Wyoming governor picks superintendent after lawsuit ruling

January 27, 2022 GMT

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming’s governor appointed a new state superintendent Thursday after a judge allowed the appointment to go ahead despite a lawsuit.

Gov. Mark Gordon named Brian Schroeder to replace State Superintendent Jillian Balow. Schroeder has been head of Veritas Academy, a private Christian school in Cody, and has been a teacher and administrator in California, Wisconsin, Michigan as well as Wyoming.

He’s also been a family and youth counselor, the governor’s office said in a statement.

Those questioning how the Wyoming Republican Party chose three finalists for the job failed to show they are likely to prevail in their case, Wyoming U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl wrote in denying their request to suspend the process while the lawsuit proceeds.

Balow resigned Jan. 16 to become head of Virginia’s public school system. Balow was first elected in 2014 and re-elected in 2018. Schroeder will complete the final year in her term.

“I am honored and humbled beyond words at this incredible opportunity to serve the students, teachers and parents of Wyoming,” Schroeder said the statement. “I’ll do my best to help strengthen education for the future of our state.”

The other two finalists chosen Saturday by the state GOP Central Committee were Thomas Kelly and Marti Halverson. The lawsuit alleges Wyoming’s more populated counties should have had more say in choosing the three.