CHEYENNE – State Superintendent Megan Degenfelder has appointed three individuals to the new Charter School Authorizing Board. Passed by the legislature during the 2023 session, Wyoming Statute 21-3-302 takes effect July 1, 2023 and establishes the Wyoming Charter School Authorizing Board with a mission to approve high-quality public charter schools in the state. The board is composed of eight appointed individuals from across Wyoming.
Cindy DeLancey of Cheyenne, Joseph Feiler of Casper, and Mitchell Schwab of Afton have been appointed by Degenfelder. They will be joined on the board by the chairman of the state board of education, or the chairman’s designee; three members who will be appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate; and the dean of the University of Wyoming’s College of Education, or their designee.
“I am honored to appoint these members of Wyoming’s inaugural charter school authorizing board. Public charter schools are a critical tool to increasing school choice for students and their families. Every student learns differently, and they deserve choices in an education that best meets their individual learning needs,” says Degenfelder. “As Wyoming embarks on historic change in the landscape of public charter schools, it is very important for me to appoint individuals with a balance of expertise from charter schools, Wyoming’s traditional public education system, and the business community.”
Cindy DeLancey currently serves as the President of the Wyoming Business Alliance and the Wyoming Heritage Foundation. DeLancey is a graduate of the University of Wyoming College of Law and has raised two children in the Wyoming public education system. She has previously served as the Wyoming Director of Government and Public Affairs for British Petroleum (BP), as the elected Carbon County and Prosecuting Attorney, a Special Assistant United States Attorney, and the Executive Director of the Wyoming County Commissioners Association. She was appointed by Governor Matthew H. Mead to serve as an ENDOW Rural Council member, by former Senate President Drew Perkins to serve on the Government Efficiency Task Force, and by Governor Mark Gordon to serve on the Educational Attainment Executive Council.
Joseph Feiler is a Career and Technical Education (CTE) teacher with 35 years of experience in Natrona County School District 1 and a co-owner of Timberline Construction. Feiler has served as a WDE Grant Evaluator for the Carl Perkins Grants and was Chairman of the Wyoming Association for Career and Technical Education scholarship committee. In 2023, Feiler was inducted into the Wyoming Association of Career and Technical Education Hall of Fame. He has also been recognized as Wyoming Technology Education Association Outstanding Teacher of the Year, and a Wyoming Governor’s “Teaching Outside the Box” awardee.
Mitchell Schwab is an attorney at Denali Law in Afton. He possesses deep expertise in charter school law, tax exempt bond financing, business planning, estate planning, and real estate. He is a Wyoming native and has attended Wyoming public schools as well as the University of Wyoming. Schwab previously served as an executive with Charter One, LLC, a charter school management company, where he spearheaded efforts to create five charter schools and guided operations across several states. He also currently serves as the head coach for the Star Valley High School basketball team.
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Linda Finnerty, Communications Director