Throughout the school year, USM welcomes experts and authors from around the nation to campus to take part in our community speaker series. These speakers meet with students, faculty, parents, and the greater Milwaukee community to share their thoughts on a wide range of topics that are of importance to students and their families. USM is proud to partner with area organizations including REDgen and Boswell Book Company, among others, to bring speakers to campus. Additionally, USM is fortunate to have the support of the Cindy Zautcke Memorial Fund, the USM Parents' Association, and the Global Scholars program, all of which contribute annually to our community speaker series.
REDgen is a local organization that promotes resilience through education for a new generation, and advocates for youth mental health and well-being. USM is proud to partner with REDgen to host numerous speaker series events throughout each school year.
The Cindy Zautcke Memorial Fund was created to honor the life of Cindy Zautcke, a USM parent who lost her courageous battle with cancer in 2014. Zautcke dedicated her career to education and social justice. She began her career in teaching and then became involved with developing education policy by serving as policy expert, substantive resource, advocate, and leader for charter schools in Milwaukee, in Wisconsin, and nationwide. Within the USM community, Cindy was an involved parent and a committed volunteer and leader, recognizing and helping to support the community of gifted and passionate teachers who shaped the lives of her children. She combined grace, calm, and genuine warmth with a relentless commitment to make things right.
Her children include Liz, John '16, and Billy '11 Ostermeyer.
Following Zautcke’s death, friends and family contributed significantly to the school in her memory. These gifts created the Cindy Zautcke Memorial Fund, which sponsors an annual speaker whose work aligns with her life’s work and passions. Her children—Billy '11, John '16, and Liz '17—and her widower, Mike Ostermeyer, participate in selecting and welcoming the speaker to USM annually.