What is CESA and What is Adultitis?

What is CESA and What is Adultitis?
Posted on 03/30/2017

This week, school board members and district administrators from Northwest Wisconsin met for a professional development and networking opportunity at CESA #11 in Turtle Lake, Wisconsin. In addition to having the opportunity to talk with counterparts from neighboring school districts, participants were also treated to a keynote address from Jason Kotecki, an artist and author of several books focused on “Escaping Adulthood”.  

According to Kotecki, many people suffer from the fictitious condition of “Adultitis”, which he described as, “A common condition occurring in people between the ages of 21-121, marked by chronic dullness, mild depression, moderate to extremely high stress levels, a general fear of change, and, in some extreme cases, the inability to smile.” On his website, Kotecki adds that advanced cases of Adultitis can result in a wrinkled brow, hunched or droopy shoulders, a visibly frenetic pace, excessive frowning, and empty, zombie-like stares.  Supposedly, the onset of Adultitis can be accelerated by an excess burden of bills, overwhelming responsibilities, or a boring work life, and that generally, individuals with Adultitis are not fun to be around.

While Kotecki’s message was fun and humorous, it was also a valuable reminder about enjoying the little things of life and not letting the hustle and bustle of the “daily grind” have a negative impact on relationships, health, and whatever else is most important to us. He suggested that school leaders take care not to let the challenges of difficult budgets, high-pressure decisions, and controversial issues prohibit us from focusing on the well-being of our children, enjoying our work, and being creative.

Hosting professional development opportunities for educators is only one of the many services that CESA offers. Cooperative Educational Service Agencies (CESAs) were created by state statute to “serve educational needs in all areas of Wisconsin by serving as a link between school districts, and between school districts and the state”. There are twelve CESA regions in Wisconsin that provide professional development for school staff, specialized services for students, and support for educational innovation.

Due to the size of the School District of the Menomonie Area, contracted services from CESA is not a large part of our annual budget. We are fortunate in the SDMA to have enough enrollment to justify having our own specialists in most areas. While it might be best for some of our smaller school neighbors to contract with CESA for services in areas such as curriculum and instruction, special education, technology, and business management, in Menomonie we are best served by handling most of these responsibilities locally. Because CESAs are membership driven and do not having any taxing authority, we only pay for the services that we purchase.

Should school families or community stakeholders have any questions or concerns about CESA or anything else in our school district, I invite you to visit me at the Administrative Service Center on Pine Avenue, or contact me at 715-232-1642. More information about our schools can be found on the school district website (www.sdmaonline.com), and I regularly post school-related information on Twitter (www.twitter.com/sdmaonline) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/menomonie.schools)