WPM is committed to covering education issues in Wyoming in a thoughtful and thorough way.  We dedicated a page to capture news and information that educates us about education!  This main page captures all education-related stories aired on WPM, and updates you on broad issues.  Check out our Strengthening Education Reporting page for stories focused primarily on graduation rates and how to encourage an upward trend in education.


6:37 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Wyoming Ed Director says the graduation rate can be improved

Many in the state are concerned about the dropout rate in Wyoming’s schools.  State Director of Education Rich Crandall says in addressing the problem the goal should be to continue to engage and challenge students. 

Crandall says the best way to turn things around is to focus on improving the education experience.

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Open Spaces
3:34 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

New UW President wants to take a holistic approach to admissions

University of Wyoming President Robert Sternberg

Last month, Bob Sternberg took over as the new president of the University of Wyoming. In recent weeks, has explained that he wants UW to attempt to be an inclusive University that doesn’t focus on things like a student’s ACT scores, and rather looks more at the whole package. 

President Sternberg tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck that it’s more important to make sure students are properly prepared for higher education, and their future is much more important than test scores. 

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7:16 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Federal officials discuss Native American Education in Riverton

Credit Tom Laycock / Wyoming Department of Education

Officials from the Wind River Reservation discussed dropout rates, poverty issues, and the need for early childhood education during a panel that included two cabinet secretaries. 

The meeting in Riverton was intended to let Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Education Secretary Arne Duncan hear about issues on the reservation.  State Board of Education Member Scotty Ratliff was impressed that the discussion moved away from cultural issues and centered on key issues like poverty and jobs.         

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5:46 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Special Legislative Committee begins investigation of State Superintendent Cindy Hill

Credit Bob Beck

State Superintendent Cindy Hill says she has grave concerns about a legislative committee that is investigating possible wrongdoing within her administration.  The Committee is following up on a report that suggested possible misuse of funds and mistreatment of employees.  Speaker of the House Tom Lubnau says they want to determine if action needs to be taken against Hill or if the issue needs to be dropped.  Hill told the committee that she did nothing wrong and suggested that there may be reasons for the accusations.

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Open Spaces
4:17 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Albany County authorities train together to take on an active shooter

University of Wyoming Police hosted a three-day active shooter training session in the Classroom Building. The purpose was to train law enforcement agencies from across Albany County to collaboratively handle someone who is killing, or trying to kill, people in a confined and populated area.
Credit Rebecca Martinez

Ever since the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado, law enforcement agencies across Wyoming have been have been preparing for how they might handle an active shooter situation.  

This summer, authorities from agencies across Albany County gathered in Laramie for some high intensity training… together. Rebecca Martinez reports.

OFFICER: Come out with your hands up.

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6:45 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

UW provost will resign

University of Wyoming Provost Myron Allen

University of Wyoming Provost Myron Allen has announced he will resign this fall.

A press release from UW President Bob Sternberg’s office says he accepted Allen’s resignation, which will go into effect on September 1. The release did not offer a reason for Allen's resignation.

Sternberg is asking the UW community and stakeholders to offer input and recommend an interim vice president for academic affairs. He invites anyone to send him an e-mail at

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Open Spaces
3:41 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Wyoming Education reforms move forward as the Hill debate continues

Unless you are new to the state or have lived under a rock, you are aware that the state legislature passed a law that changed the powers of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and placed a Director in charge of Education.  Now lawmakers are investing a report that suggests possible wrong doing by Superintendent Cindy Hill…charges she denies.  It might lead people to worry about education in the state.  But lawmakers want you to know that they continue to try and make change for the better.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck has the story…

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6:34 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Lawmakers discuss innovation

The Joint Education Committee wrapped up two days of meetings talking about everything from improving Native American education to better uses of technology in the classroom.  

Glenrock Senator Jim Anderson   says lawmakers have had some distractions in recent months with the controversy surrounding Superintendent Cindy Hill, but he says they are moving forward with some good ideas.

“If we are not doing it, at least we are starting to lay some framework and some discussion and open people’s minds to the idea of new options and new alternatives.”

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6:55 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Lawmakers say virtual schools need accountability

Wyoming lawmakers are trying to make alternative virtual schools accountable for the students they serve.  Virtual schools are classes students can attend on-line.  One snag has been identified in Niobrara County where the local school district saw its graduation rate drop after a virtual school started in the area. Some lawmakers think that the Virtual School may have impacted the local district’s graduation rate.  House Education Committee Member Cathy Connolly of Laramie says they need to find a way to make virtual schools stand on their own.      

