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.

2022 Wyoming Teacher of the Year – Brittney Montgomery

Brittney Montgomery, a first-grade teacher at Sweetwater County School District #2’s Harrison Elementary School in Green River, was named Wyoming’s 2022 Teacher of the Year, during Wednesday’s Wyoming Education Summit.

Montgomery is an advocate for her students and believes in every student’s ability to grow academically and socially, setting students up for success. Montgomery uses positive reinforcement, motivates, and encourages students to become life-long learners. She teaches students to take ownership of their learning and to be advocates for themselves and their peers.

“I am so excited to work with Brittney as Wyoming’s Teacher of the Year,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow. “Her skill and passion in the classroom and as a teacher leader will represent Wyoming well. Brittany’s belief in teaching the entire child is evident –  she has a positive impact on the students she teaches. As Teacher of the Year, her influence and impact will extend to colleagues and others across the state and nation.”

Every student Montgomery encounters is treated as if they were her own child. When school shut down, Montgomery began reading stories online to help children keep a sense of normalcy. This was quickly picked up by a local news source and “Storytime with Mrs. Montgomery” was shared with thousands of children across the country.

“One of the things when I think about Brittney as an educator is her ability to connect with kids and build relationships –  it just puts her over the top,” said Steven Lake, Principal of Harrison Elementary School, “The little things set her apart. During the pandemic, Brittney’s story time turned into something that ended up impacting students across the county. She has such positive energy that is infectious for staff and for students.”

Montgomery said she has a desire to help those pursuing a career in education. She works with new educators as a mentor-teacher and spends time helping college students pursuing their degree in education. Montgomery is an active member of her school leadership committee and served as secretary for the Green River Education Association.

“I am honored to have been chosen as the 2022 Wyoming Teacher of the Year,” Montgomery said. “We are blessed in Wyoming with some of the best educators in the nation and I am proud to have been nominated beside them. Congratulations to all of the 2022 District Teachers of the Year. I look forward to representing – and being an ambassador – of education in our incredible state.”

The Wyoming Teacher of the Year comes with the significant responsibility of representing the teaching profession in Wyoming. The Wyoming Teacher of the Year acts as liaison among the teaching community, Wyoming Legislature, Wyoming Department of Education, districts and communities. In addition, the Teacher of the Year is an education ambassador to businesses, parents, service organizations, and media, as well as an education leader involved in teacher forums and education reform.

2022 District Teachers of the Year

  • Lisa Johnson – Albany County School District #1.
  • Christy Banks – Big Horn County School District #1.
  • Aryn Tippetts – Big Horn County School District #2.
  • Jennifer Simmons – Big Horn County School District #4.
  • Steven Schofield – Campbell County School District #1.
  • Cynthia Cobb – Carbon County School District #1.
  • Crystal Clark – Carbon County School District #2.
  • McKenzie Kilgore – Converse County School District #1.
  • Sierra Renton – Converse County School District #2.
  • Tina Inghram – Crook County School District #1.
  • Tyler Roberts – Fremont County School District #1.
  • Katrina Dingman – Fremont County School District #2.
  • Aleta Moss – Fremont County School District #14.
  • Meagan Chopping – Fremont County School District #38.
  • Kara Hill – Goshen County School District #1.
  • Jacob Strenger – Hot Springs County School District #1.
  • Kelsey Warren – Johnson County School District #1.
  • Rebecca Murray – Laramie County School District #1.
  • Amber Barrett – Laramie County School District #2.
  • Rick Zimmer – Natrona County School District #1.
  • Laura Lyons – Niobrara County School District #1.
  • Stacey Cass – Niobrara County School District #1, Wyoming Virtual Academy. 
  • Darci Ostermiller – Park County School District #1. 
  • Travis McLeod – Park County School District #6.
  • Nicole Davis – Park County School District #16.
  • Nichole Deeney – Platte County School District #1.
  • Sarah VanNatter – Platte County School District #2.
  • Edward Hinzman – Sheridan County School District #1.
  • Timothy Doolin – Sheridan County School District #2.
  • George Vlastos – Sublette County School District #1.
  • All teachers – Sweetwater County School District #1.
  • Brittney Montgomery – Sweetwater County School District #2  (2022 Wyoming Teacher of the Year).
  • Amy Manhart – Teton County School District #1.
  • Deanne Davis – Uinta County School District #1.
  • Valerie Wood – Uinta County School District #6.
  • Vanessa Keller – Washakie County School District #1.
  • Dustin Stephenson – Washakie County School District #2. 
  • Jaimie Gray – Weston County School District #1.
  • Karla Ludemann – Weston County School District #7.

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 2023 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.

2023 WTOY Application

If you were selected as a 2023 District Teacher of the Year (DTOY), you are eligible to apply for the 2023 WTOY. The application is due on June 30, 2022.

Click here for the 2023 Wyoming Teacher of the Year Application


2023 Teacher of the Year Timeline and Selection Process*

Timeline Description
By a deadline established by your local school district Submit application to the point person(s) who facilitates the DTOY program in your district.
June 30, 2022 Each DTOY submits the online application to the WDE. All applicants become candidates for the WTOY award.
July 1 through September 2022 WDE Team moves through its selection process for WTOY.
No later than September 1, 2022 Each participating district announces its DTOY awardee. The local school district may choose to announce its DTOY any time before this date but no later than this date.

Please note: a DTOY that becomes a finalist for WTOY will be notified sometime between June and July.

September 2022 2023 WTOY is announced by the WDE.
October 31, 2022 Application for the National Teacher of the Year (NTOY) award is due. This is submitted by the WDE on behalf of the WTOY.
December 2022 The National Selection Committee moves through its selection process for NTOY.
December 2022  Four NTOY finalists, their state superintendent, and state teams of the four states selected will be notified by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).
February 2023  The four NTOY finalists will be brought to Washington, D.C., where they will meet with the Selection Committee in a variety of situations, including individual interviews.
April/May 2023  The 2023 National Teacher of the Year will be announced and honored in Washington, DC.
*The State Superintendent of Public Instruction makes the final decision on the Wyoming Teacher of the Year winner.

Contact Information:

For more information about the Teacher of the Year program, please contact:

Robin Grandpre
WDE Teacher of the Year Coordinator
robin.grandpre1@wyo.gov
307-777-5315