Superintendent-Elect Announces Leadership Team

Proven Leadership to Take Helm of Wyoming Department of Education

Dec. 9, 2014

Today, Jillian Balow, Superintendent of Public Instruction-Elect announced her leadership team. The group of proven leaders includes Dicky Shanor, Chief of Staff; Dianne Bailey, Chief Financial Officer; Brent Young, Chief Policy Officer; and Brent Bacon, Chief Academic Officer. Rita Watson will serve as Balow’s Executive Assistant.

“Leadership matters. Today, I am pleased to announce my leadership team who will bring professionalism, expertise, stability, and integrity to the ranks of the Wyoming Department of Education. We cannot continue down this path of instability which is why I have assembled a tremendous team who will work to establish excellence in Wyoming education by empowering department staff, engaging districts and other stakeholders, and facilitating collaboration across the state.” said Jillian Balow.

Chief of Staff Dicky Shanor brings diverse management, law, and policy experience to the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE). He is currently a member of the executive management team of an eight state regional law firm, administrator of a small state agency, managing member of a multi-state political consulting firm, part-owner of a real estate investment and management company, and a Cheyenne City Councilman. He also has experience in human services and early childhood education. Dicky is a graduate of Cheyenne Central High School and obtained a B.A. in Political Science from Yale University and a J.D. from the University of Wyoming.

Chief Financial Officer Dianne Bailey is currently the WDE Finance and Data Division Director. She will continue her financial duties and also oversee other WDE operations such as Human Resources and administration. Bailey brings a wealth of education finance experience. Bailey worked at the WDE for ten years, left briefly for eighteen months to serve as Chief Financial Officer at the School Facilities Department, and returned to the WDE in February 2013. Her prior work in state finance was with the Wyoming Department of Health. Dianne is a Nebraska native, moving to Cheyenne with her family after she graduated from High School. Dianne attended the University of Wyoming to earn her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. She has served as a member of the State Treasurer’s Working Group, advising the five elected officials in areas of investments for the state, and chaired a statewide accountability Sub-Committee within the Governor’s ARRA Committee.

Chief Policy Officer Brent Young comes to the WDE from Laramie County School District #1 where he served as Assistant Director of Instruction. Prior to his time in central administration, Young spent over twenty years in Wyoming schools as a teacher and principal. He also served as a member of the Wyoming State Board of Education, Professional Teaching Standards Board, and other education associations. Young is a Laramie native and received his B.S. in Elementary Education, and M.A. in Educational Leadership from the University of Wyoming. Brent is also a recipient of the well-regarded Milken National Educator Award.

Chief Academic Officer Brent Bacon has a distinguished record of leadership in education, where he is currently the Director of Special Services for Laramie County School District #2. Previously, he was a resource room teacher for Laramie County School District #1. From 1994-2010 he was an Adjunct Instructor at Laramie County Community College teaching introduction in special education, exceptional students, and reading improvement. Bacon pursued his undergraduate work at Nebraska Wesleyan University, where he received his B.S. in Special Education, Health and Physical Education, and received a coaching endorsement. From there, he attended Lesley University where he earned his M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction. He also graduated from Chadron State College with an Education Specialist Degree and his Superintendent Certification. Bacon also attended the University of Wyoming and earned a Principal Endorsement and Administration Certification. In 2014 Brent was named the Wyoming Special Education Administrator of the Year.

Executive Assistant Rita Watson has been the backbone of the WDE for over thirty years. She will serve as Balow’s Executive Assistant during the new administration.


Superintendent-Elect Balow’s transition office is located in Room 255 of the Hathaway Building, they can be reached at 307-777-7675 or superintendent.elect@wyo.gov.
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