Dr. Melody Schopp will serve as interim secretary of the Department of Education until a permanent secretary has been named. Schopp, who has been in the education field for 30 years and with the department for 11, currently serves as deputy secretary.
South Dakotas new governor, Dennis Daugaard, made the announcement last month, at which time he also announced the members of the Transition Advisory Committee on Education. This committee will aid the governor in identifying, recruiting and screening candidates for the secretary position.
The committee is chaired by Rick Melmer of Vermillion, the dean of the University of South Dakota College of Education. Joining Melmer on the committee are:
• Julie Bartling, Burke Former State Senator from District 26
• Eric Bogue, Faith Former State Senate Majority Leader
• Dayna Brave Eagle, Kyle Director of Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Education
• Kira Christensen, Sioux Falls Educator and 2009 Milken Educator Award winner
• Glenna Fouberg, Aberdeen Member of the South Dakota Board of Education
• Tim Mitchell, Rapid City Superintendent of Rapid City School District
• Kevin Schieffer, Sioux Falls Businessman
• Gary Williams, Watertown Mayor of Watertown and former President of Lake Area Technical Institute
In addition to identifying candidates for the secretary position, the committee will offer advice and an outside perspective to the new secretary after the appointment is made.