May 23, 2016

Hi Friends,

I’m proud to be one of the signatories on the letter below. Please read and share with your colleagues and friends in our Milwaukee community.

See you soon,

Danae Davis  |  Executive Director
Milwaukee Succeeds
101 W. Pleasant St., Suite 210, Milwaukee, WI 53212
Direct: 414.336.7057

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Positive change is building throughout Milwaukee Public Schools – change that is not limited by the past, but inspired by a future in which MPS and community members join forces to collectively help Milwaukee’s children overcome obstacles and realize academic success.

As nonprofit organizations, private businesses and higher education institutions, we see an increasing and meaningful district-wide effort to engage and partner. We have responded enthusiastically with time and resources, largely because we see a change in direction that compels us to do so.  Milwaukee Succeeds, a community-wide collaborative impact initiative, continues to bring important stakeholders together to improve student outcomes. Other partnerships look like the Carver Elementary 5-in-1 Collaborative, the M3 Initiative’s comprehensive tech and trade education at Bradley Tech, and a new highly collaborative, city-wide Culinary Arts Program at four MPS high schools. For every one of these partnership-based ventures, there are many more.

Through our partnerships, strategic changes - inspired by students and proven by substantive research - are turning schools around, supporting instructional excellence and building student success.

For that, most credit goes to MPS Superintendent Dr. Darienne Driver and the team of administrators, teachers and support staff who are working in a smart and cohesive way to increase academic rigor and expectations for students, improve school climate and advance college and career readiness.

For evidence of these efforts, we point to a district-led push to rethink our high schools, record-setting scholarship totals among students and more students enrolling in college-level courses this year than in years past. It is no surprise to us that two MPS high schools have earned top ten spots on the 2016 U.S. News and World Report “Best High Schools” Wisconsin list and that The Washington Post ranked two MPS high schools as the #1 and #2 “Most Challenging High Schools” in the state of Wisconsin.

We are proud partners with MPS. We also applaud the many organizations working with MPS to improve educational outcomes. We strongly believe that placing our time and resources in the public education of Milwaukee’s children is an investment in the future of our city. While we recognize that there is much work to be done in our state’s largest and most diverse school district, collective impact is our cross-sector strategy for turning Milwaukee’s schools around. We are already witnessing results firsthand: systemic challenges tackled head on, innovative partnership endeavors launched and a common agenda established for positive change toward student academic achievement.

MPS has our support and our continued commitment to partner with the district, its schools and the children of Milwaukee. Please contact John Kordsmeier at to learn more about these partnerships or building new partnerships with Milwaukee Public Schools. John, recently retired from Northwestern Mutual, is consulting with Milwaukee Public Schools on their community engagement and partnership efforts. We need your help. We are asking you to join this vital effort.

Dan Bader 
President & CEO 
Bader Philanthropies

Joe & Jennifer  Bartolotta  
The Bartolotta Restaurants

Bill Berezowitz 
Vice President & GM Imaging Subsystems 
GE Healthcare

Garrett Bucks 
Executive Director 
Teach For America

Earl Buford 
President & CEO 
Employ Milwaukee

Danae Davis 
Executive Director 
Milwaukee Succeeds

Peter Feigin
Milwaukee Bucks

Ellen Gilligan 
Greater Milwaukee Foundation

Jackie Herd-Barber
Milwaukee Succeeds

Jason Holton 
Executive Director & Vice President 
City Year - Milwaukee

John Kersey 
Executive Vice President 
Zilber Ltd.

Susan Lloyd 
Executive Director
Zilber Family Foundation

Vincent Lyles 
President & CEO
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee

Vicki J. Martin
Milwaukee Area Technical College

Mark Mone 
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

Mark Sabljak 
Milwaukee Business Journal

Julia Taylor 
Greater Milwaukee Committee

Peggy Troy
President & CEO
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

John Schlifske 
Chairman & CEO 
Northwestern Mutual

Nancy Sennett 
GMC Education Committee

Eileen Walter
Director, Global Community Relations and Contributions
Rockwell Automation

Mary Lou Young 
President & CEO 
United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County


If someone forwarded you this “Hey it’s Danae” message and you would like to receive it directly, please send your email address to Kia Towns. Thanks!


Milwaukee Succeeds is a broad-based, communitywide collaboration that aims to improve educational outcomes for every child in Milwaukee, in every school, cradle to career.
Copyright © 2016 Milwaukee Succeeds, All rights reserved.

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