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Latest Media Releases



For Immediate Release: January 22, 2010
Contact: Mary Stadick Smith - (605) 773-7228

Werdel named new Indian education director



The South Dakota Department of Education has announced that LuAnn Werdel, of Chadron, Neb., will take the reins as state director of Indian education, beginning next week.

Werdel, an enrolled member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe, obtained her master’s degree in Educational Administration and Curriculum from the University of Oklahoma in 2002. Since then, she has been involved in the Freshman Academy and South Dakota GEAR UP projects.

“I am confident the South Dakota Department of Education will be well-served by Ms. Werdel’s knowledge and experience,” said Education Secretary Tom Oster. “For the past eight years, her work has taken her to schools across Indian country, where she has been directly interacting with the students. She’s very familiar with the core issues and we are lucky to have her joining our team.”

Werdel replaces Stuart Zephier of Flandreau, who served in the position on an interim basis.

Werdel will assume the position on Monday, Jan. 25.

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*Werdel (wur-DEL’)