CASPER, Wyo — Evansville Elementary School fourth- and fifth-grade teacher Alexis Barney has been named Wyoming’s 2021 Teacher of the Year Tuesday, during the Wyoming Education Summit. The announcement comes in a release by the Wyoming Department of Education on Tuesday, Sept. 22.
“Alexis is without a doubt one of the finest educators I have worked with in my nearly three decades in education,” said Wayne Tuttle, Principal of Evansville Elementary school.
“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,” Tuttle said.
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“I find that her passion and charisma are contagious,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow. “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.”
“I’m excited for her to share that with others over the next year,” Below added.
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, the state department of education said.
Barney grew up in Saratoga and graduated from the University of Wyoming at Casper with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education in 2016, the release said. 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.
“The Wyoming Teacher of the Year comes with the significant responsibility of representing the teaching profession in Wyoming,” the state education department said. “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.”