Building School Leadership

Wyoming Department of Education > Superintendent's Update > Building School Leadership

Dear Superintendents,

If leadership is influence, and the number one task of any effective leader is reproducing him or herself in other young leaders, then for our purposes as a state collectively and as districts individually, it is incumbent on each of us as Wyoming’s school leaders to begin taking steps (or continue to build on whatever steps we have already taken) in laying out a long-term plan that will bear fruit for decades to come.

In terms of building a cadre of future educational leaders at the district level (local schools), department level (WDE) and degree level (college/university), these steps and this long-term plan will be best driven by the people in the trenches who are actually doing the work (the districts) and best shaped by some of our most successful and experienced Wyoming school leaders. Accordingly, this is the path we will take as we embark on this statewide journey to build our school leadership to be the finest in the nation. Our expectations, therefore, will of necessity be very high, just as they should be for our students. Stay tuned as we begin to move forward on this.

Vision & Focus

We can lead the nation in education by being absolutely clear about and committed to the purpose of education, in regards to both our students and our schools.

The purpose of education with our students, in a nutshell, can be summed up in four words: to learn to think. That has been the purpose of education for more than 1,000 years. It has only been in the last 100 years that a progressive model shifted the paradigm.

But the great classical tradition was always about teaching young minds how to learn from others so they could think for themselves. And it is this vision of education that brings clarity to our focus, not only defining everything we do as Wyoming educators, but also inspiring it.

The Primary Priority   

As you heard in last week’s update, the three Wyoming Teacher Apprenticeship Pilot districts have been chosen – and now the work begins. The pilot orientation is set for Thursday, July 28. The WTA Work Group is digging in deeper on the competencies and preparation for the orientation. The WTA Advisory Group will also meet at the end of July to continue providing valuable input as the initiative moves forward.

In the Spotlight

Charter school applications will be accepted from July 15-August 15, 2022. All applications must be submitted to the Wyoming Department of Education through the online portal. The application template, submission portal and other resources can be found here. For more information, contact Elaine Marces at 307-777-6210 or or Beth Lougee at 307-777-6198 or Many thanks to our WDE Accountability Division that has worked tirelessly to launch this application, and for that you are ‘In the Spotlight.’

Mark Your Calendars

The 13th annual Native American Education Conference will be held August 2-4, 2022, at Central Wyoming College in Riverton. Fee is only $25 for three days of presentations and workshops dedicated to better outcomes for Wyoming’s Native American students through knowledge of best teaching practices and understanding of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho people. This year’s keynotes include: Sandra Ashley, who will address American Indian history that’s missing from today’s social studies classrooms and Ryan Wetzel, a former professional basketball player who will share his story of being headed for stardom, the injuries and depression that shattered the dream, and the resurrection and purpose discovered through the healing process. Register here.

Monday memos: