We wanted to share with you all that the Wyoming Accountability in Education Act (WAEA) report for Linford was recently released. We are very excited and proud to inform you that we have earned the designation of Exceeding Expectations again this year. Only 13.4% of schools in Wyoming were designated as exceeding expectations for the 2022-2023 data cycle. This designation is based on our growth and achievement scores for our 3rd – 5th grade 2022-2023 WY-TOPP scores.

We are also excited to share that this is the third year in a row Linford has been designated as a school exceeding expectations. This makes Linford one of 12 schools in Wyoming to achieve this designation consecutively for the past three years. In 2022, Wyoming had 348 schools, so to be in this small group of schools is a true honor.

Please join me in thanking our amazing staff for their hard work and dedication and our students for their focus hard work during testing!


Our students will have their individual school pictures taken on Wednesday, September 13th. If you are interested in ordering a photo of your child(ren), please visit the Lifetouch website and enter the code: EVTWFSJ34


Join us at Linford on Thursday, September 14 from 5:30 – 7:00 for our annual Open House.

Our Student Council will be serving dinner from 5:30 – 6:00 in the gym and teachers will be available in their rooms from 6:00 – 7:00.

We hope to see you at the Open House. This is a great chance to catch up and check in on how the school year has started.

Local Educator David Hardesty Among nation's best k-8 principals
winter weather

Laramie, WY – February 24, 2023– Mr. David Hardesty, principal of Velma Linford Elementary School in Laramie was selected as Wyoming’s 2023 National Distinguished Principal. The 2023 celebration marks the 40th year that the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) has presented this prestigious award.

Mr. Hardesty was nominated and selected by fellow principals through a statewide search process conducted by the Wyoming Association of Elementary and Middle School Principals, said WAEMSP Executive Director Kenny Jones.

Mr. Hardesty is a graduate of the University of Wyoming, BA 2005 & MA 2010. He served as an elementary teacher in Laramie and Cheyenne from 2005 - 2013.  He became the principal at Velma Linford Elementary in 2013.

“Principals are not just leaders in schools, but they’re also trusted leaders in their communities—especially during difficult times,” said NAESP Executive Director L. Earl Franks, Ed.D., CAE. “Schools across the country have not gone unscathed from challenges created and exacerbated by a global pandemic. Despite these challenges, principals have doubled down on their commitment to educational excellence and health and wellbeing for their students and staff. One behalf of NAESP, I extend a heartfelt congratulations and thank you to the 2023 NAESP National Distinguished Principals, who have shown that their dedicated leadership and passion for students and their communities will outshine any challenges that are thrown their way.”

In October 2023, Mr. Hardesty will travel to Washington, D.C. for two days of activities planned to honor and bring well-deserved recognition to the elementary and middle-level educators chosen by the states, the District of Columbia, plus private and overseas schools.

Criteria for selection of the principals require that the honorees are active principals of schools where programs are designed to meet the academic and social needs of all students and where there are firmly established community ties with parents and local business organizations.

Mr. John Goldhardt, Ed.D. stated “Mr. Hardesty’s caring and courageous leadership for the last 10 years at Linford has resulted in high levels of achievement for students.  Ten years ago, Linford was identified by the state as a school that was “below expectations.”  Today it is a school that is identified as “exceeding expectations” in both achievement and growth.  This dramatic change didn’t happen on its own.  Under Mr. Hardesty’s leadership, the school’s culture, climate, and purpose methodically and purposely changed to be truly learner focused.”

Since 1956, the Wyoming Association of Elementary and Middle School Principals has served as Wyoming’s professional educational association and now represents 201 elementary and middle school principals and aspiring principals throughout the state. WAEMSP maintains close ties with the metropolitan Washington, D.C. based National Association of Elementary School Principals and its 18,000 members worldwide.