By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A longtime educator who is now the head of a private school in Cody has been selected Wyoming’s new superintendent of public instruction, Gov. Mark Gordon announced Thursday.
Gordon said Brian Schroeder will finish out the unexpired term of Jillian Balow, who resigned earlier this month to take over as superintendent of schools in Virginia.
“I reviewed application materials and conducted interviews with all the candidates that came through the selection process, and after much prayer and careful consideration I have determined that Brian Schroeder is best-suited to fill the Superintendent’s position,” Gordon said.
“Brian demonstrated his commitment to ensuring that parents are intricately involved in their children’s education, just as it should be. I will work to ensure a smooth transition in leadership for the Wyoming Department of Education,” he added.
Schroeder is a longtime educator who has worked in California, Wisconsin, Michigan and Wyoming, serving most recently as the head of Veritas Academy in Cody. He has also worked as a family and youth counselor for nearly 20 years and spent nearly a decade in pastoral ministry.
“I am honored and humbled beyond words at this incredible opportunity to serve the students, teachers and parents of Wyoming,” Schroeder said. “I’ll do my best to help strengthen education for the future of our state.”
He earned his bachelor’s degree from Maranatha Baptist University and holds a masters degree in Professional Counseling from Liberty University.
In his application for the position, Schroeder spoke of the importance of schools to society.
“The local American schoolhouse is uniquely poised to be both an extension of and support for the American home as well as an incubator for and bridge to American society,” he wrote in his application for the job.
“There is, therefore, no work on earth more important than what we do as teachers (outside of parenting, of course), which makes the top teacher job in the state all the more critical by way of providing the necessary leadership and direction to our schools,” he wrote.
Schroeder was one of three candidates selected by the Wyoming Republican Party central committee over the weekend to interview with Gordon. About a dozen candidates applied Balow’s position, including former legislators and educators.
A lawsuit was filed this week challenging the constitutionality of the selection process and a temporary restraining order was requested to block Gordon from appointing a successor to Balow. However, U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl denied the request earlier Thursday, allowing Gordon to choose a successor.
Proceedings on the lawsuit itself will continue even though the request for the temporary restraining order was denied.