Wyoming's First Lady Carol Mead joined University of Wyoming leaders and stakeholders from across the state at the first UW Trustees Education Initiative Board meeting Friday at the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center in Laramie.

The day-long meeting marked the beginning of the initiative's 2016-2017 planning phase. The board is charged in this first phase with producing a strategic plan and hiring an executive director to work alongside UW College of Education Dean Ray Reutzel to lead the initiative.

The board will also hire expert research consultants to work with educators representing the UW College of Education and Wyoming's K-12 education system to evaluate UW's eight educator preparation programs through the study of top programs across the country.

The board is comprised of First Lady Carol Mead; UW Trustees including David Palmerlee; UW President Dick McGinity; UW College of Education Dean Ray Reutzel; School of Energy Resources Director Mark Northam; Associate Professor Alan Buss; Tom Botts and April Brimmer of the UW Foundation Board; and Sheridan County School District No. 2 Superintendent Craig Dougherty.

Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow, Wyoming Community College Commission Executive Director Jim Rose, Wyoming Teacher of the Year Amy Pierson and a UW student serve as ex-officio members.

A $4.5 million grant from the Daniels Fund will help fund the initiative's first phase.