. (WCASS) is a professional organization comprised of over 350 members who administer and support special education programs throughout the state of Wisconsin. The organization was founded in 1994 by a group of special education administrators and pupil services administrators, coming together to share resources and information to better serve students in Wisconsin. The new organization chose the title that merged our two names.

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