2014 Primary Election results - Sublette County, Wyoming (posted 8/19/14)
Stephen Haskell won the race for Sublette County Sheriff.
4,592 registered voters
2,592 votes cast
56.45% Voter turnout
Click here for a PDF of the unofficial results.
Click here for a PDF of the Precinct Results.
Joel Bousman (R) - 1,122
John LaBuda (R) - 884
Andy Nelson (R) - 1,316
Courtney Skinner (D) - 93
Douglas Vickrey (R) - 979
Micelle Hosler -713
EJ Koppenhafer - 429
Mary Lankford - 868
Holly Roberts - 409
Roxanna Jensen - 1,271
Delta McCormick - 1,106
Jeness Saxton - 2,158
Clerk of District Court
Janet Montgomery - 2,098
Curt Covill - 1,350
Eric Marincic - 1,018
Stephen Haskell - 1,196
Dave Lankford - 990
Andrew "Mac" Mackenzie - 221
Clayton Kainer - 1,932
1-1 Pinedale Precinct Committeemen (3)
Bob Rule - 265
Dexter Smith - 323
William Twitchell - 317
1-1 Pinedale Precinct Committeewomen (3)
Pam Murdock - 327
Karen Rule - 241
Lois Twitchell - 296
1-3 Pinedale West Precinct Committeemen (3)
Duke Edwards - 187
Dean Loftus - 210
Don Moritsch - 158
Darrell Walker - 255
Ralph "Ed" Wood - 307
1-3 Pinedale West Precinct Committeewomen (2)
Debbie Vickrey - 431
Verna Walker - 347
1-4 Boulder Precinct Committeemen (2)
Walt Bousman - 216
Bruce Eaton - 136
1-4 Boulder Precinct Committeewomen (2)
Kelly Eaton - 222
2-1 Big Piney Precinct Committeemen (3)
Claude Arthur - 236
Bob Brackett - 270
Lee Shafer - 315
2-1 Big Piney Precinct Committeewomen (3)
Jackie Arthur - 271
Jacqueline Murray - 218
Donna Shafer - 313
2-2 Marbleton Precinct Committeemen (1)
Donese "Tex" Williams - 179
2-2 Marbleton Committeewomen (1)
Valerie Williams - 170
4-1 Cora Precinct Committeemen (1)
Eric Marincic - 142
4-1 Cora Precinct Committeewomen (1)
Colleen M. Martin - 146
4-2 Daniel Precinct Committeemen (1)
Frederick Pape - 156
4-2 Daniel Precinct Committeewomen (1)
Michelle Pape - 150
5-1 Bondurant Precinct Committeewomen (1)
Marti L. Seipp - 59
Sublette County 2014 Primary Election (posted 8/19/14)
Primary Election on August 19, 2014
Wyoming’s 2014 Primary Election will be held Tuesday, August 19th for state and local candidates. Local contested elections for major offices include two Sublette County Commissioner positions, County Clerk, Sheriff, Treasurer, and County Coroner. The positions of County Attorney, Assessor and Clerk of District Court are uncontested. At the state level, contested positions include Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, and Superintendent of Public Instruction. State Representatives for Districts 20 and 22 are uncontested.
Click here for the Wyoming State 2014 Primary Election Voter’s Guide: http://soswy.state.wy.us/Forms/Publications/VotersGuide_14.pdf
2014 Wyoming State offices up for election are:
•U.S. Senate (6 year term)
• U.S. House of Representatives (2 year term)
• Governor, Secretary of State, State Auditor, State Treasurer, & Superintendent of Public Instruction (4 year terms)
• Wyoming State Senate (Odd Numbered Districts, 4 year term)
• Wyoming State House (All Districts, 2 year term)
• Judicial Offices
• County Offices
• Municipal Offices
• School Board
• Community College Trustees
Click here for a printed description of statewide offices up for election: http://soswy.state.wy.us/Elections/Docs/2014/2014OfficesUpForElection.pdf
Also on the ballot is Proposed Constitutional Amendment A:
The adoption of this amendment would allow the governor to appoint non-residents of the state to serve as University of Wyoming trustees. Not more than twenty percent (20%) of the appointed trustees may be nonresidents of the state. The governor would not be required to appoint any nonresident as a trustee. All appointments to the board of trustees are with the advice and consent of the Wyoming Senate. Vote will be FOR or AGAINST. A non-vote is the same as voting AGAINST the proposal.
