Educational Services

The purpose and direction of the educational staff at WBI is serve young people suffering from mental illness and behavioral disorders. Instructors advocate for the student's needs, including educational, behavioral and emotional needs, by motivating, challenging and empowering them. We prepare students to transition back to their homes, schools and communities.


Minda Smith Minda Smith, Education Director
Minda Smith is Wyoming Behavioral Institute's education director. She has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and served as a mental health worker and education teacher for 11 years at WBI prior to becoming the Education Director.

Cody Horkan, Elementary Teacher Cody Horkan, Elementary Teacher
The Pathfinders students are taught by elementary teacher Cody Horkan, who earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Wyoming. Cody is completing his master's in special education. Before joining WBI in 2017, Cody taught in the Natrona County School District.

Connie Rodgers Connie Rodgers
Connie Rodgers obtained degrees in elementary education from Casper College and the University of Wyoming, and was the first recipient of the Maggie Murdock Scholars Award as well as being on the President's Honor Roll for four consecutive years. She taught children with challenges in local pre-schools and elementary schools for several years prior to joining WBI's educational services team in 2014.

Shannon Monday Shannon Monday
Shannon Monday attended Dickinson State University in Dickinson, ND, earning a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education History with a minor in psychology. She taught U.S. History, and U.S. government in reservation schools in Arizona and Montana before moving to Wyoming in 2009. Shannon is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and continues to teach. She joined the WBI team in 2016. She enjoys teaching differentiated instruction with an emphasis on teaching with the student, not to the student.

Educational Services Brochure

Diagnostic Services Brochure

Frequently Asked Questions

Pathways Newsletter

Wyoming School Comprehensive Plan for Pathways Program Special Purpose Institutional School, 2015-16

The Education Program at WBI is designed to promote success in the classroom. Specific attention is given to designing individualized academic plans and using personal coping skills. Students are expected to participate in school to the extent they are able, and to complete assigned course work. Academic testing is provided to most WBI patients so that age equivalency reports can be completed.

A structured curriculum in math, language arts, and health is available. Acute adolescent patients use material from the classrooms where they are enrolled at the time of admission, unless WBI's curriculum is requested by the school district or no classroom materials are available or provided. Individual Education Program requirements are met when IEPs are in place at the time of admission. The strengths of WBI's education services include:

  • Certified teaching professionals
  • Tutoring
  • Academic testing
  • Trauma-informed care
  • Highly-structured environment

Certified teachers work with children, acute adolescent and residential adolescent patients for up to four hours per day while they are at Wyoming Behavioral Institute. Emphasis is placed on engaging students in the learning process, learning to work cooperatively with peers as well as becoming independent learners. Successful functioning in school is a treatment outcome for most patients.

Conference calls can be scheduled with school officials responsible for student performance (as permitted by information sharing releases). Tours of WBI and interaction with community representatives, therapists and the education coordinator are encouraged. Wyoming Behavioral Institute staff work to educate school districts about the academic challenges students face before, during and after hospitalization:

  • WBI is an inpatient psychiatric and behavioral treatment facility where the focus is first and foremost patient care
  • Some academic setbacks can be expected while patients devote time and energy to treatment
  • Group therapy, outdoor and indoor play, relaxation, arts and crafts, and life skills training are among other teaching tools used at WBI to help with treatment
  • Grades are given only for work completed within the Wyoming Behavioral Institute curriculum