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Wyoming Educators Prepare Policy Recommendations

March 6, 2009
Man and two women
Rollin Abernethy, UW associate provost of academic affairs representing the P-16 Council, and Natrona County WTPI fellows Deyonne Jackson and Nicole Roden, met recently as part of the Wyoming Teacher Policy Institute.

A select group of educators from across the state discussed legislative issues and developed policy recommendations and action plans during a recent meeting with state educational leaders in Cheyenne. Members of the Wyoming Teacher Policy Institute (WTPI) met with faculty from the University of Wyoming and members of the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) and the State Board of Education.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jim McBride and Deputy State Superintendent Joe Simpson met with WTPI participants, called Fellows, to discuss the shift in focus of the legislature from educational funding to accountability for educational outcomes.

McBride encouraged discussion among the Fellows and answered questions related to the K-12 educational system in Wyoming. Laurel Ballard, WTPI director and WDE educational quality and accountability supervisor, explained the WTPI mission and goals to the State Board of Education.

Ballard and board members discussed policy making and the possibility of including WTPI Fellows in future meetings to gain the perspective of educators who conduct research in their classrooms.

UW faculty who participated in the WTPI meetings were Allen Trent, WTPI action research adviser; Rollin Abernethy, associate provost of academic affairs representing the P-16 Council; Audrey Kleinsasser, UW professor and director of the Wyoming School-University Partnership; Carol Bryant, UW associate professor in secondary education; and Jeasik Cho, UW assistant professor in educational studies.

WDE WTPI leadership team members from Laramie included Ballard and WTPI co-directors Roy Hoyle and Bob Bryant.

GEAR UP Wyoming (GUWY), a college preparation program for income-eligible students, co-sponsored the project with WDE. WTPI leadership team members from GUWY were Donna Regan, grant manager, and Lori Kimbrough, professional development coordinator. Michael Wade, UW Student Educational Opportunity associate director responsible for oversight of GUWY, also attended.

WPTI partners with the Wyoming Department of Education, UW and public school teachers and administrators across the state. For more information about WTPI, call Ballard at (307) 777-7016.

Participating teachers were:

Albany County School District 1, Laramie -- Deb Alworth, Ruth Hanks and Donna Hockley from Laramie Junior High School; Kate Kniss from Linford Elementary; and Andrea Hayden from Spring Creek Elementary.

Laramie County School District 1, Cheyenne -- Susan Pannell from Carey Junior High School; Gary Scott from Triumph High School; Angie Matsen and Jim Zlomke from East High School; Diana Clark and Tascha Smith from Johnson Junior High School; Becky Evans from Hobbs Elementary; and Kathrine Thelen from Afflerbach Elementary.

Natrona County School District 1, Casper -- Jennifer Grooms, Nicole Roden and Deyonne Jackson from Woods Learning Center.

Washakie County School District 1, Worland -- Shauna Bruckner from West Side Elementary School.

Posted on Friday, March 06, 2009

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