Sandy Barton: She dedicated her life to kids; Her legacy will live on
(Riverton, Wyo.) – Sandy Barton died Tuesday in Riverton after a courageous battle with cancer. She will be known as a champion for kids, especially those kids at risk. Barton served with distinction as an educator for decades at Riverton High School before she moved on and took over the Board of Cooperative Education Services, which, under her leadership, became the first BOCES to achieve degree granting status. She served on the Wyoming State Board of Education and most recently, was an elected trustee for Fremont County School District #25 in Riverton.
Barton’s most outstanding legacy stands tall on the third bench north of the river – The Wind River Job Corps Center on Griffey Hill. It was Sandy who championed the center, brought a coalition of Tribal and State officials together, including Industry, to make it happen. She was relentless in her lobbying of Congress and the U.S. Department of Labor and, with the help of Governor Matt Mead. Tribal leaders from the Wind River Reservation and especially Wyoming Senior United States Senator Mike Enzi, Barton’s coalition succeeded in obtaining Wyoming’s first Job Corps Center, and she brought it to Riverton.
“Sandy Barton was an iconic visionary. Her passion was making sure at risk students were afforded the opportunities to become productive young men and young women. She accomplished more in her short time on earth than a handful of people,” said Dr. Kristen K. Benson, who worked with Sandy at Fremont County BOCES and took over as the interim director of that program once Sandy fell ill. “She was told on numerous occasions that certain things were impossible. Instead of giving up, she forged ahead and proved everybody wrong. Sandy Barton has left her imprint not only in Fremont County, but the state of Wyoming as a whole, and she will be dearly missed.”
Reaction of Sandy’s death
U.S. Senator Mike Enzi: “Diana and I were heartbroken to hear about the passing of Sandy Barton. She was a tireless advocate for the town of Riverton and Fremont County, a true leader and outstanding partner to work with. The opportunities that she helped provide to the community and surrounding area, through her hard work, are truly life-changing. Her effort and commitment to help build the Job Corps Center and many other works will be remembered for years to come. She will truly be missed.”
Carl Manning, who worked decades with Sandy at BOCES and at FCSD#25: “Sandy was a mover and shaker in Fremont County in education. She’ll be missed. She did a lot for our kids and was an advocate for career education her entire career and with BOCES and FCSD#25. It is so sad that she is gone. It’s tragic, a young woman, she had a lot to give.”
Dean Peranteaux, colleague on the District 25 School Board. “She was an amazing lady who did so much for the kids and our community. I started working with her in the district in 1992 and have worked with her in various capacities since.”
Terry Snyder, FCSD#25 Superintendent. “Sandy fought really hard against her cancer. She’s been a tremendous asset for the last 2.5 years on our board and to state of Wyoming for decades. Her work in schools and BOCES and the Job Corps center is her legacy. She was an advocate for kids. She never quit. The region owes her a great deal.”
Wind River Job Corps. “Job Corps would like to thank Sandy for everything she has done to bring Job Corps to Wyoming. Her dedication to education will continue for years through the programs she established and promoted. She was very important to education. She’ll be missed.”
State Senator Cale Case – I am very saddened to hear this. She was a great supporter of education.
Mick Pryor– Riverton Rotary Club President. “Sandy did so much for this community, the positive impact is impossible to quantify. On behalf of the Riverton Rotarians, she is deeply missed. Our hearts are with the Barton family.”
There will be a private family funeral and, at a later date, a public celebration of her outstanding life.