Tennessee Watson

Education Reporter

Phone: 307-766-5064
Email: twatso17@uwyo.edu

Tennessee -- despite what the name might make you think -- was born and raised in the Northeast. She most recently called Vermont home. For the last 15 years she's been making radio -- as a youth radio educator, documentary producer, and now reporter. Her work has aired on Reveal, The Heart, LatinoUSA, Across Women's Lives from PRI, and American RadioWorks. One of her ongoing creative projects is co-­producing Wage/Working (a jukebox­-based oral history project about workers and income inequality). When she's not reporting, Tennessee likes to go on exploratory running adventures with her mutt Murray.

Ways to Connect

Screen shot from http://www.wyomingbusiness.org/broadband

Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr sees accessible, affordable, high-speed broadband as critical to the city's prosperity and future. Back in January, she announced the formation of a broadband task force. The City Council recently adopted a resolution drafted by the task force following several months of research.

University of Wyoming

Governor Matt Mead has appointed Laura Schmid-Pizzato to the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees following John MacPherson’s resignation. MacPherson, who was appointed to the board in 2011, said he hoped his replacement would bring fresh perspective to the board.


A Pennsylvania Grand Jury report found that leaders in the Roman Catholic Church there persuaded victims not to report sexual abuse and convinced law enforcement not to investigate it either. News of the cover up, which protected over 300 abusive clergy, has sparked a call for increased accountability nationwide. Catholics in Wyoming are also reckoning with allegations of clergy abuse.

As part of an ongoing effort to root out inefficiencies in public education, lawmakers have asked the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) to draft rules that strengthen guidelines for special education spending. Wyoming is the only state to reimburse school districts 100 percent for special education services.

Volunteers of America

Earlier this summer, the Governor's Advisory Council on Juvenile Justice gave Albany County the Neal D. Madson Award for its groundbreaking work with juvenile offenders. Since 2014, Albany County says it's reduced the number of young people who end up in secure detention by 34 percent. That's when the county formed a Community Juvenile Service Board and started a diversion program, which advocates say has been good for kids and the state's bottom-line.

Tennessee Watson

Voters turned out in strong numbers for Wyoming’s 2018 primary election. Several counties reported a significant uptick in Republican voters and an increase in voters switching party affiliation.

Wyoming Public Radio

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow will run unopposed in the November general election. She’s already defined an agenda for her second term that includes implementing computer science, strengthening measures for post-secondary readiness and addressing school safety and security.

curtmeierfortreasurer.com

State Senator Curt Meier won the Republican primary for Wyoming State Treasurer defeating fellow Senator Leland Christensen by five percent. With no Democratic candidate for treasurer, he’s entering November’s general election unopposed.

Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

The spotlight is on Pennsylvania where a grand jury reported roughly 300 priests abused more than 1,000 identifiable victims over a period of 70 years. Yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sexual abuse is a national epidemic that transcends cultures and religions, impacting 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys across the United States.

Tennessee Watson

As a land-grant institution, the University of Wyoming is charged with providing accessible and affordable higher education. In keeping with that mission the UW Board of Trustees is seeking public input regarding ongoing tuition increases.

University of Wyoming College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

The University of Wyoming was found in violation of the Animal Welfare Act during a routine inspection by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in early July.

The University of Wyoming

The UW board of trustees approved a proposal to create a $20 million endowed scholarship specifically for students from Wyoming.

Brett Levin / www.flickr.com/photos/scubabrett22/6153306342

Educators, district administrators, law enforcement and public officials from across the state came together for a summit in Cheyenne Wednesday to discuss school safety.

Tennessee Watson / Wyoming Public Radio

President Trump's Commission on School Safety conducted a listening session Tuesday in Cheyenne to gather input from the Mountain West region. Educators, officials and students came from states across the region, as far as Albuquerque, to share diverse perspectives before the commission.

Tennessee Watson

Wyoming’s gubernatorial and congressional races are in full swing, and starting Wednesday things are heating up for those interested in a seat on their local school board. Candidates have until August 27 to declare their intention to run in November.

Tennessee Watson / Wyoming Public Radio

The town of Medicine Bow — population roughly 200 — nearly doubles in size every August for the Battle of Old Wyoming. It’s not a reenacted gunfight as the name might suggest, but a music festival where 24 bands play back-to-back 30-minute sets for 12 hours. 

TENNESSEE WATSON

One of the main goals of the University of Wyoming’s strategic plan is to positively impact Wyoming communities through learning outreach programs, and through collaborations that make academic expertise relevant in our daily lives. UW’s Biodiversity Institute is emblematic of this vision. But an administrative decision to close it down has raised doubts about the university’s commitment to its own goals.

The Federal Commission on School Safety will make a stop in Cheyenne for a public listening session. This is one of four sessions happening across the country to gather views on how to make schools safer. Similar events have already happened in Washington, DC and Lexington, Kentucky.

Graphics courtesy of the Wyoming Community Foundation

Why do more moms have access to prenatal care in Johnson County than other parts of Wyoming? Why does Crook County have the highest on-time high school graduation rates?  

University of Wyoming Education Abroad Office

The University of Wyoming's five-year strategic plan prioritizes faculty and student participation in international academic programs.

Wyoming Department of Education

In a feat of bipartisan cooperation, Congress has reauthorized the Perkins Act, which provides $1.1 billion for career and technical education CTE.

The UW Biodiversity Institute, known for its citizen science projects and K-12 science outreach, is closing. UW Communications Directors, Chad Baldwin, said the decision was made by university administration.

Wyoming State Board of Education

Most states don’t require teacher representation on the State Board of Education. But Wyoming is among the few that do, and give those teachers voting rights. That’s according to Education Weekly, which published preliminary research from the National Association of State Boards of Education.

Images from WDE. Layout by Tennessee Watson

Before kids go back to school, state officials and educators will gather in Cheyenne to discuss how to make schools safer. The Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) is hosting a School Safety Summit on August 8.

Wyoming Department of Education

State lawmakers passed legislation during the 2018 session requiring school districts to offer computer science, but they did not appropriate funds to support the implementation of the new curriculum.

Wyoming State Board of Education

Updates to statewide content and performance standards in math and social studies, as well high school graduation requirements have been approved by the Wyoming State Board of Education. Those rules are now before Governor Matt Mead for final approval. He has 75 days to sign off.

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