There is 21 new certified staff in the Cody School District.

The Cody School District brought in 21 new certified teachers, counselors and other specialists for the 2019-2020 school year. 

For some of the new hires the position was a chance to move back home, for others it represents a new adventure or a new step to an already established career in the district. 

Trilby Applequist

Fourth-grade teacher at Eastside School

Hometown: Farson

Education: K-12 in Farson, bachelors degree at University of Wyoming.

Work history: I taught fifth grade last year in Rock Springs.

Why Cody? I am a big outdoors person and love this area. I used to rodeo in the junior rodeos here every summer and knew then that I wanted to live in Cody eventually. 

Elise Audevart

K-2 teacher at Wapiti School

Hometown: Powell

Education: I graduated from the University of Wyoming in 2015 with a Bachelors of Art in elementary education. I am currently working on a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction through Adams State University. 

Work history: I taught in rural Alaska in a village called Brevig Mission at the start of my teaching career for three years. I taught a mixed grade level group of third and fourth graders my first year, and then taught two years of first grade. I then taught one year in Lyman, teaching first grade again. I am now teaching our kindergarten-second grade students in Wapiti. 

Why Cody? As I am from Park County, it has always been my goal to come back and teach here and raise my young family here as well. I love having my family close and being back home.

John Bakewell

Special education severe needs teacher at Cody High School

Hometown: Olympia, Wash. 

Education: Grand Canyon University School of Education bachelors of special education and elementary education.

Work history: Olympia High School ASD high needs program, Tumwater High School life skills-EBD program and Centralia Middle School resource math.

Why Cody? After extensive research I came to the conclusion that Wyoming is the best state in the United States for education. Cody bubbled to the top as the best place for my daughter and I wanted to be part of it.

Christina Brewer

School nurse at Cody Middle School

Hometown: Terry, Mont.

Education:  associates in nursing from Northwest College; masters in nursing leadership and management from Walden University.

Work history: 18 years of nursing experience; most recently seven years as a nurse educator at Northwest College.

Why Cody? Moved from small town Montana to a less small town in Wyoming and fell in love with the area, met my husband and we call Park County our home. Beautiful place to raise our three children.

Jamie Espeland

Guidance counselor at Cody High School

Hometown: Torrington

Education: Masters of School Counseling from Adams State University.

Work history: Pinedale High School online coordinator.

Why Cody? We love the Cody area and feel very proud to be a part of this wonderful school and community. Cody has a lot to offer and is a great town.

Mitchell Espeland

Social studies teacher at Cody High School

Hometown:  Douglas

Education: UW social studies education 

Work history: I taught the last four years in Pinedale.

Why Cody: My wife and I were fortunate to get jobs at the high school together. She is a counselor at the high school and we are very excited to be here.

Lucas Grant 

Guidance counselor at Livingston School

Hometown: Lovell

Education: Masters in counseling

Work history: Livingston Elementary is my first job as a school counselor. I was previously a school counselor intern at Linford Elementary in Laramie.

Why Cody? I grew up around Cody and love the kindness of the people in the area. I am excited to help with the students and parents of Livingston Elementary School.

Lauren Griffith

Speech language pathologist at Sunset School

Hometown: Fort Worth, Texas

Education: M.S. from the University of North Texas.

Work history: Fort Worth Independent School District for nine years; Fremont County School District 25 for one year.

Why Cody? Expanding my horizons and trying a new part of Wyoming.

Tanner Hoffman

School psychologist at Cody Middle School

Hometown: Canon City, Colo.

Education: Education specialist degree in school psychology from the University of Northern Colorado, B.A. in psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Work history: I completed my internship in school psychology last year in Highlands Ranch, Colo., with the Douglas County School District. Over the past three years I have also worked as a preschool teaching aide, preschool enrichment teacher and day camp program facilitator for the Highlands Ranch Community Association. 

Prior to that, I worked as a child welfare caseworker, specializing in adoption, for the Fremont County Department of Human Services in Colorado. Other work experiences that I have had include working in a tasting room for a winery, being support staff for another preschool/daycare facility, and operating the incline railway at the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park.  

Why Cody? I chose Cody because I am excited about the things that the other school psychologists here are doing within the district. Also, my wife and I love the outdoors and wanted to stay close to the mountains.

David Holland

Special education teacher at Cody High School

Hometown: Born in Greybull, but grew up in Albuquerque, N.M.

Education: Undergraduate degree in 2014 at University of New Mexico and graduate degree in 2016 at New Mexico Highlands University.

Work history: This will be my sixth year teaching in special education. I spent three years teaching in New Mexico and two years teaching in Rawlins. 

Why Cody? I was born in the Big Horn Basin area and most of my family lives in this region. I spent summers and holidays up in this area and it holds some of the best memories from my childhood. My wife and I also had our wedding at my uncle’s ranch out in this area. We want to raise our family out here because this is one of the best areas to live in the country.

Cara Johnston

Fourth-grade teacher at Livingston School

Hometown: Cody

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies-Elementary Education through Western Governors University.

