Finding Moments of Hope

Wyoming Department of Education > Superintendent's Update > Finding Moments of Hope

Dear Superintendents,

As the end-of-school year rituals pass us by, processing these strange times does not get any easier. From cleaning out lockers to graduation, May 2020 feels surreal. Energy at WDE is usually palpable this time of year. On any given day in May and June, our staff is gearing up for summer trainings – stuffing swag bags, finalizing agendas and speakers, traveling across the state, and looking forward to learning alongside our Wyoming education colleagues. It feels much different this year. Many of our staff members are teleworking and most of our summer conferences will be virtual. Nonetheless, we find moments of hope – those moments when we know education will be better because (or in spite) of this pandemic. Hang in there, Wyoming! We love working alongside you – virtually and in-person – to create even more opportunities for students.


The newly rolled out Level Up program is going full steam ahead and is comprised of 2020 district and state teachers of the year, along with their principals, and other teaching award recipients. The 2020 cohort met face-to-face in February and quickly built a community of enthused leaders. Recently, I convened the cohort to advise me – It was incredibly valuable and our meetings will continue. Also, two members of the cohort are now serving on the Smart Start working group (see below for information). My point here is this – not all districts select a teacher of the year and that means those districts miss the opportunity to celebrate great teachers AND the opportunity to participate in Level Up. It’s not too late to select a district teacher of the year. Here is the information. 

Here’s a bonus message to Wyoming graduates from Wyoming’s State Teacher of the Year, Dane Weaver, of Ten Sleep.


This week we kicked off the Smart Start Working Group. The working group is comprised of educators, healthcare professionals, and technology partners.

They will:

  • Consider key issues and make recommendations related to reopening schools for the 2020-21 school year to Governor Gordon’s COVID-19 Education Task Force
  • Develop draft guidance for school districts and other educational institutions
  • Recommend components for the Smart Start template that school districts will use
  • Communicate with partners and stakeholders

The working group is chaired by Wanda Maloney, Wyoming Accountability Director, and Stephanie Pyle, Wyoming Senior Administrator of Public Health. We look forward to providing updates and information.



WDE Chiefs and Division Directors share project updates via Zoom

There are a number of pertinent memos this week. Please be sure to take a few moment to preview over the holiday weekend as you honor fallen military men and women. The memos will be made public on Tuesday, May 26.


Memos to be released on Tuesday, May 26:

  • 2020-082:   Career Development Facilitator Training Summer/Fall 2020
  • 2020-083:   Professional Development Grant
  • 2020-084:   District Literacy Plans and WDE626 Early Literacy Data Collection
  • 2020-085:   Leader and Teacher Evaluation Approvals