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Letter from the Secretary


SD Department of Education
Nov. 2017  
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Photo of Melody Schopp Letter from the Secretary

American Education Week is Nov. 13-17. Whether it’s a school- or district-wide activity or simply reflecting with your staff, I hope you take some time during this week to celebrate public education.

I love visiting schools. From the moment the buses and cars pull up in the morning, the activity is non-stop. It takes so many people to make it a success, including those bus drivers who make sure everyone arrives safely.

A visitor’s first stop is the main office. With students, teachers, staff and visitors regularly coming and going, a person can get tired just watching the action, all of it seamlessly managed by office staff.

Next, it’s off to the classroom to see South Dakota teachers in action. As both common sense and research tell us, great teachers in the classroom are the foundation upon which the rest of our public education system rests.

Alongside classroom teachers, paraprofessionals, school counselors and school librarians work hard to equip all students with the skills they need to leave the K-12 system ready for college, career and life.

School nutrition employees fuel bodies and minds for the hard work of learning.

Parents and community members volunteer in classrooms, concession stands, book fairs and more.

And those hallways, classrooms and restrooms don’t clean themselves. Without custodians, garbage piles up, and on a snowy day, sloppy boots quickly muck up a school entrance beyond recognition.

Coaches and advisors round out a student’s experience with athletics, fine arts and other extracurricular activities.

School administrators, working with their local school board members, help ensure the whole system runs smoothly.

Quite simply, education is an awesome endeavor. In buildings full of active, inquisitive, talkative, creative young people, no day can ever be quite like another. And isn’t that worth celebrating?



 
     
 

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