Getting time off work to go vote
Wyoming law requires that employees be given one hour off to vote on Election Day. However, there are some exceptions. The law does not apply to employees with three or more consecutive non-working hours during the time polls are open, and some federal agencies are exempt.
No ID is required to vote if citizens are registered to vote. Any citizen who wishes to vote, but is not yet registered, can register on election day at their polling location.
The voter registration application is available from the County Clerk’s office or online on the Secretary of State’s website at
In order to register to vote, you must meet the following qualifications:
• Be 18 years of age or older on election day
• Be a U.S. Citizen
• Be a resident of Wyoming and the precinct in which you register
• Withdraw voter registration from any other jurisdiction, if applicable
• Present a valid Wyoming Driver's License if you have one and if not, provide the last four digits of your Social Security Number
• Not been convicted of a felony, or if convicted, has had civil or voting rights restored
• Not adjudicated mentally incompetent
To register to vote a person needs a government-issued photo ID.
Polls will be open in Sublette County from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM on Tuesday, August 19th. There are six polling locations for the eight precincts in the county. Below are local polling locations.
Precinct 1-1: PINEDALE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, 665 N TYLER AVENUE
Precinct 1-3: PINEDALE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, 665 N TYLER AVENUE
Precinct 1-4: BOULDER COMMUNITY CENTER, 210 ADAMS AVENUE
Precinct 2-1: MARBLETON SENIOR CENTER, 429 E SECOND ST, MARBLETON
Precinct 2-2: MARBLETON SENIOR CENTER, 429 E SECOND ST,
Precinct 4-1: KENDALL VALLEY FIRE HALL, 2470 HWY 352, CORA
Precinct 4-2: DANIEL SCHOOL HOUSE, 18 SCHOOL HOUSE LANE, DANIEL
Precinct 5-1: BONDURANT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, 14224 U S HWY 189 & 191
In order to provide accurate and timely results, the Sublette County Clerk’s Office at the courthouse in Pinedale will be closed to the public at 7:00 p.m. The public is invited to gather in the Commissioners Meeting Room, located at the south end of the Courthouse, beginning at 7:00 p.m. The south entrance to the Commissioners Meeting Room will be open at 6:45 p.m. The Clerk’s Office will be releasing results there, as soon as they become available.
For more information about the local elections, contact the Sublette County Clerk’s office at 307-367-4372.
Shell sells Pinedale gas field assets to Ultra Petroleum (posted 8/14/14)
In joint news releases today (Thursday, August 14, 2014), Ultra Petroleum and Shell SWEPI announced a purchase exchange and sale agreement for Ultra to acquire 100% of Shell’s Pinedale oil and gas field properties. The sale includes an exchange where Shell will acquire 155,000 net acres of Ultra assets in the Marcellus and Utica Shale areas in Pennsylvania and receive a cash payment of $925 million from Ultra. Ultra will take over operation of Shell’s Pinedale assets in Wyoming including associated gathering and processing contracts, subject to closing. See related news releases below for more details.
Ultra Petroleum Announces Pinedale Acquisition
Ultra Petroleum Corp media release
HOUSTON, August 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Ultra Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: UPL) announced today that the company has signed a purchase and sale agreement to acquire all Pinedale field properties from SWEPI, LP, an affiliate of Royal Dutch Shell, plc ("Shell") in exchange for a portion of Ultra's Marcellus Shale properties and cash consideration of $925.0 million. Ultra Petroleum expects to finance the acquisition through the issuance of new debt at the subsidiary and parent level. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter with an effective date of April 1, 2014.
About Ultra Petroleum
Ultra Petroleum Corp. is an independent energy company engaged in domestic natural gas and crude oil exploration, development and production. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and trades under the ticker symbol "UPL". Additional information on the company is available at www.ultrapetroleum.com
Shell divests U.S. onshore gas assets in Pinedale and Haynesville, adds acreage in Marcellus and Utica
Shell media release, August 14, 2014
Royal Dutch Shell plc ("Shell") announces today two separate transactions whereby the company will exit its Pinedale and Haynesville onshore gas assets in exchange for approximately $2.1 billion of cash, plus additional acreage in the Marcellus and Utica Shale areas in Pennsylvania.
In one agreement with Ultra Petroleum, Shell will acquire 155,000 net acres in the Marcellus and Utica Shale areas in Pennsylvania and receive a cash payment of $0.925 billion from Ultra in exchange for 100 percent of Shell’s Pinedale asset in Wyoming, including associated gathering and processing contracts, subject to closing.
In a separate agreement with Vine Oil & Gas LP and its partner Blackstone, Shell has agreed to sell 100 percent of its Haynesville asset in Louisiana, including associated field facilities and infrastructure for $1.2 billion in cash, subject to closing.
"We continue to restructure and focus our North America shale oil and gas portfolio to deliver the most value in the longer term. With this announcement we are adding highly attractive exploration acreage, where we have impressive well results in the Utica, and divesting our more mature, Pinedale and Haynesville dry gas positions," said Marvin Odum, Shell’s Upstream Americas Director.
The Shell net production from Pinedale in the second quarter 2014 was 190 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscf/d) of dry gas (32 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (kboe/d)). During the first half of 2014, Ultra’s net production from the assets Shell is acquiring in Pennsylvania averaged 109 mmscf/d (19 kboe/d).
"We first entered the Pinedale Anticline in 2001, and I am proud of our operational excellence, community engagement, and leadership in responsible energy development over that time," said Odum.
Shell’s Pinedale asset (which includes 19,000 net acres of leasehold interest, 1,108 gross wells and associated facilities, and an average of 0.7 percent overriding royalty interest in 11,500 acres) will be exchanged for cash and Ultra’s 100 percent interest in the Marshlands area (63,000 net acres) as well as its entire interest (92,000 net acres) in the Tioga Area of Mutual Interest (AMI), an unincorporated joint venture with Shell. After completion of this transaction, Shell will have a 100 percent interest in the Tioga AMI. The agreement is effective 1 April 2014, and is expected to close this year.
Shell’s Haynesville asset includes 107,000 net acres in north Louisiana. The transaction includes 418 producing wells, 193 of them operated by Shell. As of 1 July 2014, the gross production from the Haynesville asset was approximately 700 mmscf/d of dry gas, with Shell’s net working interest share at approximately 250 mmscf/d (43 kboe/d). The agreement is effective 1 July 2014, and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.
"We very much appreciate the support we have had in north Louisiana, and we will continue to operate in the state, as we have for decades, through our downstream, retail, midstream, and New Orleans-based deep-water operations," said Odum.
North America: 832-337-2034
Shell US Media Relations: 713-241-4544
Shell reshuffles US shale assets in two major deals
Oil & Gas Journal, August 14, 2014
Royal Dutch Shell PLC has agreed to two separate transactions in which it will exit its Pinedale and Haynesville onshore gas assets in exchange for $2.1 billion in cash and acreage in the Marcellus and Utica shale regions.
In one deal, Shell will sell its 107,000 net acres in the Haynesville of North Louisiana, along with associated field facilities and infrastructure, to Blackstone affiliates Blackstone Energy Partners and Vine Oil & Gas LP, Dallas, for $1.2 billion in cash.
Vine, formed by Blackstone earlier this year, is an exploration and production company targeting US shale and led by Eric Marsh, a former executive vice-president of Encana.
The transaction encompasses 418 producing wells, 193 of which are Shell-operated. Gross production from Shell’s assets, as of July 1, totaled 700 MMscfd of dry gas, with the company’s net working interest share totaling 250 MMscfd.
The agreement is effective July 1 and expected to close in the fourth quarter. Shell says it will continue to operate in Louisiana through its downstream, retail, midstream, and New Orleans-based deepwater operations.
In another deal, Shell will acquire 155,000 net acres in the Marcellus and Utica areas of Pennsylvania and receive a cash payment of $925 million from Ultra Petroleum Corp., Houston, in exchange for Shell’s 19,000 net acres of leasehold interest in Pinedale, Wyoming, including associated gathering and processing contracts. The Pinedale assets encompass 1,108 gross wells and associated facilities, and an average of 0.7% overriding royalty interest in 11,500 acres. Shell’s second-quarter net production from Pinedale totaled 190 MMscfd of dry gas. Ultra’s first-half net production from the Marcellus and Utica assets averaged 109 MMscfd.
Shell will receive 63,000 net acres in the Marshlands area as well as 92,000 net acres in the Tioga area of mutual interest (AMI), an unincorporated joint venture with Ultra, giving Shell 100% interest in Tioga AMI.
The agreement is effective Apr. 1 and expected to close this year.
Ultra says the deal with Shell will increase its net proved reserves by 1.8 tcfe and expand company-operated production to 82% from 62%.
Shell’s recent shale activity
Marin Odum, Shell Upstream Americas director, meanwhile explained the deals from his company’s perspective: "With this announcement we are adding highly attractive exploration acreage, where we have impressive well results in the Utica, and divesting our more mature, Pinedale and Haynesville dry gas positions."
Shell has recently been involved in a flurry of deal activity relating to its shale assets.
In June, company affiliate East Resources Inc. and an unnamed private company sold 48,000 net acres in the Marcellus and 27,000 net acres in the Utica to units of start-up American Energy Partners LP. The transactions totaled $1.75 billion.
Notably, East Resources was acquired in 2010 by Shell for $4.7 billion during Shell’s large-scale venture into US unconventional oil and gas.
In May, the company sold 100% working interest in 106,000 net acres in the Eagle Ford to Sanchez Energy for $639 million.
Two months earlier, Shell divested its acreage position in the Mississippi Lime in Kansas, its Utica position in Ohio, and a portion of its acreage in the Sandwash Niobrara basins in Colorado.
USFWS determines wolverine populations healthy (posted 8/13/14)
Does not warrant protection under Endangered Species Act
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 that it is withdrawing a proposal to list the North American wolverine in the contiguous United States as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The wolverine, a large but elusive member of the weasel family found in the Mountain West, has made a steady recovery in the past half century after hunting, trapping and poisoning nearly extirpated the species from the lower 48 states in the early 1900s. Wolverine populations currently occur within the contiguous United States in the North Cascades Range in Washington and the Northern Rockies of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and a small portion of Oregon (Wallowa Range).
The Service does not believe the species is in danger of extinction now or in the foreseeable future and does not meet the statutory definition of either a "threatened species" or an "endangered species" and does not warrant protection under the ESA. The agency will continue to work with state partners to monitor wolverine status and manage for healthy and secure wolverine populations.
Simultaneous with the withdrawal of the listing proposal, the Service is withdrawing a proposed special rule under Section 4(d) of the Act that would have created protections for the conservation of the species, and a proposed nonessential-experimental-population designation for the southern Rocky Mountains of Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming.
Service Determines Wolverine Does Not Warrant Protection Under Endangered Species Act U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, August 12, 2014
Governor defends elk feedgrounds (posted 8/9/14)
Response to Western Watersheds lawsuit
Wyoming Governor Matt Mead press release
CHEYENNE, WYOMING – Wyoming is seeking to intervene in a lawsuit to defend Wyoming’s elk feedgrounds from a challenge by Western Watersheds Project. The Forest Service granted the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission a 20-year special use permit for the elk feedgrounds in 2008. In July 2014, Western Watersheds filed a petition asking for a review of that decision.
"The feedgrounds prevent large numbers of elk from dying during the winter, minimize conflicts on ag land, and improve brucellosis screening and vaccination for elk," Governor Matt Mead said. "Western Watersheds promotes policies that are extreme. We reject the notion that you cannot balance the environment with industries, especially agriculture. In Wyoming, we continue to set an example for the nation."
The five feedgrounds are located in the Bridger Teton National Forest.
Wyoming has been involved in six other lawsuits against Western Watersheds over the last three and a half years. Wyoming has prevailed in most of them.
PAPO seeks public comments on wildlife reports (posted 8/12/14)
Comments due by August 22nd
Bureau of Land Management
The Pinedale Anticline Project Office (PAPO) is seeking public comments on the 2014 pronghorn annual report, the 2014 mule deer migration supplement and the 2014 mule deer update.
The reports are available for review at www.wy.blm.gov/jio-papo/papo/index.htm.
Written comments identifying specific issues, concerns or ideas should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Wildlife Report Comment" in the subject line; faxed to 307-367-5329; or mailed or delivered to the PAPO, Attn: Eric Decker, P.O. Box 768, 1625 W. Pine St., Pinedale WY 82941 by August 22, 2014. The PAPO will not respond directly to comments, but will take them into consideration for the final reports.
Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While you may ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.
For more information, please contact Eric Decker at 307-367-5386.
Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the individual above during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.
WG&F: Elk populations may survive CWD (posted 7/30/14)
Wyoming Game & Fish Department
A ten-year study conducted by the University of Wyoming and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department suggests that the effects of chronic wasting disease (CWD) on elk populations may not be as devastating as once believed.
Research has shown that genes play a role in elk susceptibility to CWD. Some elk have genes that prolong the time between exposure to the CWD prion, the infectious agent of CWD, and the onset of the disease. These genes become dominant over many decades, greatly reducing the impact of CWD on the population. Elk with these genes live longer even when heavily exposed to CWD and therefore have more opportunity to reproduce than elk with other genes.
Some people have feared that winter feedgrounds for elk would concentrate the
disease resulting in much higher incidence of CWD.
"This study model essentially represents the worst-case scenario that would face feedground elk," said Dr. Terry Kreeger, retired state wildlife veterinarian for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. "We predict a genetic shift over several decades favoring genes that prolong the incubation time of CWD resulting in elk populations that are able to persist in the face of the disease."
Scott Edberg, Deputy Chief of the Wyoming Game and Fish Wildlife Division states, "It helps to know that based on this research, if CWD should become established on feedgrounds, we won’t see a devastating effect on populations as many have feared. This research also looked at how hunting would affect populations, and it appears, Game and Fish would still need to have hunting seasons to manage elk populations even if faced with CWD on feedgrounds."
The full study was published in an issue of Ecospohere, an online, open-access, peer-reviewed scientific publication of the Ecological Society of America and can be accessed by clicking the link below.
ESA Online Journals - Read the paper here
Western Watersheds sues over elk feedgrounds (posted 7/30/14)
Western Watersheds Project release
"Western Watersheds Project has filed a court challenge contesting the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s daily feeding of elk on five feedgrounds during the winter on public lands within the Bridger-Teton National Forest and adjacent to the Palisades Wilderness Study Area. The contested feedlots are attracting between 73 and 84 percent of the elk in northwest Wyoming each year, but the Forest Service has not sufficiently analyzed the consequences of issuing a 20-year permit to WGFD to feed the wildlife on these federal lands.
"Elk feedgrounds arise from another era, when the idea was to keep elk away from haystacks on private ranch lands. Now, feedgrounds are maintained in large part to alleviate the fears of ranchers about the transmission of brucellosis to cattle. These feedgrounds have sustained artificially high populations of elk and led to unnatural concentrations of the animal in a few sites on National Forest lands.
"Unnatural concentrations of elk increase the potential for disease transmission of serious illnesses like Brucellosis and Chronic Wasting Disease, which some scientists predict could seriously impact elk populations in northwest Wyoming. Locating feedlots on public land also leads to serious ecological impacts, including reduced stream bank stability and impacts to water quality, as well as heavy use of vegetation in the area. Additionally, concentrating prey species can skew predator distribution as grizzlies, wolves and scavengers may be drawn to feedlot areas.
"Western Watersheds Project knows it’s time for the Forest Service to manage public lands to protect wildlife, not the special interests of Wyoming ranchers."
Western Watersheds Project - Anti-Grazing Organization Website
Preference Point application period underway (posted 7/28/14)
Moose, bighorn sheep, elk, deer, antelope
Wyoming Game & Fish
Resident and non-resident moose and bighorn sheep hunters and non- resident elk, deer and antelope hunters are reminded that the preference point only application period is now underway. Applications for preference points will be accepted through Sept. 30.
Preference points are available for qualifying big game hunters who did not apply for a moose or bighorn sheep license this year and non-resident elk, deer and antelope hunters who did not apply for a license this year or who did not draw their first choice license and did not mark the preference point box on their license application.
Under the preference point system, 75 percent of available licenses in each hunt area and license type will be allocated to the preference point drawing. Applicants with the highest preference point ranking will receive priority in the preference point draw. The remaining 25 percent of available licenses will be allocated in a random drawing regardless of preference points.
A youth applicant wanting to be awarded preference points must be at least 11 years old at the time of submitting an application for a big game limited quota license and must be at least 12 years old when in the field hunting. A youth applicant wanting to purchase preference points only must be at least 11 years old at the time of submitting an application and must be at least 12 years old by Dec. 31 of that year.
Preference points may be purchased online through the Game and Fish website at: wgfd.wyo.gov. Hunters with eligibility questions or other inquiries about preference points can call 307-777-4600.
Wyoming Game and Fish calendar:
July 1-Sept. 30: Preference point application period continues
Wednesday, August 6: Wyoming Mule Deer Summit, Daniel Schoolhouse, Daniel, Wyoming, 8AM more info
Friday, August 15: Archery antelope season opens in most hunt areas
Absentee voting available through August 18 (posted 7/24/14)
Wyoming will hold its 2014 Primary Election on Tuesday, August 19th. Any person who expects to be absent from his place of residence on Election Day, or who cannot be present at his precinct polling place on Election Day because of illness, injury, disability, old age or tenets of his religion, may apply for an absentee ballot in person, in writing, or by telephone, at the Office of the County Clerk, Sublette County Courthouse, P.O. Box 250, Pinedale, WY 82941, 307-367-4372 or 307-276-3827, or email@example.com. Absentee ballots may be requested through August 18, 2014, at the County Clerk's Office in the courthouse in Pinedale.
Wyoming school districts form coalition to reinstate annual inflation-adjusted funding (posted 7/23/14)
Superintendents meet with Governor Mead to discuss effect on students and to seek support
Sublette County School District #1 media release
PINEDALE – A coalition of seven Wyoming school districts have joined together to advocate for the reinstatement of an inflation adjustment to the school funding program, according to Dr. Boyd Brown, superintendent of Campbell County School District #1. The coalition includes Campbell County School District #1, Carbon County School District #1, Johnson County School District #1, Sheridan County School District #1, Sublette County School District #1, Sweetwater County School District #2, and Teton County School District #1 – a diverse group of small, medium and large districts throughout the state.
Together, Wyoming’s 48 school districts have not received cumulative inflation adjustments for the last four years, three of which account for approximately $151 million (FY 2011, 2012 and 2013), forcing many schools to eliminate, delay or not fully fund essential reading, foreign language, art, remediation, academic enrichment and technology programs, among others. New curriculum programs have also been delayed, and many schools have had to eliminate teaching and other professional positions.
"Inflation occurs whether we like it or not," said Brown. "School building heat and electricity, various types of required insurance, and many other fixed-budget line items continue to increase year over year – just as they do in Wyoming’s households. Without cumulative inflation adjustments to our annual funding we have been unable to cover the basic costs of running schools throughout the state. This lack of funding is resulting in increased class sizes and creating disparities in the quality of education being delivered to Wyoming’s students."
"Legislation regarding inflation-adjusted funding for Wyoming school districts is already in place," said Brown. "We’re respectfully requesting that the legislature bring forth a bill that will provide for an automatic, annual, cumulative inflation adjustment. This will allow school districts to plan ahead as student count grows, offer critical and increasingly challenging educational programming, and hire and retain the best teachers – all of which is essential to the very purpose of K-12 education in Wyoming: to prepare all Wyoming students for college and/or the rigors of the workplace in today’s skills-based, competitive economy."
Governor Mead met with several superintendents and business managers from the coalition on July 9 to discuss how the lack of cumulative inflation adjustments in annual school funding for the last four fiscal years is affecting students throughout Wyoming. The seven-district coalition is also working closely with its local legislators to discuss how Wyoming’s students are being adversely affected and to seek solutions.
"I appreciated the opportunity to meet with these superintendents and hear their proposal. Meeting with them showed me that we have strong leadership in our local school districts," Governor Matt Mead said.
During the coalition’s meeting with Governor Mead he requested additional information from school districts about how the loss of inflation adjustments is hurting Wyoming’s students. Specifically, he asked for further updates about the loss of technology support and readiness, and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programming. These are areas of focus for Governor Mead aimed at preparing students and diversifying and expanding Wyoming’s economy.
As a result of the lack of inflation-adjustments, Sheridan County School District #1 has lost a total of 23 staff members, which is a 12.5% workforce reduction, while student population increased from 919 in fiscal year 2011 to 957 in fiscal year 2014. "Our certified teaching staff losses have caused an increase in the state mandated K-3 16:1 class size to 17.4:1," said Marty Kobza, superintendent of Sheridan County School District #1. "We have also eliminated certain reading, science, art, technology and enrichment programs, and remainunable to launch our STEM programming in any substantial way.I believe Governor Mead, Senator Enzi and many of our legislators agree – STEM programming is essential to our student’s success in Wyoming and beyond."
"We appreciate Governor Mead’s interest and support of education in Wyoming," said Brown. "We look forward to working with him and our local legislators to identify and implement a timely solution."
www.pinedaleschools.org Sublette County School District #1