GCSD will soon begin Teacher of the Year nominations

CHEYENNE – Goshen County School District (GCSD) is gearing up to begin its teacher of the year selection to be able to submit the nomination to the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) Wyoming Teacher of the Year program. GCSD Superintendent details what the district is looking for in the 2023 District Teacher of the Year nominations.

GCSD Superintendent Ryan Kramer told the Telegram the district will officially begin its process “about mid-March when we send the forms to schools. The schools will then have about a two week window to turn in their nomination forms.”

Adding, “Teachers have to be nominated from other teachers or administrators.”

Kramer said the district will take the nomination forms and form an interview community consisting of district school administrators who do not have nominated staff to avoid a conflict of interest, various prominent community members such as bank presidents, local elected lawmakers if they have the availability, and previous teacher of the year winners.

“We will also have an interview process with each nominated teacher,” Kramer further explained. “Upon making our selection we will help the teacher apply to the WDE Teacher of the Year program after we’ve coordinated with the school to announce the selection of the winner to the teacher and their school in a surprise presentation.”

When asked what the district looks for in making its selection for Goshen County School District Teacher of the Year Kramer said, “We look for innovative teachers who have a unique way of crafting, creating and cultivating relationships with all students they interact with.”

Adding, “It’s paramount to us these nominations have the most positive impact on our student body population and at their school, so we also look to see if they are participating in innovative programs that also impact our students in their classrooms.”

Kramer said some of the innovative programs the district looks at includes various teaching styles, approved district curriculum implementations and social, emotional or character development programs, such as the implementation of the Sources of Strength program at Torrington High School (THS).

“We are looking for teachers who use different processes and who go above and beyond to reach their students in meaningful and impactful ways,” Kramer further explained. “Typically their involvement goes well beyond their typical school day and their 8 to 3 school days.”

Kramer explained how Lincoln Elementary Special Education Teacher Abby Bruch and Lingle Fort Laramie High School Mathematics teacher Erin Estes were selected as the Goshen County School District Teacher of the Year for 2021, and 2022 respectively, due to the various programs the two utilize in their classrooms.

WDE announced it opened the application for its annual Wyoming Teacher of the Year (WTOY) program; applications are due by June 30, 2023.

In a press release from WDE Chief Policy Officer (CPO) Wanda Maloney, the department announced it opened the application process; which includes information about prior WTOY winners, guidelines, tip and tricks to submitting an application to stand out as well as information about the departments WTOY Alumni program called Level Up Leadership.

“Candidates must complete their own application,” Maloney explained. “The WTOY program guidelines for applications are included in the application information document.”

In order to apply for WTOY, an application must first be selected as the teacher of the year for the district.

According to WDE, district TOYs “must be active teachers through December 2024.”

“The top three finalists will be scheduled for virtual interviews and a keynote presentation addressing their platform message,” Maloney wrote. “All of the 2024 Wyoming District TOYs and their principals are eligible for the Level Up Leadership Program.”