Tag Archives: Hathaway Scholarship

Hathaway Day

Dear Superintendents,

We are excited to celebrate Hathaway Day on November 16. Governor Mead will sign a proclamation commemorating the tenth year of the Hathaway Scholarship Program on November 9in Cheyenne. The ceremony is open to the public an we would love to see you there!

Hathaway Day gives us the ideal opportunity to unveil a makeover to the look and feel of the program. An ongoing goal of our Hathaway staff at WDE has been to educate students and families about the Hathaway Scholarship opportunity before students are in high school. We think we’ve hit on some pretty exciting ways to do this!

Most notably, 6th graders can receive the Hathaway Scholarship Certificate. This simple change has great potential. In particular, we are interested in reframing the Hathaway conversation from, “You can only earn the Hathaway Scholarship by doing x, y, and z…” to “All students are awarded the scholarship today (6th grade). By continuing to do your best, when you graduate from a Wyoming high school and complete the success curriculum, this certificate turns into actual dollars that can be used at any Wyoming college or the University. We want to support you in your journey to turn this certificate into money for college.”

In addition to the 6th grade certificate template, we also included posters, worksheets, and other resources. All are attached to the memo below. We intend for Hathaway Day to be an annual event that grows each year!

Over the past year, the WDE has engaged stakeholders in discussions about how to improve the Hathaway Scholarship program requirements. Suggestions were presented recently to the Joint Education Committee and ranged from improved access to the scholarship by CTE students to a new, advanced tier. No decisions were made at the meeting. I’ll continue to advocate for changes that accommodate our CTE concentrators and trades-bound students better.


This week, a team from Wyoming and out-of-state visitors traveled to several schools and communities to see CTE programs and career pathways. It was an absolute thrill to have Wyoming schools showcase their programs, partnerships, teachers, and students. Thank you for welcoming us into your schools! A few takeaways:

  • The most renowned schools of innovation in the U.S. have nothing on us in Wyoming.  
  • The “right people on the bus going the same direction” is key.
  • Challenges are overcome with persistence and a stubborn aversion to the word, “no.”
  • Scaling career pathways across the state, especially in remote areas, is still a challenge.
  • Schools are taking advantage of Perkins dollars and state demo grants.
  • The WDE can support this type innovation even better (percolating).
  • We didn’t see any coding or computer science pathways and I’d like to see more.
  • Great physical space is, well, great, but not necessary to creating pathway programs for students.

I anticipate our out-of-state visitors will be talking about Wyoming for months. I look forward to the follow-up conversations. Thank you again for the great week!

Students from Rawlins High School stand in a home they are constructing and describe the project to State Superintendent Jillian Balow and CCSSO Executive Director Chris Minnich.
Home construction site in Rawlins–students explaining their work and progress

Memos to be released Monday, November 7:


Science Standards

Dear Superintendents,

Today, the Wyoming Science Content and Performance standards cleared another (and almost final) hurdle. The standards were formally adopted by the State Board. This is the last step for the State Board and they now go to the Governor’s Office for review and signature and will become effective once the Secretary of State signs them. At the WDE, the standards and assessments teams have already begun working on support for schools with respect to implementation.

Not only do the new science standards mark the era of a new review, development, and adoption process, they will also require a great deal of work to implement. No single textbook will address the dynamic science standards. Implementation guidance will include vetting open source materials, developing online guidance, providing professional development, and working with partners to develop Wyoming-specific materials. Several key partners going forward, in addition to the standards committee and schools across the state, include Wyoming Ag in the Classroom, Wyoming Public Broadcasting (PBS), and members of business and industry.

Earlier in the week, the Joint Education, and then the Select Accountability committees moved through a very full agenda. There was significant discussion about school finance and state revenue, the Hathaway Scholarship, the state accountability system, and more. I am enthused by the depth of discussion and general direction we are headed. Draft legislation on the Hathaway Scholarship Program and accountability will be re-presented to the committee in November and I’m hopeful the committee will move forward with several impactful statutory provisions.

Next week is the AdvancED Fall Continuous Improvement Conference in Casper. I look forward to seeing many of you there.

Governor Matt Mead with Superintendent Allred in front of the new Mormon Temple in Afton, Wyoming.
The first Mormon Temple in Wyoming opened to the public in Afton this week. All five statewide elected officials, plus Vice President Cheney, attended. Superintendent Allred was an excellent host.

Memos to be released Monday, September 26:


Updates on ESSA Transition

Dear Superintendents,

I ask that you please spend time previewing the attached memos. In particular, there is a memo about calculating AYP during the transition from NCLB to ESSA. Last year, I encouraged our state to focus on state-driven performance reports versus AYP. The reports are aligned with the Wyoming accountability system and present an accurate reflection of the successes and challenges in our schools. This year, performance reports is all we will focus on since AYP will not be calculated. Over the next several weeks, additional ESSA guidance will be conveyed to you. The USDOE released a helpful FAQ document that most of your have seen. In case you haven’t, here is a link to it:


As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions or suggestions on how to best communicate the information.

This week I spent time with incoming UW President Laurie Nichols at the Trustees’ meeting. She officially starts her new post in May and brings energy, experience, and a depth of knowledge about K12 education. We’ve already begun a robust conversation about dual/concurrent enrollment, curriculum alignment, teacher/leader preparation and more. I am anxious for you to meet her.

Incoming UW President Dr. Laurie Nichols
Incoming UW President Dr. Laurie Nichols

Memos to be released Monday, March 28:


Draft Science Standards

Dear Superintendents,

Today, draft Wyoming Science Content and Performance Standards were released.  The WDE held a press conference this morning where we discussed the review/development process, the 41-person committee, and a few highlights in the standards and the process.  We also fielded questions including how the committee reconciled controversial language and standards such as climate change. Here is a link to the media release and draft standards: http://edu.wyoming.gov/draft-science-standards-available-to-the-public/ 

The committee shared their views on the review and development process in a video: https://youtu.be/5hXolvWbazY

It was with the help of Wyoming superintendents that the standards review process was improved to include greater transparency and inclusiveness while maintaining a commitment to high rigor of standards. Thank you for your work!

Next week, the State Board will have an opportunity to discuss the draft standards and vote on next steps.

Wyoming Science Standards Review Committee reaches consensus

Legislative Update

The Legislative Management Council met on Wednesday to determine interim study topics for education:

Priority #: 1 Every Student Succeeds Act

Priority #: 2 Wyoming Accountability in Education Act (WAEA)

Priority #: 3 School Finance

Priority #: 4 Hathaway Scholarship Program

Priority #: 5 Alignment of public education efforts

Priority #: 6 Distance Education

Priority #: 7 Medically Necessary Placements

These are the topics that will be discussed in the interim at 3 x 2-day meetings.  One or more of the topics may result in committee-sponsored legislation for the 2017 session.

Disability Awareness Proclamation
Disability Awareness Proclamation
Lander receives its accreditation award along with others at the Spring AdvancEd Conference
Lander receives its accreditation award along with others at the Spring AdvancEd Conference

Memos to be released March 14, 2016: