Balow Brings Stability To Department Of Ed In First Year

AP 2-15,2015

Order has been restored in Wyoming K-12 education during state schools Superintendent Jillian Balow’s first year, officials involved with state education say.

In January 2015, Balow replaced former Superintendent Cindy Hill, whose four-year term was marred by acrimony between Hill and other elected officials, court battles over the superintendent’s constitutional duties and disarray within the Wyoming Department of Education. Balow won the 2014 election for the office, while Hill lost in the Republican primary for governor.

Instead of bitter political bickering, there is cooperation.

In addition, Sen. Hank Coe, R-Cody and chairman of the state Senate Education Committee, who had verbally sparred with Hill during her term, said he hasn’t heard any complaints from state Education Department staff since Balow took over.

The superintendent of public instruction oversees the department’s day-to-day operations, and the agency saw unusually high staff turnover and staff complaints during Hill’s administration.

Balow said the agency was operating at 65 percent to 70 percent of capacity when she took over.