The Unified School District of De Pere is pleased to announce School Social Worker Melanie Brick has been named Wisconsin’s School Social Worker of the Year by the Wisconsin School Social Workers Association (WSSWA). Brick received her award during a WSSWA event Wednesday.
District Supt. Ben Villarreul says many of Brick’s colleagues contributed to her award nomination. “Melanie has touched the lives of our students, families, staff and community in more ways than we can count. Whether it’s one-on-one student support, connecting families in need with other community resources, leading or contributing to mental wellness initiatives in the area—she does it all.”
District parent Melissa Olson agrees. “From the time my daughter was in grade school to now when she’s in high school, Melanie has been a safe, calming presence. Both my daughter and I can trust that she’ll be there to help us through whatever is happening in our lives, and if we need additional support she gets us connected to the right people.”
In 2018, Brick, along with Director of Pupil Services Jerry Nicholson and other staff were successful in obtaining a $74,000 grant to support District-wide mental wellness initiatives from the Wisconsin Dept. of Public Instruction. She has been instrumental in collaborating with other local school districts and agencies to advocate and raise funds for school-based mental health and wellness programs.
Brick joined the De Pere School District in 2014. She has a master’s degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. She is a graduate of Wrightstown High School.