New on our YouTube channel
Deputy Secretary Mary Stadick Smith gives a brief synopsis of Governor Dennis Daugaard’s proposals for education funding in FY14.

South Dakota represented on Nutrition Association’s National Board of Directors
South Dakota now has representation on the School Nutrition Association’s National Board of Directors. Brandon Valley School District Food Services Director Gay Anderson was voted in as the board’s Education Committee Chair during SNA’s 2012 elections. For more information, visit the School Nutrition Association website.

Rapid City teacher presented with $25,000 Milken Award
Congratulations to Alayna Siemonsma! The fourth-grade teacher and literacy leader at South Park Elementary School in Rapid City received the surprise of a lifetime last month when she was presented with a Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award. The award, which comes with an unrestricted cash prize of $25,000, was bestowed upon her during a school assembly.

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Winners of EPSCoR funds announced

Twelve science, technology, engineering and math projects will be funded this year in South Dakota as part of a new round of EPSCoR grants. School districts and other educational organizations across the state will receive a total of $200,000 to enhance, expand and develop new opportunities in those areas.

Funding for the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, or EPSCoR, grants is provided through the National Science Foundation. Projects range from dual-credit opportunities in the information technology field and robotics to cutting-edge courses in pre-engineering and biosciences. South Dakota EPSCoR is the title organization that partners with the Department of Education on the project, with K-12 educational outreach as the primary focus of the overall grant.

Applicants were encouraged to collaborate by combining resources to provide secondary career and technical education opportunities in regional, multi-center or cooperative approaches. The Department of Education received 19 applications to fund projects.

EPSCoR funds were awarded to the following:
• Brookings School District
• Canton School District
• East Dakota Educational Cooperative
• Harding County School District
• Lake Area Multi District
• Mitchell School District
• Rapid City School District
• Sioux Falls School District – Gateway Camps
• Sioux Falls School District – Information Technology program
• Sioux Falls School District – Project Lead The Way Teacher Training
• Sioux Falls School District – VEX Competition
• Sisseton School District