Nov 30, 2012 - By Christina George, Staff WriterThe Wyoming School Boards Association at a ceremony last week honored longtime state Rep. Del McOmie, R-Lander, with the prestigious Golden Bell Award.
"We're honored that he was there and more than happy to recognize his great work for the children of our state," WSBA director Mark Higdon said.
McOmie, who did not seek re-election to the legislature after 14 years of service, said he appreciated the recognition.
"I was pleasantly surprised," McOmie said. "It made me feel really good. ... I am no longer going to be in office, and it means something to be nominated for what I have done and not something I am going to do."
McOmie received the award on Nov. 15 at the WSBA 2012 Annual Conference in Casper.
According to the WSBA, the award is given to "those people who have made an outstanding contribution to the improvement of education in the state."
"There were four nominated this year, but only one was selected by the (WSBA) Board of Directors," Higdon said.
Fremont County School District 14 nominated McOmie, and the county's other districts added their endorsements.
Representatives from all eight school districts joined School District 14 board chairwoman Belle Ferris and superintendent Michelle Hoffman at the podium during the ceremony.
"They were very appreciative of me, and that was nice," McOmie said.
Hoffman said McOmie being the only recipient this year made it more special.
"He is well deserving of the award," she said.
In its nomination, FCSD 14 called McOmie a strong supporter of education for all students statewide.
"Mr. McOmie was nominated for this award because of his involvement for the past several years in the Wyoming State Legislature and for his never-ending fight for improving education for our students across the State of Wyoming," the nomination stated. "Del has served as House District 54's representative since 1998. During this time he has spent countless hours working towards the betterment of our children in the State of Wyoming."
McOmie served on numerous committees including 10 years on the House Education Committee, which he co-chaired for four years. He was chair of the Select Committee on School Facilities for four years and served two years each on the Wyoming Education Planning and Coordinating Council, the National Conference of State Legislator Education Committee and the Council of State Governments --West Education.
McOmie earned the Von Dahl Champion of Education Award and the Wyoming Education Associations Friend of Education Award. The longtime Lander resident is also in the Fremont County Vocational High School/Lander Valley High School Alumni Hall of Fame Class of 1954.
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