Port High to honor educator, rights champion

PWHS graduates Meyer, Haacke Bryd to be named to Wall of Fame
Ozaukee Press staaff

Port Washington High School will honor two of its graduates during a Wall of Fame program on Friday, April 22.

Robert Meyer, a 1975 graduate of Port High and longtime educator who retired as chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Stout in 2019, is the 2020 Wall of Fame inductee. The school was not able to honor Meyer in 2020 and did not name anyone to the wall last year because of the pandemic.

The 2022 inductee is Sarah Haacke Byrd, a champion of gender equality and civil rights who currently serves as CEO of Women Moving Millions. She is a 1995 graduate of Port High.

The April 22 program, which is open to the public, will begin at 1:55 p.m. in the school’s Performing Arts Center.

Meyer began his career in 1980 as a technology education instructor in the River Falls School District.

In 1983, he joined the faculty of UW-Stout — his alma mater — as director of the school’s manufacturing engineering program  and assistant to the chancellor for state and federal relations.

From 2000 to 2008, he served as dean of UW-Stout’s College of Technology, Engineering and Management.

He left the university in 2008 to become president and CEO of Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College but returned to UW-Stout in 2014 to become chancellor.

He has a bachelor’s degree in industrial education and a master’s degree in management technology, both from UW-Stout, as well as a doctorate in industrial engineering from the University of Minnesota.

“Bob utilizes and has implemented the service leadership model in each educational assignment he has accepted,” Brenda (Bley) Swannack, a 1967 graduate of Port High, wrote in nominating Meyer for Wall of Fame recognition. “(By) flipping the organizational chart upside down, with students on the top and the chancellor or leadership on the bottom, everyone serves the key stakeholder above them.”

For more than 20 years, Haacke Byrd has worked with nonprofit organizations in Boston, Washington, D.C., and New York dedicated to expanding civil rights, promoting civic education, reforming the criminal justice system and ending sexual violence.

She served as director of leadership development of the Anti-Defamation League’s New England regional office from 2000 to 2006 before becoming director of Facing History and Ourselves’ “Choosing to Participate” program.

In 2012, she was named director of operations for the Bellevue/NYU program “Survivors of Torture” before becoming managing director of the Joyful Heart Foundation, where she led a campaign to eliminate the backlog of hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits in the United States.

In 2018, she became CEO of Women Moving Millions, a New York nonprofit organization that raises money for the advancement of women and girls.

Haacke Byrd was a 2021 Aspen Institute Civil Society fellow and is a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

She has a bachelor’s degree in political science/democratization and development from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in positive organizational development and change from Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management.

“Sarah has a delicate and thoughtful way of maintaining a balance for herself and her loved ones as she puts her heart, expertise and experience into broadening gender equality and civil rights for women and girls across the world,” Jennifer Verheyen, a 1995 Port High graduate, wrote in nominating Haacke Byrd for the Wall of Fame. “She has put a great deal of effort into recognizing organizations designed to support the safety, health and opportunities of women, and she aims to attract more equitable funding toward these organizations.”


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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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