Wyoming Teacher of the Year

Wyoming Department of Education > For Teachers > Recognition > Wyoming Teacher of the Year

The Teacher of the Year program honors excellence in teaching around the state of Wyoming.

2024 Wyoming Teacher of the Year – John Corbin

John Corbin teaches social studies in grades nine through 12 at Cody High School in Cody, Wyoming. Corbin holds a Bachelor of Arts in history with a secondary education emphasis from the University of Northern Colorado and a Master of Science in educational leadership from Western Governors University in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Corbin is also the 2024 Park County School District 6 Teacher of the Year, a National Board Certified Teacher and has received the John P. Ellbogen Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence in the Advancement of Quality Civics Education.

Corbin believes that student relationships are central to the educational success of his students. When students know that he cares about them and is working hard for them, they will give him their best. Corbin tells his students that they will do things differently in the classroom. They will challenge the status quo and will do things that will prime their brains for learning and focus in that moment. These students learn, think critically and push themselves to achieve their best each day.

Two moments stand out for Corbin professionally. They were both initiated by his students. When he was awarded the John P. Ellbogen Award for civics and the Wyoming State Teacher of the Year for 2024, his students knew even before the presenter said his name and were chanting for him to get the award. People were surprised by this, but his students knew because together they are intentional about being different.


2024 District Teachers of the Year

Duties & Responsibilities of the Wyoming Teacher of the Year

The successful candidate who will serve as the Wyoming Teacher of the Year (WTOY) must maintain his/her current employment position. If the WTOY is selected as the National Teacher of the Year (NTOY), they will be released from classroom responsibilities during the year of national recognition.

Being named WTOY comes with the significant responsibility of representing the teaching profession in Wyoming.

The WTOY acts as:

  • A liaison between the teaching community, Wyoming Legislature, Wyoming Department of Education, districts and communities.
  • An education ambassador to businesses, parents, service organizations, and media.
  • A resource on the state of the profession; to be available for workshops and conferences around the state.
  • An education leader involved in teacher forums and education reform.

The WTOY is also expected to attend both state and national events such as education meetings, conferences, and workshops. 

Since the WTOY will be requested to attend many events and make speeches during the year, they must be poised, articulate, and have the energy to withstand a busy schedule.

The WTOY automatically becomes the nominee for the National Teacher of the Year Program, which is a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers.

WTOY Selection Process

All applications received by the deadline will go to the WDE selection panel for review. This Application Information Document provides more information about the WTOY selection process.

Scoring of each application will be based on the 2025 TOY Rubric. The selection panel will individually score each application. The TOY Coordinator will compile all scores to have the top three applications become finalists. 

The finalists will also be scheduled for virtual interviews where the entire selection panel will ask finalists questions about their teaching style and practices. The questions for this interview will NOT be given out ahead of time. In addition, the finalists will be asked to give a 5-7 minute keynote addressing their platform topic. 

The selection panel will score both the finalist keynotes and interviews individually. Again, scores will be combined to select the WTOY. If there is a tie, the selection panel will meet to discuss and select a recommendation for final approval by the State Superintendent.

A document with suggestions for submitting your application can be found here.

2025 WTOY Application

Contact Information:

For more information about the Teacher of the Year program, please contact Madison Lacey, Teacher Leadership & Awards Consultant, at madison.lacey@wyo.gov or 307-777-6840.