September 10, 2008

La Crosse Native to Head Covenant Office

By Anonymous

MADISON - A University of Denver official with La Crosse roots will be the first leader of the state's new program to promote access to higher education. Gov. Jim Doyle said Friday that Amy Bechtum will start next month as the director of the Office of the Wisconsin Covenant.

Bechtum moved to La Crosse in 1980 at age 6, and she grew up south of the city. She first attended Pleasant Valley School, a small country school, and then went to Harry Spence Elementary. She also attended Longfellow Middle School before graduating from Central High School in 1991, according to the State of Wisconsin Department of Administration.

Bechtum earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and a master of science in education degree from Colorado State University. She is the director of the College of Education at the University of Denver.

Her father, Loren Bechtum, teaches part time at Western Technical College, and mother, Barb Bechtum, works at the UW-L Health Center.

In her new job, she will oversee the Covenant program, which eighth-grade students who sign a pledge promising to get good grades and take college prep classes through high school are guaranteed a spot at a Wisconsin college or university.

For more about the Wisconsin Covenant, visit

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