Heart Mountain Academy’s 15 graduates do a cheer with principal Beth Blatt prior to the start of Thursday’s graduation ceremony at Wynona Thompson Auditorium.

More than 92% of the Cody School District class of 2019 graduated on time, an increase from the year before.

The rate of 92.05% put Cody as one of 16 districts in the state and the lone Park County district to boast a rate above 90%. The prior class graduated 89.9% of seniors at the high school and Heart Mountain Academy combined.

That in itself was a big increase from 84.5% the year before and 83.9% for the class of 2016.

At CHS the 2019 rate was 91.8%. At HMA, which the year before was at 57%, 15 of 16 seniors graduated (93.8%)

“I think it’s just staff dedication to the kids,” CHS principal Jeremiah Johnston said. “Both schools really believe in the importance of graduating for kids and having opportunities.”

Powell School District graduated 89.1% of its seniors on time last year and Meeteetse 72.7%.

Cody is on the leading edge of a statewide trend.

The Wyoming Department of Education announced Jan. 21 that high school graduation rates increased to 82.1% in 2018-19, marking the sixth consecutive year of improvement from the class of 2013, when 77.6% of students graduated.

“Wyoming has reached the highest graduation rate under this methodology, which was put in place over a decade ago,” said state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow. “More Wyoming students are prepared to succeed in college careers and military service. Districts have worked hard to increase the number of students who received a diploma, and I am proud of that effort.

“But we must continue to focus on the 18% of students who don’t finish, and work to ensure that high school and earning a diploma is relevant to them.”

(6) comments

Gunrunner Auctions

Hmmmm….. Another Ray Schulte idea that paid off handsomely for students and community - an Alternate School. Went from 39 drop-outs to one... Beautifully staffed by Schulte. Conceived and recommended by Schulte funded by the board. Hmmmm….. Applauded by Wyoming State Department of Education. Just one of the reasons Ray Schulte was named Superintendent of the Year for Wyoming in 2018 AND gained national recognition as one of the BEST supers in the country for 2019. See all of those seniors in the photo? None would have made but for their wonderful principal and dedicated staff - all persons Schulte put into place to create excellence.

So when I hear a whiner say he was a "bully" or "he makes me cower", I laugh in their face. I was there. I saw his excellence for my four years of service.


I have long questioned the methodology used to determine the base data for assessing graduation rates. These days our society is mobile to the point of being fluid... families move in and out of town - and therefore between school systems - much more frequently than before. I wonder whot is is they are actually counting given this ever changing census of students coming and going. I also suspect that s chool districts pad the book count to make it look like enrollment and attendance is higher than it really is, since those factors determine funding from the State. Just a hunch . Prove me wrong on that.

But here is a fun fact. My Cody class of 1969 had its 50th reunion this past summer. We had an excellent turnout for that august event. I realized at some point that when we graduated out of Cody back then , the town did not even have a population above 5,000 and all those subdivisions out the South Fork and North Fork and along the Powell highway did not exist. The Cody school district therefore had less than half the resident population then than it did fifty years later. Yet we graduated MORE seniors in 1969 than in 2019. A higher gross count of graduates from half the population. I cannot tell you what the net count of Classmates minus dropouts equals graduates was. I feel the dropout rate was somewhat higher back then than now. Several of my classmates ended up in Vietnam before we were handed diplomas, other simply got pregnant or went to work. Which only makes me wonder more about why the graduating class was higher in 1969 than it was in 2019. All that's left to factor in is birth rate, family size, and people not producing children for one reason or another.

Make your own case.


Mmmmmmmmm. (while I scratch my head)


Does anyone else see the irony? Shortly after the district fires the superintendent without sharing a cause or reason, this article is shared... the community deserves an explanation!


Isnt wyoming a right to fire state?? You dont have to give a reason or explain..

Jackie Trehorn

But, over $300,000 of TAXPAYER funds are at stake. We the public don't have a right to know? Seriously?

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