GILLETTE, Wyo. — Campbell County School District Human Resources Director Larry Reznicek said it’s extremely important that local residents and personnel apply for a new state taskforce.
The Wyoming Department of Education announced today it’s partnering with the Wyoming Professional Standards Board to set up the taskforce. The taskforce’s mission is to develop recommendations for state policymakers and district-level and school-level staff to increase efforts to positively impact the education workforce.
“Based on the stated mission, it is extremely important that this task force is created and we have representation from Campbell County School District,” Reznicek said.
A nationwide teaching shortage calls for working with stakeholders to come up with solutions, he said.
“As our funding is supported through the state and local taxpayers, it is important to recognize the ongoing costs of education, especially when building an effective educational workforce,” he said. “A quality teacher is shown to produce the greatest student achievement in classrooms. To be able to continue with this goal we need to be able to continue to pay educators for their work.
“We also want to encourage college-bound students to choose education as a career and support their efforts in an ever-changing educational environment. Along with encouraging state policymakers, we at the district and school level need to continue recognizing the importance of all positions within our schools including paraprofessionals, custodians, food service workers, bus drivers, secretaries, and maintenance personnel as they are an integral part of keeping our schools running!”
The department and the board will accept applications from stakeholders through Jan. 20. The taskforce will include up to three district superintendents, three principals, 10 teachers, one parent, one teacher who has left the profession, one personnel director, one school counselor and one post-secondary representative. Applications are here.
Those who apply must attend an in-person meeting Feb. 11 in Casper. There will also be in-person meetings on the second Saturday of March, April and May. There may be additional virtual meetings. Applicants will learn their selection status by Feb. 1.
Campbell County School District’s school board in November approved a $1,000 incentive for teachers, licensed professionals and administrators who inform Reznicek before Feb. 15 that they intend to resign. The goal is to make it easier for the district to hire teachers’ replacements. The board also approved pitching hiring bonuses to new teachers instead of surprising teachers with the bonuses. The district raised contract release liquidation damages amounts as well.
The department and the board established the Wyoming Teacher Apprenticeship in fall 2022. The pilot school districts — Laramie County School District #1, Teton County School District #1 and Fremont County School District #24 — will start taking applications for apprentices this spring. The department will begin conversations with interested school districts statewide in fall 2023 for apprentices who will apply in spring 2024, according to the department.