State Superintendent Balow announces resignation

WYOMING – Wyoming Superintendent of Public Institution Jillian Balow announced her resignation on Thursday, Jan. 13. Balow confirmed in statement that she will serve as Superintendent of Public Institution in Virginia for governor-elect Glenn Youngkin.

This decision brings the Hulett native’s time in Wyoming to a close, at least for the time being. She’s worked in Wyoming for 25 years, serving as superintendent of public institution for the past seven. She called those seven years “the greatest honor and challenge of my life.”

In her statement, Balow underlined the importance of education and complimented Virginia’s direction under governor-elect Youngkin. She said she will continue to restore parents’ voices in education, push for innovation and student success, enhance school choice and eliminate political ideology from classrooms in Virginia. She said progress was made in those avenues during her time in Wyoming.

“I have served in leadership positions of national education organizations and led through COVID-19 with the highest percentage of students learning in-person in the nation,” she said in a statement. “I am ready and more motivated than ever to engage at this critical time in our nation’s history serving alongside governor-elect Youngkin as he leads Virginia through this historic opportunity to reset and restore public education with parents and students as the priority.”

Among her notable accomplishments, Balow pointed at the inclusion of parents in policy-making decisions. She mentioned the passing of computer science education requirements in K-12 schools, enriching and modernizing curriculum delivered to students. She supported legislation to increase opportunity for charter schools in Wyoming during the 2021 Wyoming Legislative Session.

Gov. Mark Gordon issued a statement thanking Balow for her service to the state.

“I have enjoyed working alongside superintendent Balow for the past seven years in my roles as treasurer and governor, making her the second-longest currently serving statewide elected officer,” Gordon said. “We will miss her experience and expertise. She has worked to improve our state’s education system, and I thank her for her efforts. Her service to the state has been exemplary, and I wish her well in her new role.”

Balow’s resignation is effective Jan. 16. The Wyoming Republican Party and Gov. Gordon will follow the process to fill the office’s vacancy. As of resignation date, the Republican Party Central Committee has 15 days to submit three candidates to Gordon for consideration. Kari Eakins, chief policy officer at the Wyoming Department of Education, will serve as interim state superintendent.