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McOmie to head state School Facilities Department

Sep 24, 2015 By Kristine Galloway, Tribune News Service

CHEYENNE -- The state School Facilities Department will soon get a new director. But he may have to contend with the department's questionable reputation, at least among local school board members.

Del McOmie will take over the position permanently beginning Oct. 12. He currently is filling the role of interim director of the Department of Workforce Services. That position will be filled by John Cox, the current director of the Wyoming Department of Transportation.

The current director of the School Facilities Department, Bill Panos, will fill in as interim director of the Department of Transportation.

Before becoming the interim director of the Department of Workforce Services, McOmie, whose father, also named Del, is a former Wyoming legislator and the current mayor of Lander, served as chief engineer for WyDOT for a little more than 15 years. He still is serving in that role and that of WyDOT's deputy director until Oct. 12. He spent 36 years working for the department in various capacities.

McOmie was born in Lander and earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from the University of Wyoming.

He does not have direct experience working with education in Wyoming, but McOmie said he does have significant personal ties he believes will help him.

"I've gone through the school system up through the university level here in Wyoming. Additionally, I have three lovely daughters that all came through the school system," he said.

McOmie said one of those daughters is now teaching kindergarten at Cheyenne's Jessup Elementary.

He also said his mother and stepfather worked for the school district in Lander, and his father, Del McOmie Sr., was a state representative for 13 years.

The elder McOmie served on the House Education Committee, the Select Committee on School Facilities, the Select Committee on School Finance Recalibration, the Council of State Governments West-Education and the National Center and State Collaborative-Education.

McOmie said, "It certainly gave me some background, just visiting with him over the years, discussing education and the various issues that went along with that."

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