It’s an exciting time to be part of Wyoming’s K-12 public education system!
In May 2022, the state’s top education leaders announced a partnership between the Wyoming State Board of Education, the Wyoming Department of Education, the University of Wyoming, and Governor Mark Gordon’s office that’s designed to usher in a new era of public school education in Wyoming. This task is monumental, for sure, but it’s nothing this progressive state can’t handle.
Through a number of pilot projects and other initiatives, this formal partnership will work to transition the state’s educational system toward one that is focused on individual student progress and competency-based approaches to teaching and learning. From expanding projects already in place to providing support to schools as they transition to a competency-based education, which includes a focus on experiential, work-based learning experiences, it’s all hands-on deck in Wyoming as the state’s educational leaders work together to turn plans into action.
This initiative is proof positive that Wyoming is no longer interested in maintaining the status quo when it comes to its K-12 public education system. That’s music to the ears of the state’s committed educators and certainly for educators like you with plans to advance in the same system where you first learned the ropes.
Your career plan includes a move into educational administration and leadership and into roles like principal and superintendent. It’s an exciting time to take what you’ve learned as an educator and advance into positions that come with bigger paychecks, more professional opportunities, and certainly more opportunities to make a difference in the state’s public school system.
Advancing into educational administration also means advancing your education, too. Fortunately, there are a growing number of master’s, educational specialist, and doctoral programs that are designed to align with state standards and your future career goals.
How to Become a Principal or Superintendent in Wyoming – School- and District-level Educational Leadership
To become a principal in Wyoming, you must add a School Administrator – Principal or Superintendent endorsement to your Wyoming Educator License through the Wyoming Professional Teaching Standards Board (PTSB).
Before you can apply for a Principal or Superintendent endorsement, you must hold a Wyoming Educator License.
Once you meet this requirement, you can begin taking the steps necessary to become a principal in Wyoming.
Step 1. Complete an Educational Leadership Program That Meets National Educational Leadership Preparation (NELP) Standards
To become a principal or superintendent in Wyoming, you must complete an educational leadership program from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university that leads to an Institutional Recommendation in School Principal or Superintendent endorsement.
Wyoming requirements mirror those of the National Educational Leadership Preparation (NELP) standards, which require the completion of an advanced educational preparation program at the master’s, educational specialist, or doctoral level. These programs also include embedded internship and field practice experiences.
Programs leading to a principal endorsement are often designed as:
Coursework in these programs includes study in:
Programs leading to a superintendent endorsement are often designed as:
Coursework in these programs includes study in:
If you’ve already earned a minimum of a master’s degree, you can also meet the educational requirements for a principal or superintendent endorsement in Wyoming by completing a post-master’s graduate certificate program in educational administration and leadership. These programs consist of about 18-24 credits and include all of the coursework and practical experiences necessary to become a principal or superintendent in Wyoming. They’re often designed in convenient, online formats to accommodate the busy schedules of today’s educators.
Step 2. Receive an Institutional Recommendation and Apply to Add a Principal or Superintendent Endorsement to Your Wyoming Educator License
You’ll need to receive an Institutional Recommendation from the college or university where you completed your master’s, educational specialist, or doctoral degree in educational administration and leadership before you can apply to add the School Administrator – Principal or Superintendent endorsement to your Wyoming Educator License.
On Part III (Individual Endorsement Requirements) of the Wyoming PTSB’s Wyoming Standard Educator License – Add Endorsement – Institutional Recommendation Application Packet, you will choose “I would like to add an endorsement through an Institutional Recommendation.” You will then choose to add an endorsement as a School Principal or Superintendent.
Your Principal or Superintendent endorsement is valid for five years.
School Principal Salary and Jobs in Wyoming
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), principals in Wyoming earned a median salary of $101,670 as of May 2022. The top earners in this profession earned about $105,110 in Wyoming during this time.
Principals in the Cheyenne metro area earned a slightly higher median salary, at $102,030, while those in the state’s Eastern and Western nonmetropolitan areas earned slightly less than the state median, at $98,880 and $101,060, respectively.
Superintendent Salary and Jobs in Wyoming
According to the BLS, superintendents in Wyoming earned about $122,340 as of May 2022. The Western nonmetropolitan area of the state reported slightly higher average salary of $127,960, while the Cheyenne metro area reported a slightly lower average salary of $119,790.
Educational Leadership Degree Options in Wyoming: Doctorate and Master’s in Educational Leadership
Job prospects for school principals and superintendents in Wyoming are nothing short of impressive in the coming years. In fact, in the ten years leading up to 2030, the number of jobs in educational administration and leadership is projected to increase by 11.1%. During this time, the state should see about 30 annual job openings for principals and superintendents due to a blend of new job growth, retirements, and natural job turnover.
Whether you have your sights set on earning a master’s, educational specialist, or doctoral degree to take you into this next phase of your career, you’re sure to find a program to meet your needs. A growing number of programs, both in Wyoming and throughout the country, offer the theoretical and practical training necessary to become a principal or superintendent. And fortunately, many of these programs are now offered in convenient and practical online formats that are designed to align with your busy schedule.
2022 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary figures for education administrators, kindergarten through secondary. Job growth projections from the US Department of Labor-sponsored resource, Projections Central. Figures are based on state data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed May 2023.