Alexis Barney Named Wyoming’s 2021 Teacher Of The Year

Alexis Barney, a fourth- and fifth-grade teacher at Evansville Elementary School in Natrona County School District #1, was named Wyomings 2021 Teacher of the Year.

Annaliese Wiederspahn

September 22, 20203 min read

Teacher of year
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Alexis Barney, a fourth- and fifth-grade teacher at Evansville Elementary School in Natrona County School District #1, was named Wyoming’s 2021 Teacher of the Year Tuesday, during the Wyoming Education Summit.

“Congratulations to Alexis on being named Wyoming’s 2021 Teacher of the Year,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow said. “I find that her passion and charisma are contagious – and I’m excited for her to share that with others over the next year.

“Alexis has the heart, mindset, and drive of an excellent teacher. In this role, she will continue to inspire many as she learns to advocate for excellent teaching and learning,” Balow said.

Barney grew up in Saratoga and graduated from the from the University of Wyoming at Casper with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education in 2016. 

She graduated from Capella University with a master’s degree in Educational Psychology in 2016.

At Evansville Elementary, Barney is the English Language Arts goal team leader and also serves on the school leadership team. She also is the School Transformation team leader and the Lego Robotics coach and Reading Club coordinator.

Barney said her philosophy is grounded in empowering students to be kind and courageous, and creating life-long learners who are inquisitive and excited about the world around them, finding success no matter their circumstances.

“Our attitude is going to be infectious.” Barney said. “I want to empower people to see things in a different light, helping them to find resources, and really turn those ‘can’ts’ into ‘cans.’ ”

She has frequently presented reading strategies with her co-chair at teaching conferences around the state, as well as in Colorado.

“Alexis is without a doubt one of the finest educators I have worked with in my nearly three decades in education,” Wayne Tuttle, Principal of Evansville Elementary school, said. 

“Students thrive in Alexis’ class because of her high expectations, innovative engagement strategies, and relevant learning. When a principal looks for an educator to be an anchor of their school for decades to come, they are searching for someone of Alexis’ quality,” he said.

The Wyoming Teacher of the Year comes with the significant responsibility of representing the teaching profession in Wyoming. 

The Wyoming Teacher of the Year acts as liaison among the teaching community, Wyoming Legislature, Wyoming Department of Education, districts and communities. 

In addition, the Teacher of the Year is an education ambassador to businesses, parents, service organizations, and media, as well an education leader involved in teacher forums and education reform.

“Wyoming has a strong sense of resilience and grit, as a community and as a whole,” Barney said. “And I think Wyoming teachers demonstrate that so well. I want to represent that grit and resilience and bolster that community. We need everyone involved – and to do that, we have to come together as a community. I think I can bring energy and excitement to our teachers.” 

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Annaliese Wiederspahn

State Political Reporter