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3:12 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Wind River Reservation Schools say they are fighting to improve

School officials from the Wind River Reservation admit they have problems graduating students and with educating students, but they also say they are slowly making progress.  School officials told a meeting of two legislative committees that more early education and more involvement with parents.  But they all say that socio-economic factors also play a role.  Wyoming Interim Education Director Jim Rose says resolving that issue will be tricky.

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Open Spaces
2:00 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Wyoming Education Association President is pleased with where the state is heading

Kathy Vetter
Credit Photo Courtesy of the Wyoming Education Association

Monday the President of the Wyoming Education Association Kathy Vetter will join other colleagues from across the nation in Atlanta for the National Education Association Representative Assembly where they will discuss a number of education issues.  Kathy Vetter joined Bob Beck to discuss some issues that might come up and give us her thoughts on some education issues facing Wyoming.  One issue is on the agenda surrounds school safety and gun safety prevention.

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2:20 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Mead excited about new Education Director

Governor Matt Mead says the newly appointed Director of the Wyoming Department of Education will bring fresh ideas to the state. 

Rich Crandall will take over the day-to-day duties of running the Department after those duties were removed from Superintendent Cindy Hill.  Mead says state residents will be impressed with Crandall.

“He is focused like a laser on education, on students, on teachers, on principals, superintendents and importantly parents on what they want to see in the educational system.” 

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Hill Investigation
6:39 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

House speaker calls for investigation of Hill administration

Representative Thomas E. Lubnau, II

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Wyoming House Speaker Tom Lubnau is asking for a special committee to be empanelled to investigate state schools Superintendent Cindy Hill's administration of the state Education Department.

Lubnau wants the House Rules Committee to handle the probe. It could be a step toward possible impeachment proceedings against Hill, depending on its findings and recommendation.

Lubnau, a Gillette Republican, made the request Tuesday to Republican Senate President Tony Ross, of Cheyenne.

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Cindy Hill
6:43 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Gov. Mead's office releases report commenting on successes of and allegations against Cindy Hill

Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill


Governor Matt Mead’s office interviewed current and former employees of the Wyoming Department of Education about Superintendent Cindy Hill’s administration there. The Legislature removed the superintendent as head of the Education Department in January. Mead’s office released a report compiling positive and negative feedback Tuesday.

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Topic of the Week
12:49 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

What do you think about the proposal to improve early childhood education in the state?

What do you think about the proposal to improve early childhood education in the state?

WPM/NPR Community Discussion Rules

4:44 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Mead is still considering Education Director candidates

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead says he is still weighing the attributes of the three finalists for the state’s new Education Director.  The Director would run the State Department of Education.  

Mead has interviewed all three, but says he wants more time to consider them.

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Open Spaces
4:30 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Data processing failures spur plans to overhaul Wyoming Department of Education

Credit Wyoming Department of Education

Recent leadership and policy changes have caused upheaval in the Wyoming Department of education, but the collection and processing of data has been insufficient for years. An audit of the WDE’s Information Management unit is showing that there are major flaws in the system, and that an overhaul of the department is in order. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez reports.

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4:53 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Bill would combat student suicide rates through increased teacher training

In light of Wyoming’s high suicide rate, the state Legislature’s Joint Education Committee has voted to draft legislation that would implement the Jason Flatt Act in the cowboy state. It would require all school teachers to participate in a two-hour suicide prevention training every year to maintain their licenses.

Wyoming had the highest suicide rate in the country in 2012.  Joint Education Committee co-chairman Senator Hank Coe says it’s an especially tough issue in his district. Six people in Park County have taken their own lives so far this year.

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4:27 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Committee to consider bill that cracks down on school bus route violations

A group of students from Fremont County School District 6 asked the Joint Education Committee to help crack down on school bus fly-bys in the state.

A fly-by is when a motorist illegally passes a school bus that has stopped to load or unload students, while raising a stop sign and turning on flashing warning lights.

Eleven-year-old Makayla Strahle of Crowhart was one of nine children killed in fly-bys nationally during the 2011 school year.

Fremont County District 6 Superintendent Diana Clapp says she was glad the committee was receptive to the students’ message.

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3:15 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

State Education data collection needs improvement

A new report shows that the Wyoming Department of Education data collection and processing arm is needs serious improvements.

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6:38 am
Wed May 29, 2013

State Board of Education looks for new Education Director

Today the Wyoming Board of Education begins the process of trying to find a Director of Education.  Board Chairman Ron Micheli said the board plans to interview a group of candidates this weekend and narrow the list to three by Saturday and submit that list to the governor for his consideration. 

