Update on Reinstatement of Deana Zorko to her position with Madison Metropolitan School District  // News // October 8th, 2021

Update on Reinstatement of Deana Zorko to her position with Madison Metropolitan School District

Thanks to the advocacy of Profe Deana Zorko’s students and the public, the Madison Metropolitan School District today agreed to return Ms. Zorko to teach high school Spanish language and literature classes at West High School using a virtual platform, effective Monday, October 11. Said Profe Zorko: “I am so proud of my students using their voice to speak up for their education. I feel humbled by their support and the support of members of the community who have advocated for this outcome. I love teaching at West, I love my students and can’t wait to see everyone in class on Monday. Let’s get back to la clase de espanol!”

Ms. Zorko is a double-organ transplant recipient who faces significantly heightened risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19, and therefore must confine herself to home as much as possible to reduce exposure to the virus. She has been asking for this disability accommodation for months. Only after West High Spanish students held a walkout this week, in protest of losing their teacher and decrying the lack of student-centered decision-making, did the District reverse course.

The District’s agreement today is only a temporary solution as it has not yet agreed to allow Ms. Zorko to remain teaching virtually at West for second semester. Thankfully they have also agreed to “continue the conversation.” Ms. Zorko and her Union believe the most appropriate solution is for the District to allow Ms. Zorko to complete the year with her West students, virtually, as this is the most student-centered approach to a problem with no perfect solution. MTI  urges members, students, parents, and others in the community who wish to support this outcome to contact Superintendent Dr. Carlton Jenkins at: cdjenkins@madison.k12.wi.us.

MTI also encourages those who have not yet signed the student-generated petition at change.org to do so.