South Dakota Teacher of the Year

The South Dakota Teacher of the Year Program is made possible by the National Teacher of the Year Program. The National Teacher of the Year Program is a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers in partnership with the Voya Foundation.

District TOY Regional TOY State TOY
2020 District Nomination Form 2020 Region Application 2020 State Application
Additional Information
Teacher of the Year Guidelines and Timeline Region and State Application Rubric SD Teacher of the Year Program Regions

Teacher of the Year Nomination Process

2020 Frequently Asked Questions

The goal of the TOY program is to recognize and honor the tremendous contributions of outstanding classroom teachers. Note: a classroom teacher is a person who has a class of his/her own and spends at least three or more hours per day, five days a week, for six or more calendar months during a school year in a classroom teaching students. School counselors, school psychologists, and school social workers are NOT eligible.

A school district may choose to set up its own selection process for choosing a District Teacher of the Year, or use guidelines created by the Department of Education. The guidelines can be altered to fit a district’s needs.

A District TOY candidate who wishes to be considered for Region and State Teacher of the Year must:

  • be a fully certified teacher;
  • be employed by a South Dakota accredited school district - pre-kindergarten through grade twelve;
  • have at least 3 full years of teaching experience;
  • be planning to continue in an active teaching status (supervisory and administrative responsibilities are secondary considerations) for at least 2 more years;

A District TOY candidate who wishes to be considered for Region and State Teacher of the Year should:

  • Have a superior ability to inspire students of ALL backgrounds and abilities to learn;
  • Be an exceptionally skilled and dedicated classroom teacher;
  • Have the respect and admiration of students, parents, and colleagues;
  • Play an active and useful role in the community as well as in the school; and
  • Be poised, articulate, and have the energy to withstand the demanding schedule that would accompany selection as the South Dakota Teacher of the Year.
Each District Teacher of the Year becomes a nominee for his or her district’s Regional Teacher of the Year Award. If the District TOY is selected as the Regional TOY, he or she becomes a nominee for the South Dakota TOY. If chosen as the South Dakota TOY, he/she then becomes a candidate for the National TOY. The National Teacher of the Year selection is not completed until the following Spring, so in order for a District TOY to be eligible for Region TOY and South Dakota TOY they must plan to be an active teacher for at least two more school years.

The South Dakota TOY will be announced at the Systems Change Conference and will honor the new South Dakota Teacher of the Year and Regional Teachers of the Year.

2019 Teacher of the Year
Erica Boomsma, Huron School District
Previous Teacher of the Year
2018 Rachel Schaefer
2017 Beth Kaltsulas 2016 Sarah Lutz 2015 Allen Hogie
2014 LuAnn Lindskov 2013 Katie Anderson 2012 Pat Moller
2011 Susan Turnipseed 2010 Tom Mead 2009 Paul Kuhlman
2008 Sharon Andrews 2007 Charlotte Mohling 2006 Barbara Dowling
2005 Jensi Kellogg-Andrus 2004 Roxie Ahlbrecht 2003 Linda McKay
2002 Jeffrey Lukens 2001 Marilyn Herz 2000 Bill Zubke
1999 Kristine Malloy 1998 Denise Bryan 1997 Judy Kroll
1996 Jacqueline Omland 1995 Rebecca Ekeland 1994 Glenna Fouberg
1993 Julie Ashworth 1992 Lennis Larson 1991 Deborah Van Pelt Platt
1990 Carole Kasen 1989 Linda Hillestad 1988 Richard Meier
1987 Darell Pribyl 1986 Betty Hainy 1985 Dorothy Mae Dubs
1984 Jean Peterson 1983 Ferald Loomer 1982 Charlotte Hauge
1981 Josephine Hartman 1980 Jerry Opbroek 1979 George M. Sutton
1978 Merle J. Larson 1977 Doris E. Christianson 1976 Alma G. Reinecke
1975 Douglas R. Carpenter 1974 Florence Kribell 1973 Otha Marie Joens
1972 David W. Merrill 1971 Gladys B. Curran,
National Teacher of the Year Finalist
1970 Eileen Gran
1969 Arline Autio 1959 Donald Rasmussen,
National Teacher of the Year Finalist
1954 Lois Thompson


Sherry Dickerson, Department of Education, 605-773-2490