The Director will be in charge of running the State Department of Education after Superintendent Cindy Hill’s duties were changed by the state legislature.  Micheli said that he’s looking for someone who will be a good fit for Wyoming.

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4:54 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Lots of interest in Wyoming Education Director post

A search firm says there is a lot of interest in Wyoming’s opening for a new Director of Education.  The position was created by the State Legislature to take over day to day operations of the State Department of Education. 

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9:36 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Arapahoe School District names new superintendent

Credit Associated Press

Fremont County School District 38 in Arapahoe has a new acting superintendent.

Former assistant superintendent Chantell Denson stepped in last week when former Superintendent Jonathan Braack left to take over the Niobrara County School District.

During the 16 months Braack was superintendent, the once struggling Arapahoe Schoo met No Child Left Behind’s requirements for Annual Yearly Progress for the first time under the Safe Harbor program.

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4:50 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Jackson Hole students to represent Wyoming at National History Day competition

Thirteen Jackson Hole High School students swept the preliminary rounds of a competition that will take them to Washington, DC next month, where they’ll represent Wyoming at the National History Day competition.

Fifteen-year old Bella Wood is a student in teacher Jeff Brazil’s Honors U.S. History class, which participated in the contest themed “Turning Points in History.” She says this is her second chance to take a project to the national competition. Wood says they’re experiences she’ll take with her into college and beyond.

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Women in Science
4:45 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

UW to host hands-on workshop to inspire women to pursue science

Jessica Friis, a horticulturalist for the Paul Smith Children’s Village at Cheyenne Botanic Gardens, watches two Douglas Middle School students during her “Hydroponic Plant” course at last year’s Women in Science Conference. More than 500 female high school and middle school students are expected to attend this year’s event at UW.
Credit Wyoming NASA Space Grant Consortium / University of Wyoming

More than 500 girls from across Wyoming will gather at the University of Wyoming Tuesday for the annual Women in Science Conference.

The Wyoming NASA Space Grant Consortium hosts the event, during which the middle- and high-school students learn about various applications of science, technology, math and engineering. In past years, students have identified animal skulls, developed computer games, and learned about anatomy in UW’s Human Cadaver Lab. Many of the scientists leading the programs are women.

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Open Spaces
4:21 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

UW graduates praise their education

Credit Courtesy of University of Wyoming

This weekend a new set of graduates are leaving the University of Wyoming.  For some, they are facing an unknown job situation, but others are ready to jump into their careers.  The graduates also talked about Wyoming’s efforts to keep them in-state. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck sat down with three graduates from U-W’s College of business and found that two are leaving and one thinks he’ll hang around a bit longer.

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5:45 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

May 7th is Teacher Appreciation Day

May 7th is Teacher Appreciation Day.

Kathy Vetter, President of the Wyoming Education Association, taught elementary through high school students in Wheatland during her 30 years in the classroom. She says that teachers’ responsibilities have changed as students’ own roles have changed. “When I started teaching,” says Vetter, “going to school was the student’s job. Now, that’s only one of many jobs students have, that they have to divide their time amongst—and so there’s more pressure on the teachers and the students.”

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4:37 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Wyoming's high school graduation rate continues to fall

Credit Bob Beck / Natrona County High School

Wyoming’s Interim Education Director is expressing concerns about the state’s declining graduation rate.  Jim Rose notes that Wyoming’s high school graduation rate has fallen below 80 percent for the second straight year.

The most recent numbers show that 78-point-nine percent of public high school students graduated in the 2011-2012 school year. Rose says this is an indicator that the state has some work to do to get the graduation numbers higher.

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5:52 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Hill threatens to sue over libelous white paper

A lawyer representing State Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill is threatening to sue over comments by legislators that appeared in a white paper explaining why lawmakers removed much of Hill’s power.  The white paper was crafted to respond to non-legislative members of the Wyoming Republican Party who expressed concern over the law's passage.  It was distributed in an email by Big Horn Representative Rosie Berger.   Hill’s Attorney Robert DiLorenzo wrote Berger saying that the white paper appeared to be defamatory and he demanded that Berger provide proof for several statements

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3:37 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

GOP leaders endorse superintendent law repeal

The Wyoming Republican Party Central Committee has approved a resolution endorsing the drive to repeal the state law that took power away from the state superintendent of public instruction.

The Central Committee approved the resolution on a 40-32 vote over the weekend in Buffalo.

The action is a slap at the Republican controlled state Legislature and Republican Gov. Matt Mead who approved the law during this past legislative session.

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