written by Don Jorenson, President, 1978-1980
In 1968 WDAVI celebrated its 20th birthday. Although not as old as VAVA, the Valley AV Directors' group which had been meeting for 22 years, it was a growing and influential association with a membership near 300 and dues of $3.00. Many changes would be in store for the association in the next ten years. Warren Randall of the Eau Claire Public Schools led off the decade as WDAVI president for the 1968-69 school year.
Chula Vista Resort at Wisconsin Dells was the site for the 1969 Spring Conference. This was an important conference to introduce new national school library media standards produced by AASL and DAVI. School librarians were invited to attend the conference. Later in 1969 DAVI, which had been a department of NEA, became the Association for Educational Communications and Technology. Dr. Howard Hitchens was named Executive Director of the new AECT.
During 1970, under President John Battram, Director of Instructional Media Services at WSU-Whitewater, WDAVI members voted 88 to 2 to change the name to WAVA. The new WAVA affiliated with AECT.
WAVA helped promote and sell a new filmstrip entitled "Helping Freddie Learn," produced by the Wisconsin Department of AudioVisual Instruction. Following the publication by USOE of a planning guide for instructional TV, WAVA produced and distributed a transparency packet on CATV to aid local AV people in planning strategies for the use of CATV in their districts. At the fall conference in 1971, Dr. Dave Barnard was presented a Certificate of Appreciation for his 12 years of service as Executive Director of WDAVI/WAVA. James Sorenson became the next WAVA President and WAVA held a joint conference with Minnesota.
When Governor Lucey signed the budget in 1972, the long sought statewide TV network was officially authorized. "Cable TV, Education's Pipe Line or Pipe Dream" was developed by WAVA and was made available for 50 cents a copy. In 1972 WAVA also published the "Building Facilities Check List", a much needed guide on audiovisual space needs.
In 1973 WAVA celebrated its 25th anniversary. A slide tape presentation was created to help celebrate this achievement. The membership was 316. Lowell Wilson, Janesville Public Schools, served as president from 1973 to 1976. During his term the WAVA Board of Directors voted to explore a possible merger between WAVA and WLA. By this time the average salary of an AV specialist was $12, 431, and there were 221 men and fourteen women serving as AV directors or coordinators in Wisconsin schools. Ralph Munger was elected President-Elect of WAVA in 1974 after President-Elect Craig Vogt resigned to leave the state. Blanch McIntyre of Neenah was elected secretary. She was the first woman to serve on the Board of Directors. WAVA officers would serve a two year term beginning in 1976.
In February of 1975 a Joint WASL/WAVA Conference was held in Eau Claire titled "Evaluating Wisconsin Media Programs: A Look at New Guidelines." Almost 300 registrants heard national and local speakers introduce this important new document. A joint motion was passed to urge the legislature to continue supporting the consulting services of the DPI and the school library and technology staff positions, which were at risk of being cut in the new state budget. Thanks to lots of pressure from the field, no positions in the DPI Bureau of School Library Media Programs were lost and Ralph Whiting was appointed as audiovisual consultant in September to replace retiring Bob Wheeler. Whiting was instrumental in getting the WAVA Grants Award program established. At the October meeting almost $300 was raised in an auction for the new program. Sales of WAVA lapel pins also funded this program.
During 1976 WAVA distributed the sound-filmstrip "A Place for Learning" produced by the UW-Stout for the DPI. WAVA By-Laws were revised and dues for professional members were raised to $12.00. The membership year was changed from July 1-June 30 to Oct. 1-Sept. 30. Ralph Munger became President in 1977, and after several years of study and a joint conference with WLA, the WAVA Board of Directors determined that a merger or affiliation between WAVA and WLA would not be productive.
At the 1997 Spring Conference in Janesville, WAVA honored three outstanding media educators, Viggo Rasmussen, Robert Wheeler and Fritz White, by conferring on them Emeritus membership. During the summer of 1977 WAVA sponsored its first Media Leadership conference, held in August at Manitowoc's School Forest. The goals of the conference were to provide participants with leadership skills which they could apply to their own work situations and to identify future leaders in the media profession. The successful conference was repeated in 1978. The "graduates" of these conferences were instrumental in providing WAVA with effective leaders to take it into its next, and fourth, decade.