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About Wyoming STARBASE Academy

Wyoming STARBASE Academy is a Department of Defense Youth Program operated in partnership with the Wyoming National Guard and Wyoming Military Department since 1994.  It is located in Cheyenne, Wyoming at the Raper Armory, but prior to that, it was located at the Wyoming Air National Guard Base.

This premier educational program serves, free of charge, fifth-grade public, private, and home-school students in Laramie County, Wyoming.  Through team-work, students participate in challenging “hands-on, mind-on” activities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).  Students also interact with military personnel to explore careers and make connections with the “real world”.  The program provides students with 20-25 hours of exemplary instruction, using a common core curriculum that meets or exceeds the national standards.  Wyoming STARBASE activities include several hands-on science labs, activities centered on the Engineering Design Process, mapping activities with maps specifically designed for the STARBASE Program by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, designing and launching straw rockets, and working with the CREO Elements/Pro Computer-Aided Drafting software, a software program used by several of the nation’s leading manufacturing companies.

The academy focuses on serving student groups that are historically under-represented in STEM careers when they enter into the workforce, such as students from high poverty and rural areas.


To expose our nation’s youth to the technological environments and positive civilian and military experiences that encourage them to explore STEM education and careers through hands-on instruction and activities that meet or exceed the National Standards.


Educating the Workforce of the Future!


Provide outreach opportunities for at-risk students in Wyoming.

Network and collaborate with other STEM organizations and attend STEM-related professional development sessions. 

Adhere to DoD and DoD STARBASE Curriculum and Goals.

Expand our current program to STARBASE 2.0 and include Casper, Wyoming.

Increase and expand community involvement by increasing the number of sponsors, partners, and volunteers, both in the community and within the military. 

Wyo. STARBASE Academy Staff

Germaletta "Grace" Brown

Germaletta is our Director and comes to us with over 18 years of experience in education and educational leadership. She has teaching/administrative experience in inner-city, economically challenged, Department of Defense, and international schools. She worked as a math consultant for a math curriculum company based out of North Carolina and as a Professional Development Coordinator for GEAR UP Wyoming and the Wyoming State Department of Education. She received a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Paine College in Augusta, Georgia, and a master’s degree in educational administration and supervision from the University of Phoenix.  Germaletta has been married to her husband, James, for 16 years and has three children: James, Jade, and Jeremiah. She loves to watch her kids’ sports-basketball, volleyball, track, and football. She also enjoys traveling, relaxing at the beach, and spending time with family and friends. Germaletta is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority, Incorporated. Germaletta has been the Director of STARBASE Academy since 2016.

Shannon "Plume" Walks

Shannon, our office manager, was born in Montana, grew up in California, and lived in Wyoming for 23 years. She graduated from Cheeks International Beauty and Culture in 2000. In 2014 she graduated from the Master Educators Program, receiving a certificate and license as an instructor. She worked for six years as a Cosmetology instructor at Cheeks Beauty Academy (the new name of the same school where I received my cosmetology license). She decided to change course in employment and joined the Wyoming STARBASE team in 2020. She is married to Charles and has four children: Sicely, Anthony, Dakota, and Trinidad.

Ty "Rubix" Latocha

Ty, our Deputy Director and Teacher, grew up in Iowa before her family relocated to Wyoming. She graduated from Metro State University in Denver and has taught for over ten years in grades K-8. She has specialized with at-risk high school students, teaching Environmental Science programs, recognizing the importance of ecological and conservation support, and building success for inner city youth. She is entering her fifth school year at Wyoming STARBASE Academy, engaging students’ critical thinking by discovering STEM in their educational learning. She is passionate about teaching and proud to be a part of the team. She enjoys spending time with family and is an avid golfer.

Paige Guille

Paige, a first-year teaching assistant at STARBASE, was born and raised here in Cheyenne, Wyoming. She is currently attending Laramie County Community College, where she will obtain her associate's degree in Elementary Education. After doing so, Paige plans to transfer to the University of Wyoming to continue in Education as well as Speech-Language Pathology. Outside of these educational endeavors, Paige loves performing, hiking, traveling, and reading. After attending STARBASE herself (10 years prior), she is ecstatic to be an assistant instructor within this remarkable program! She hopes to assist the students of Cheyenne to find their love of STEM, which (much like her) is guaranteed to leave an everlasting impression.

Jessica "Buttercup" Ramirez

Jessica is our Outreach Coordinator. She grew up in Southern California and has lived in Wyoming for 15 years. She completed her bachelor’s degree in secondary education and Spanish at the University of Wyoming. She has been teaching STEM at STARBASE for the past five years and has not looked back. She is excited to bring STEM to the kids of Cheyenne by collaborating with schools and the community.

Mark "Bump" Nowotny

Mark has been a certified teacher at STARBASE for 8 years. With a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and a Master's in Education, he taught in Laramie County School District as a planning substitute for 4 years. Mark's dream of teaching at Wyoming STARBASE Academy has come true. With a background of 23 years in the United States Air Force, Mark gained STEM experience through various roles such as crew chief, flight engineer, and helicopter flight engineer. He retired as a master sergeant. Outside of work, Mark enjoys fostering puppies, restoring his Volkswagen Bug, and running ultra-marathons. He is happily married to Lisa Nowotny, and they have three children: Rebecca, Trevor, and Aaron.

Luz "Lion" Marcum

Luz was born and raised in the South American country of Venezuela but has called Cheyenne her home for the last ten years. She has two Associate degrees in Education and Spanish Education from Laramie County Community College. While at LCCC, she served as the Vice President of Leadership and Fellowship for the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. She also had the privilege of representing LCCC and the state of Wyoming as an international officer candidate for PTK. Most recently, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership from the University of Wyoming. She is married to Dan Marcum and has two children, Ryan and Kaitlyn. She enjoys hiking, biking, traveling, and meeting people from all over the world.

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Wyoming STARBASE Foundation

To provide additional support and funding for Wyoming STARBASE Academy, Wyoming STARBASE Foundation was formed. This non-profit, 501(c)3 organization works to build partnerships and support with local businesses and government agencies to extend programs beyond the scope provided by federal funding.

The Foundation is made up of a voluntary Board of Directors.

Danielle Jensen-Ryan, President

Jim Barr, Vice President

Katelyn Hardee, Secretary

Rio Smith, Treasurer

James Hearne, Board Member

Sandra Joslin, Board Member

Sarah Sanchez, Board Member

Trent Morrell, Board Member

If anyone is interested in joining the STARBASE Foundation Board, please email President Danielle Jensen-Ryan at

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Wyoming STARBASE Academy
Raper Armory, 5410 Bishop Blvd.
Cheyenne, WY 82009

(307) 777.8191 – Phone
(307) 777.8190 – Fax