Level Up

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Level Up

Program Overview

The Level Up Leadership Program seeks to elevate Wyoming’s education professionals by providing leadership development to an annual cohort of Wyoming’s leading educators. Upon completion of this program, these educators will be better prepared to tackle the daily challenges of providing an exceptional education to Wyoming students as well as become leaders in their community.

This program will help education leaders build relationships that cross district lines, increase the knowledge of what is going on in other parts of the state, and help these leaders develop strategies to continue to engage with their community.

The 2020 Level Up Leadership Cohort is made up of the 2020 District Teachers of the Year (DTOY) and their principals, Milken Educator Award winners, and Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching (PAEMST) recipients and finalists.

Program Goals

Advocacy Training with State Policymakers

This program will provide the cohort training in public policy issues with an emphasis on education policy. Throughout this experience, participants will learn how to create clarity to their message and open lines of communication for change. The primary event for this goal is the Leadership StartUp Session to be held in Cheyenne on February 26-27, 2020 during the legislative session. Participants will learn how the legislature operates as well as how to use their voice to represent educators and students in their district.

Leadership Training with the Wyoming Military Department

The cohort will go through extensive leadership training by learning from Wyoming’s military leaders. The primary event centered on this goal is the Wyoming Educator Leadership Rendezvous at the Wyoming Military Department’s Camp Guernsey Joint Training Center on August 5-7, 2020. This event will challenge the assumptions and perceptions you may have about education and military life and serve as the ultimate confidence and team building exercise.

Continuous Improvement with the University of Wyoming College of Education

The program will help education leaders in the cohort continue to advance their craft, including instilling a growth mindset in these leaders. Participants will be encouraged to share their learning experiences with colleagues in their home school districts after learning from some of Wyoming’s most experienced education leaders. The primary event for this goal is the Next Level Summit to be held September 17-18, 2020 in Laramie. In addition, educators will engage in conversations about how rural educators need a larger physical network and how to partner with others to meet their needs, such as the business community.

2020 Level Up Cohort

2020 Level Up Cohort with First Lady Jennie Gordon

  • Bertine Bahige, Campbell County School District #1, Principal
  • Jennifer Farnes, Campbell County School District #1, DTOY
  • Valerie Bruce, Campbell County School District #1, 2019 WTOY
  • Emily Haught, Converse County School District #1, DTOY
  • Haylei Butler, Converse County School District #1, Principal
  • Brian Harms, Goshen County School District #1, DTOY
  • Chase Christensen, Goshen County School District #1, Principal
  • Aimee Kay, Hot Springs County School District #1, PAEMST Finalist
  • Catelyn Deromedi, Hot Springs County School District #1, Principal
  • Nichole Ciz, Hot Springs County School District #1, DTOY
  • Shannon Hill, Hot Springs County School District #1, Milken Educator Award, 2017
  • Carol Ruby, Johnson County School District #1, DTOY
  • Laurie Graves, Johnson County School District #1, Principal
  • Amy Kassel, Laramie County School District #1, PAEMST
  • Brian Cox, Laramie County School District #1, Milken, 2019
  • Fred George, Laramie County School District #1, Principal
  • Kim Parfitt, Laramie County School District #1, DTOY
  • Christina Nusbaum, Laramie County School District #2, DTOY
  • LeAnn Smith, Laramie County School District #2, Principal
  • Cheryl Anderson, Natrona County School District #1, PAEMST Finalist
  • Necole Hanks, Park County County School District #1, PAEMST 2018, DTOY 2018
  • Cris Williams, Park County School District #1, PAEMST Finalist
  • Annie Griffin, Sheridan County School District #1, Principal
  • Molly Stamenkovic, Sheridan County School District #1, DTOY
  • David Galindo, Sweetwater County School District #1, DTOY
  • Tina Searle, Sweetwater County School District #1, Principal
  • Bradlee W. Skinner, Sweetwater County School District #2, DTOY
  • Darren Howard, Sweetwater County School District #2, Principal
  • Carrie Varga, Teton County School District #1, Principal
  • Chris Bessonette, Teton County School District #1, Milken, 2018
  • Jennifer Kelley, Teton County School District #1, PAEMST Finalist
  • Sheena Dhamsania, Teton County School District #1, DTOY
  • Dane Weaver, Washakie County School District #2, DTOY, 2020 Wyoming Teacher of the Year
  • Levi Collins, Washakie County School District #2, Principal
  • Jim Stith, Weston County School District #1, PAEMST, 2017
  • Ali Womack, Weston County School District #7, DTOY
  • Linda Crawford, Weston County School District #7, Principal


For more information about the Level Up Leadership Program, contact Robin Grandpre at robin.grandpre1@wyo.gov or 307-777-5315.