LCSD1 Announces 2024-2025 Teacher of the Year

McCormick Junior High English Language Arts teacher Katie Wheeler was announced as Laramie County School District 1’s 2024-2025 Teacher of the Year.

She was notified of the award at a surprise school assembly on May 9th and will be recognized by the LCSD1 Board of Trustees at their meeting on May 20th.

Wheeler has been teaching for 19 years and has spent her entire career at McCormick. Along with various English courses, she has taught a variety of subjects including honors courses and theatre. In 2021, Wheeler spent time building an academic interventions program before moving back to English.

“Rarely does a teacher of such caliber maintain a consistent record of engagement in student success inside and outside the classroom like Katie Wheeler has done throughout her illustrious career,” McCormick Assistant Principal Derek Peil said.

Wheeler holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Iowa State University and a master’s degree for teachers of English from the University of New Hampshire. She is an alumnus of the Iowa Writing Project and was named the 2020 National Council of Teachers of English Middle-Level Teacher of the Year.

“Katie builds lasting relationships with students that continue long after they leave her class,” social worker Heidi Pfoor said. “She is constantly seeking out professional development to grow herself as an educator and provide a learning environment that challenges students.”

Beyond her classroom, Wheeler has been heavily involved in extracurricular programs. She has coached cross country, a running club, spelling bee, a young women’s lunch club, young authors, and a book club.

She will move on to represent the district in the Wyoming Teacher of the Year competition.

To be selected as the LCSD1 Teacher of the Year, teachers are nominated by students, staff or any other member of the community. Teachers then must fill out an extensive application form, which is reviewed by a selection committee made up of LCSD1 staff from diverse roles and departments in the district, as
well as community members.

This year, 23 nominees turned in applications. The selection committee scored the applications and chose an elementary, a junior high and a high school teacher to continue as finalists.

Along with Wheeler, this year’s finalists were Goins Elementary first grade teacher Marti Derringer and Central High social studies teacher Lorrie Bartow.

Also nominated were Brian Adami, Heidi Berg, Cassy Bostron, Alecia Curtis, Amy Curtis, Tarah Hall, Paige Hanewald, Rory Mack, Toni Moore, Shirley Moore, Derek Nissen, Lisa Nowotny, Adrienne Parker, Courtney Paul, Tim Peterson, Samantha Pierson, Melissa Roth, Heather Sampson, Janet Stewart and Heather Young.