All posts by alisonreinemer

State Superintendent Degenfelder Releases Strategic Plan Focusing on Parental Rights, Job Preparations and Citizenship

CHEYENNE –  State Superintendent of Public Instruction Megan Degenfelder has released a strategic plan that will guide the Wyoming Department of Education’s focus and priorities for 2023 – 2027. The Superintendent intends to create a state education system that is transparent, efficient and encourages parents to play an active role in their child’s schooling. She aims to ensure Wyoming students are well-prepared for good careers and have the knowledge required to be engaged American citizens.

“I am proud to release one of the most bold action plans ever set forth by a Wyoming State Superintendent,” said Degenfelder. “This plan will significantly improve parental rights and transparency, support teachers and better prepare students to be responsible American citizens.”

The plan and goals are based on the voices of thousands of stakeholders across the state. Superintendent Degenfelder has identified the following six key initiative areas with actionable goals to guide this critical work.

  • Parental empowerment & eliminating political bias.
  • Preparing students for jobs through career & technical education.
  • Developing citizenship for students.
  • Reducing bureaucracy & creating efficiencies.
  • Valuing and supporting teachers.
  • Improving outcomes through early literacy.

To best achieve these goals, initiative-specific cabinets composed of parents, educators, and industry representatives from communities across the state have been appointed. Cabinets, led by Department leadership, will provide input on real solutions and concrete policy recommendations.

“I’m not interested in another report that sits on a shelf,” Superintendent Degenfelder said. “This strategic plan is a plan of action. I meant what I said on the campaign trail, and we will deliver on these ambitious goals. Our education system should be reflective of Wyoming people and the Wyoming economy. It is critical that we include the voices of parents, business and education leaders in achieving these goals.”

These goals will consider the work of Governor Gordon’s Reimagining & Innovating the Delivery of Education (RIDE) advisory group report and State Board of Education’s Profile of a Graduate, and seek to align these research efforts into measurable progress.

Review the Wyoming Department of Education’s 2023-2027 Strategic Plan.

– END –

Media Contact:
Linda Finnerty, Chief Communications Officer

State Superintendent Degenfelder Joins with Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. in Fighting Proposed Federal Title Ix Rule Changes

CHEYENNE – Wyoming State Superintendent of Public Instruction Megan Degenfelder has joined Manny Diaz, Jr.; Commissioner of the Florida Department of Education (FDE) and other state school leaders in signing a comment letter opposing the United States Department of Education’s recent Title IX notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) affecting K-12 and collegiate athletics.

On April 13, 2023, the U.S. Department of Education issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to amend 34 CFR § 106.41(b). With the proposed rule change, the U.S. Department seeks to prohibit state laws like Wyoming’s Senate File 133 “Student Eligibility in Interscholastic Activities” which ban biological  males from participating in sports against biological females. This is another attempt by the Biden Administration to usurp the rights of states that will make women’s sports unsafe and unfair.

“As a female collegiate athlete and coach, I am a champion for safe and fair women’s sports and that means keeping those sports to biological women. I was a vocal supporter of Wyoming Senate File 133 as a Wyoming solution to this issue. I will always push back against the federal government encroaching on our ability to deal with issues in a way that works best for Wyoming” said Superintendent Degenfelder.

Superintendent Degenfelder and Commissioner Diaz are joined by Arkansas Secretary of the Department of Education Jacob Oliva and North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt in their opposition to the proposed rule. Degenfelder believes that the proposed rule change is inconsistent with federal and state laws, contradicts the intent of Title IX, and effectively prevents sex-based criteria from being used to ensure equal athletic opportunity. The proposed rule change in application will erase years of hard-fought opportunities for women.

– END –

Media Contact:
Linda Finnerty, Communications Director

Two Wyoming Students Named 2023 U.S. Presidential Scholars

CHEYENNE – The U.S. Department of Education announced the addition of Audrey Su-Wai Yeung of Laramie and Cameron Nicholas Reckard of Sheridan to the 59th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars.

Yeung, a senior at Laramie High School, and Reckard, a senior at Sheridan High School were chosen from a pool of over 6,000 qualified candidates nationwide. The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership and demonstrated commitment to high ideals.

“Congratulations to Audrey and Cameron on all of the milestones you’ve achieved that led you to this prestigious designation. Wyoming’s future is in good hands.” said State Superintendent Megan Degenfelder.

Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored over 7,600 of the nation’s top-performing students. The program was expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, literary and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.

The Presidential Scholars Class of 2023 will be recognized for their outstanding achievement this summer with an online recognition program. A complete list of 2023 U.S. Presidential Scholars is also available here.

– END –

Media Contact:
Linda Finnerty, Communications Director

SBE Votes to Partner with Governor Gordon, Superintendent Degenfelder, and UW College of Education

RIVERTON – The Wyoming State Board of Education (SBE) voted on Thursday to move discussions forward in partnership with Governor Mark Gordon, Superintendent Megan Degenfelder, the Wyoming Department of Education, and the UW College of Education on piloting new instruction and assessment strategies for Wyoming students. The pilots align to recommendations made by the Governor’s Reimagining and Innovating the Delivery of Education (RIDE) Advisory Group, Superintendent Degenfelder’s strategic plan goals, the SBE’s Profile of a Graduate, and UW’s Portrait of an Educator.

“This collaborative approach is the next important step in our efforts to implement new ideas and approaches to learning, as well as responding to the input Wyoming residents have provided about ways to better prepare our students for the future,” Governor Gordon said.

Pilots would be voluntary for schools and ideally launch this fall. The focus will be around increased competency based learning, where students can move through standards at a unique pace, project based learning with completion of standards by solving real world problems, and work based programs predicated on credentials and partnerships with industry. The community-driven pilots are intended to respond to the desires expressed by Wyoming communities in preparing students for a shifting economy and evolving world.

“I spent all of last year traveling the state and listening to school districts, community leaders, parents, and students about the need to innovate within our public schools. The willingness of the Governor, State Board and University to partner with us on this call for innovation is the key to our state achieving student centered education that best prepares students for the workforce,” Superintendent Degenfelder said.

The work will ultimately inform policy changes needed around assessment, accountability, and standards.

“Our listening carefully to educators across Wyoming reveals a hunger for student-centered innovation and competency-based approaches to teaching and learning. This deliberate collaboration represents a signal moment for innovating education and advancing children’s learning throughout the state,” UW College of Education’s Dean Thomas said.

The vote by the SBE will allow these entities to work together to finalize pilot details in an expedited fashion.

“The vote by the state board to partner with the Governor, State Superintendent and the University marks a pivotal moment in its commitment to the vision of the Profile of a Graduate”, said SBE Chairman Bill Lambert. “The board appreciates the leadership of each of these partners in recognizing that not only what students learn but how they learn and apply it impacts their preparation for life after high school.”

– END –

Media Contact:
Linda Finnerty, Communications Director