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UW Gains Seat on State Board of Education

May 15, 2017
man standing
UW College of Education Dean D. Ray Reutzel will serve on the Wyoming State Board of Education. (UW Photo)

University of Wyoming College of Education Dean D. Ray Reutzel will represent UW on the Wyoming State Board of Education.

UW President Laurie Nichols made the appointment in response to House Bill 42, signed by Gov. Matt Mead in February, granting the university president a nonvoting, ex-officio membership on the State Board of Education. The move aims to improve communication and collaboration among the state’s educational institutions, and create a more seamless transition for students from Wyoming’s public K-12 schools into higher education.

“I think the impetus of this was to try to create a seamless preschool-to-graduate school system, where we’re talking to each other rather than talking by or past each other,” Reutzel says.

He adds that sometimes there is a disconnect between K-12 perceived proficiencies and what’s required at the university level. UW’s voice on the board can help clarify these issues. In addition, as the College of Education dean, Reutzel has an expert knowledge of K-12 curriculum, and his college prepares many of Wyoming’s current and future teachers, as well as administrators.

“There are, on occasion, issues that relate to school curriculum and teacher preparation that traverse the two institutions of higher and regular education,” he says.

State Board of Education Chair Pete Gosar welcomed the change as a way to remove silos and improve student preparation.

The State Board of Education was established in 1917 to set key educational policies for Wyoming’s K-12 districts. It is an independent body, appointed by the governor to represent stakeholders throughout the state, including Wyoming’s more than 90,000 students. The board is responsible for setting key policies in districts related to state standards, school accreditation, accountability and assessments to help ensure that all students have equal access to a quality education. The board works closely with the Wyoming Department of Education, which implements many of the policies the State Board of Education is responsible for setting.

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