Category Archives: Uncategorized


CHEYENNE – Wyoming State Superintendent of Public Instruction Megan Degenfelder submitted a public comment opposing the federal Bureau of Land Management’s new proposed rule regarding so-called conservation “use” of federal lands. If this rule passes, it can severely compromise Wyoming’s ability to realize returns off our state and federal lands by locking up parcels into Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) that disallow multiple uses such as mineral development and grazing. These returns are essential to funding our state education system and other services.

Due to the nature of Wyoming’s intermixed state and federal land sections, with 50% of the surface estate and 65% of the mineral estate owned by the federal government, Superintendent Degenfelder knows from her career in the coal and oil and gas industry that any federal “non-use” has a direct negative impact on leasing and development of adjacent state lands which will decrease the attractiveness and associated revenue generated to fund our public schools. In fiscal year 2021, state lands provided over $100 million to support our public schools. Additionally, Wyoming typically receives over $500 million in federal mineral royalties from production on federal land within our state which pays for education as well as state services. The proposed rule at hand directly jeopardizes education funding in our state, both from state and federal lands.

“Wyoming’s Constitution charges the State Superintendent with general supervision of public schools and being one of Wyoming’s five land commissioners. I have a fiduciary responsibility to make sure our state lands produce sustainable revenue for education purposes. I am fighting against the rule because it jeopardizes my ability to be a steward of our public lands by preventing multiple use on federal land and effectively state land contiguous to that federal land.” said Superintendent Degenfelder.

Her comment concluded by asking the BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning to cease this proposed rule and avoid the harsh negative impact this will have on education funding for Wyoming students, families, and our public educators.


CHEYENNE, Wyo. –  Governor Mark Gordon, Superintendent Megan Degenfelder and the Wyoming Department of Education, the State Board of Education, and the University of Wyoming College of Education are accepting applications from school districts for an instruction and assessment pilot project that is poised to  transform the trajectory of education in Wyoming. The entities have created the “Wyoming’s Future of Learning” a collaborative effort that will lead this first pilot program and additional pilots to follow.

“It’s exciting to be able to offer this unique opportunity to Wyoming school districts, and I hope that this innovative, student centered approach will lead to improvements in the educational experiences of Wyoming students,” Governor Gordon said. “This initial pilot emerged from the recommendations provided by my Reimagining and Innovating the Delivery of Education (RIDE) Advisory Group, as well as the work of the State Board and the UW College of Education. It will allow students to move at their own pace, change how student engagement occurs, and effectively prepare each student for a future in an increasingly competitive economy and rapidly changing workplace.”

“This partnership and pilot program is an opportunity to fundamentally change how we educate students in Wyoming,” State Superintendent Megan Degenfelder said. “To shift from a traditional one-size fits all model based on traditional seat time to a model that is based on individual learning needs and interests and partnership with Wyoming industries to better prepare students for jobs- our number one goal in education.”

The voluntary pilots will allow participating districts to engage in more student-centered learning design through four areas of focus: Competency-Based Learning; Flexible Pathways; Personalized Learning; and Student Choice. Five to seven districts ready to move innovative student-centered learning strategies to systematically reach an increasing number of students will be selected in June to participate in the pilots. A second round of pilots will be selected in the 24-25 school year. Statewide professional development opportunities in competency-based learning will also be offered to all schools.

“As we launch the “Wyoming’s Future of Learning” collaborative initiative, we embark on a transformative era in education, one that holds the promise of unlocking the full potential of our education system and our students, ” said Jenna Shim, Interim Dean of the University of Wyoming  College of Education. “By embracing student-centered learning design and focusing on competency-based learning, flexible pathways, personalized learning, and student choice, we empower educators, engage students in their own learning journeys, and foster a culture of lifelong learning.”

“The state board is committed to supporting schools and communities in their endeavors to innovate and prepare students for their futures,” said Chairman Bill Lambert.

