Tony Evers is the 46th governor of the state of Wisconsin. He is a member of the Democratic Party and assumed the position on January 7, 2019. Evers is a different kind of Democrat who has distinguished himself for his progressive views and he’s made some bold changes since assuming the post of governor. Here are 10 things that you didn’t know about Tony Evers that will help you to become more familiar with him as well as his leadership style.
1. He is a native of Wisconsin
Anthony Steven Evers was born on November 4, 1951, in Plymouth, Wisconsin. He is currently 68 years of age. He was raised in his home town and attended Plymouth High School. His father was a local physician, but he didn’t follow this career path. His passion was for education.
2. He was educated in the state of Wisconsin
Tony Evers is a lifelong resident of the state of Wisconsin. After he graduated from the local high school in his home town, he was accepted for admission at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He earned his undergraduate degree in 1974 in the discipline of education. He continued working towards advanced degrees, earning his MA in education in 1976, eventually earning his doctoral degree from the same school in 1986. He didn’t leave the state as many do for college.
3. Evers was a school teacher
After completing his Master’s degree in Education, Evers became a school teacher. He also served as media coordinator and his first job was at the Tomah school district. He gained experience in the K-12 system and has a solid working knowledge of the challenges that teachers must deal with in their everyday jobs providing instruction to the kids. This was just the starting point for Evers who had a strong desire to move up in the hierarchy of the public education system, in order to effect positive changes for teachers and the students that they serve.
4. Tony Evers advanced to leadership in public education
Evers became the principal of the Tomah Elementary School in 1979 and served one year in the position. He became the principal of Tomah High School in 1980 and served in the job for four years. The experience that he gained, first as a teacher and media coordinator, then as a principal at two different levels, was significant in helping to shape his political perspective. He was keenly aware of many of the issues within the system that needed change. Evers left his post at Tomah High School in 1984, when he was made the superintendent of the Oakfield school district. He served in the job until 1988 when he became the Verona school district superintendent. He advanced to the position of administrator of the Cooperative Education Service Agency located in Oshkosh, Wisconsin from 1992 through 2001.
5. Tony doesn’t give up easily
Evers eyed the position of Superintended of Public INstruction, and he ran for the office in 1993, but his first bid for the job was unsuccessful. He ran for the office again in 2001 but was not elected in that campaign either. He was instead made deputy superintendent and he served in the job from 2001 through 2009. After getting this experience under his belt, he made another bid for the election to the office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and was successful in 2009. He ran for re-election in 2013 and again in 2017 and was re-elected both times.
6. Tony Evers was fined for a mistake
When Tony Evers was campaigning for the job of Superintendent of Public Instruction in 2009, he made a few mistakes that he would later pay for. It as made public that he had committed a violation of the code of conduct. He, as well as another employee of the government, solicited campaign donations during regular work hours. This was a violation of the code of conduct. He used government email accounts for fundraising purposes. Although the consequences amounted to a slap on the wrist, he and the other employee were each fined $250 for the infractions.
7. He married his high school sweetheart
Tony Evers has known his wife for the majority of his life. The two met when they were in kindergarten and became sweethearts when they were still in high school Kathy is also an educator and the two of them have this passion in common. Together, the Evers became the parents of three children who are now grown. They are blessed with nine grandchildren. It was during junior prom that they had their first date and they’ve been married for over 40 years.
8. The Evers’ support public instruction
Tony and Kathy Evers could have easily afforded to send their three children to the best private schools in the area. They didn’t choose to do that. As educators within the public school system, they kept their kids in public schools, from which all three have graduated. Kathy served as an IT trainer within the educational system, working with third-party companies that provided computer software training and support for school districts and colleges.
9. He re-wrote the rules for the 2020 election
Tony Evers has been vocal about his concern over the 2020 election processes during the recent COVID-19 pandemic. It is an event that could affect the voting process, so he re-wrote the election rules to extend the primary election into the month of May. His proposal to do so was rejected by federal courts, however, because it was believed that this would lead to voter confusion to change the established rules.
10. Tony Evers defined and clarified his position
When Evers campaigned for the seat of Governor of Wisconsin in 2018, he was labeled as a “Madison bureaucrat” by the state’s Republican Party. He took exception with the label and went public to clarify his position. He pointed out that he was born in Plymouth and that is where he grew up. He has been involved with communities through the entire state, both urban and rural and he was clear about the fact that he has lived outside of the Madison scene for the majority of his life and he clarified the fact with the statement “I’m a Plymouth progressive, I’m not a Madison liberal.”