Rodeo Time in Wyoming

Dear Superintendents,

If there’s competitive ropin’ and ridin’ going on this week, chances are good it’s happening in Wyoming. The National High School Finals Rodeo (NHSFR) is taking place in Gillette. There are only a few places in the nation with the infrastructure to support this rodeo and two are right here in Wyoming–Gillette and Rock Springs. Economically speaking, this event brings over $10 million into the local economy with many of the dollars turning over more than once in our state. Both Rock Springs and Gillette have partnered with the State to build infrastructure using Business Council and SLIB grants and loans. Cheyenne Frontier Days also kicks off this week. As always, it’s an honor to represent Wyoming education at parades and other events.

Superintendent Balow with Governor Matt Mead, Senator Mike Enzi and Wyoming's qualifiers for the National High School Finals Rodeo
Team Wyoming at the NHSFR in Gillette
Superintendent Balow with Governor Matt Mead and Cheyenne East Ag Teacher Joe Allen and the NHSFR in Gillette.
With Governor Mead and ARCH Coal award winner/Ag Teacher Joe Allen

On Monday, WDE staff and I traveled to the Wind River Indian Reservation and met with the Shoshone Business Council (we met with the Arapaho Business Council previously) to discuss school improvement, Indian education for all students, ESSA, and more. Wyoming has worked on legislation to better incorporate tribal heritage and culture into our schools for several years.

Superintendent Balow with members of the Shoshone Business Council and Harmony Spoonhunter, Education Director for the Shoshone Tribe
Members of the Shoshone Business Council and Harmony Spoonhunter, Education Director for the Shoshone Tribe

OTHER UPDATES

We are quickly approaching several key conferences.  WDE staff has worked very hard over the past 18 months to ensure that all training offered by the State is timely, relevant, and impactful.  Upcoming conferences (hyperlinked to registration) include:

All three are packed with great speakers, breakouts, and networking opportunities.  Please pass this information onto staff.  I am particularly excited about the Native American Education conference that is open to students and community members this year.  Among the speakers is a student from South Dakota who worked, at the grass roots level, to reduce the number of suicides in her community.  She was successful and is sharing her story!

Superintendent’s Memo to be released Monday, July 25: