The term is four years with compensation of $92,000. There is no term limit
Why are you the best candidate for the office?
Jillian Balow (R): I possess the unique skillset needed to manage and lead Wyoming education beyond these challenging times. I am a UW graduate and lifelong Wyoming resident with ten years of teaching experience. After earning my master’s degree in Education, I moved from the classroom to state government. I have worked and led in the Department of Education, Governor’s Office, and Department of Family Services. I manage a statewide staff of 200 and budget of over $100,000,000.
Mike Ceballos (D): I am the only Superintendent candidate who has led and managed a large complex statewide business, worked multiple times with the Legislature and Governor to enact complex legislation, and been involved with significant educational policy issues in Wyoming. My pursuit of my doctorate at the College of Education demonstrates my commitment to the profession. I am a fiscal conservative who believes in limited government. I have a proven record as a collaborative and innovative leader.
What is your position on the current issue regarding science standards in Wyoming’s K-12 classrooms?
Jillian Balow (R): Wyoming must adopt high, rigorous standards in science and all subjects. Instruction should always be factual, objective, and proctored at the school district level. An “off-the-shelf” set of standards is not the answer in our state. We live in atop a science classroom in Wyoming and our natural resources, agriculture, geology and other topics should be included in our standards. We can achieve “Wyoming’s science standards” when we partner with the public and science partners.
Mike Ceballos (D): The conflict over specific parts of these standards is prohibiting a desperately needed upgrade of the entire set of science standards. The Legislature needs to allow the Board of Education to continue its work. The board can then re-evaluate the controversial sections and the process can continue to establish Wyoming standards. Reinventing work is pointless, as long as that work can be adapted to Wyoming’s needs. Wyoming students need modern, rigorous science standards.
What do you see as the most critical need for the Wyoming Department of Education in next four years?
Jillian Balow (R): Two events must occur beginning on day one. First, the State Superintendent must heal a fragmented Department of Education and education system. I’ll immediately leverage current staff, fill vacancies and assemble a leadership team with the best and brightest. We will work to renew and build partnerships and set a collective goal/vision for education. Second, we must improve student performance. I’ll do this by setting clear targets for achievement and improving our assessment system.
Mike Ceballos (D): My priorities are: 1) Stabilize the Wyoming Department of Education and rebuild its direction and mission; 2) Rebuild relationships with the Legislature, school districts, teachers, educational professionals, the public and parents; 3) Focus on learning and seek to address concerns about too much high stakes testing; 4) Serve on the State Land Board and the State Loan and Investment Board (SLIB). I support the economic development grant and loan programs that come before the SLIB.