Applications will be due June 5th and selected districts will be announced mid-late June.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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Media Contact:
Linda Finnerty, Communications Director

Update from Superintendent Degenfelder – March 24, 2023

As Governor Mark Gordon took final action this week on bills passed during the 2023 general legislative session, I would like to take this opportunity to update you on bills that directly affect education in Wyoming, and how they fit into our initiatives of parental empowerment and choice, of better preparing our students for jobs and citizenship, reducing bureaucracy, and supporting our teachers.

As well as looking back on this past legislative session, we also look toward the legislature’s 2023 interim committee meetings, where legislators will be discussing several topics that we support.

Take a look at this video I have prepared for you.




Megan Degenfelder
Wyoming State Superintendent of Public Instruction

WDE Media Conference Tuesday to Discuss 2021-22 Graduation Rates

CHEYENNE – The Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) will host a virtual media conference at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, January 31, 2023, to discuss the 2021-22 Wyoming high school graduation rate. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Megan Degenfelder and WDE staff will be available to answer media questions.

Media may register in advance here. After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the press conference.

Full graduation rate statistics for the 2021-22 school year will be available Tuesday morning. Since the 2009-10 school year, the WDE has calculated graduation rates using the Federal Four-Year Adjusted Cohort methodology established by the U.S. Department of Education, which complies with federal law that requires all states to calculate graduation rates exactly the same. Students are counted in the four-year (or “on-time”) high school graduation rate if they earn a diploma by September 15 following their cohort’s fourth year. Five- and six-year graduation rates are also calculated, and can be viewed with the rest of the graduation rate data.

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Media Contact:
Linda Finnerty, Communications Director

Summer Food Service Programs Available Across Wyoming

CHEYENNE – The Wyoming Summer Food Service program for kids offered through the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) served thousands of meals last summer to Wyoming children and teens.

The Summer Food Service Program is a federally funded, state-administered program. The program reimburses providers who serve free healthy meals to children and teens during the summer months when school is not in session. In addition to serving food, summer food sites often include activities for students to do during the summer, including crafts and games.

If you are interested in being a serving site, contact WDE Nutrition Programs State Director Carla Bankes at 307-777-6263 or

USDA Non-discrimination Statement

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Media Contact:
Linda Finnerty, Communications Director

Superintendent Degenfelder Appoints Former Deputy Secretary of State Karen Wheeler as Boards and Commissions Coordinator

CHEYENNE – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Megan Degenfelder has named Karen Wheeler as the Boards and Commissions Coordinator for the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE).

Wheeler began her 37-year career with the Secretary of State’s Office in 1985, and served under seven Secretaries of State. Wheeler finished her career in the Secretary of State’s Office in 2022, serving as the Deputy Secretary of State. She is now a private consultant, and will be staffing and advising the Superintendent on her board and commission work.

“I am thrilled to announce the addition of Karen Wheeler to our leadership team,” Degenfelder said. “One of my top priorities as State Superintendent is to maximize return on state lands and investments for schools and other beneficiaries. Karen’s nearly 40 years of experience in the state’s executive branch, many of which included regular staffing of the State Loan and Investment Board, State Board of Land Commissioners, and State Building Commission for the Secretary of State, will be an invaluable resource on this priority.”

Wheeler started in the Secretary of State’s business division as a registrar, then transferred to the securities division as a financial analyst, where she audited stockbrokers and brokerage firms. She then became the Compliance Division Director in the Secretary of State’s office, and was responsible for the regulation of the investment industry as well as the registered agent industry.

As the Deputy Secretary of State, Wheeler was responsible for all statutory duties and operations of the Secretary of State’s Office, including planning, budget, personnel, staff development, boards and commissions, legislature, and oversight of service to the public. During her time as Deputy, the Secretary of State’s Office received national recognition for their state of the art administrative rules system and blockchain and digital asset regulation.

She  joins a WDE  leadership team that includes Dicky Shanor as Chief of Staff, Wanda Maloney as Chief Policy Officer, Trent Carroll as Chief Operations Officer, Shelley Hamel as Chief Academic Officer, and Linda Finnerty as Communications Director.

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Media Contact:
Linda Finnerty, Communications Director