Work history: I was blessed with the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom for many years. I went back to school to complete my degree two and a half years ago. While working on my degree I worked at Sunset Elementary as a 504 para and as the media specialist in the library.

Why Cody? We have been living in Cody for the last 10 years. I have four children who are all enrolled in our amazing Cody schools and my husband is the high school principal. It just made sense to try and get a position in the Cody School District. I am so excited to be able to work in this amazing district that I love and have such close ties to.

Tara Kelley

Third-grade teacher at Livingston School

Hometown: Powell

Education: University of Wyoming.

Work history: One year in Sheridan as a paraprofessional, one year in first grade in Ogden, Utah, and two years in fifth and sixth grades in Centerville, Utah.

Why Cody? Our family chose to come back to Cody because most of my husband’s family and some of my family are here. This was missing while we were in Utah. We love spending time outdoors and exploring without running into anyone else for miles around. The fishing and hunting here are better than anywhere we have been, and the Cody community is a great place to raise our young family.

Sean McAndrews

Science teacher at Cody High School

Hometown: Kalispell, Mont.

Education: The University of Montana for undergrad, plus Montana State University, Bozeman, for masters in science education.

Work history: 14 years teaching science in two small Montana school districts. (Geyser and Joliet).

Why Cody? My wife and I have visited the area for years and we have friends in the area. We were both ready for a change, and this area seems like a great place to live.

Heidi McMillin

Special education ASD teacher at Sunset School

Hometown: Phoenix

Education: Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, master’s degree in elementary education and special education.

Work history: I have worked seven years in this wonderful district. I started out as a paraprofessional working in the behavior room, resource room and autism room. After completing my student teaching I substituted throughout the district and had the opportunity to complete multiple long-term substitute jobs. Now I am very fortunate to be following my passion as the new autism spectrum disorder teacher at Sunset Elementary. 

Why Cody? My husband Wade is a Cody native. We met in college in beautiful Flagstaff, Ariz., attending Northern Arizona University. After college Wade got a job offer in Cody, so we made the decision to make the journey back to Cody. I love the community that Cody has to offer and feel so lucky to live here.

Charles Morton

Special education teacher at Cody High School

Hometown: Cody

Education: Master’s in special education and master’s in business administration.

Work history: Greybull Middle School.

Why Cody? I’m a Cody native and graduate of Cody High School. I would like to help the students of Cody High School reach their academic and social potential.

Brooke Powell

Speech language pathologist at Eastside School

Hometown: Burlington

Education: B.S. speech language pathology, University of Wyoming (2000), M.S. speech language pathology, University of Wyoming (2014).

Work history: Encampment K-12 School, Saratoga Elementary and Saratoga Middle-High School, Carbon County School District No. 2.

Why Cody? My husband accepted a position here in Cody.  My family is also closer here. Love the Big Horn Basin part of Wyoming.

Richelle Sweet

Special education teacher at Eastside School

Hometown: Gillette

Education: B.S. from the University of Wyoming in journalism and focus on photography, B.S. elementary education from Valley City State University, N.D., with endorsement in language arts 5-8, master’s in special education K-12.

Work history: 13 years at Cody Enterprise in advertising, Bormuth Law as a legal secretary two years, substitute teacher for eight years in the Cody School District, Kids on the Move and AFter School Activities Program with the City of Cody for two years.

Why Cody? I live in Cody because my in-laws wanted to move here and retire, but Cody was the only place I wanted to go so we moved here after college.

Chris Wagner

Physical education teacher at Cody Middle School

Hometown: Kemmerer.

Education: B.S. kinesiology and physical education teaching from the University of Wyoming.

Work history: Seven years in Rock Springs teaching elementary, junior high and high school physical education.

Why Cody? My wife and I wanted to work in a community that values education and athletics, has great scenery and outdoor opportunities, and was close to family. Cody is the perfect fit for all of that.

Karen Wagner

Social studies teacher at Cody High School

Hometown: Lovell

Education: B.A. from the University of Wyoming, finishing M.A. from Ashland University.

Work history: Previous four years teaching social studies at Rock Springs High School.

Why Cody? The opportunity to move back to the Big Horn Basin was too good to pass up. I feel Cody is the perfect community for our family and for our children to grow up in. 

Stephanie Watkins

Special education teacher at Cody Middle School

Hometown: Littleton, Colo.

Education: Bachelor’s from the University of Northern Colorado in special education K-12

Work history: K-5 special education in Casper for four years.

Why Cody? Getting married to someone who lives in Cody.

Claire Wetzel

Third-grade teacher at Livingston School

Hometown: Powell

Education: Northwest College and the University of Wyoming.

Work history: I taught two years in second grade and a year in third grade in Saratoga. Then I taught third grade for a year in Sheridan. This will be my fifth year teaching.

Why Cody? I grew up in Park County and have been hoping to make it back here. The opening at Livingston Elementary seemed like a great fit. I am excited to be closer to family and back near all the wonderful outdoors Cody has to offer.

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