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For Immediate Release: Oct. 11, 2006
Contact: Mary Stadick Smith - (605) 773-7228

Gov. Rounds appoints Simmons to South Dakota Board of Education

Gov. Mike Rounds today announced the appointment of Patricia Simmons, Sioux Falls, to the South Dakota Board of Education.

“I am pleased that Patricia has agreed to serve on the Board of Education,” said Gov. Rounds. “As a past school board member, she has a wealth of practical and personal experience that will be valuable in shaping the future of education policies in South Dakota.”

Patricia Simmons was a member of the Brandon Valley School Board for 14 years, serving seven years as President and two as Vice President. She is a member of the Associated School Board of South Dakota (ASBSD), served on the executive committee for five years and was President during the 2002-2003 term. She served on the statewide Accountability Advisory Panel and participated in statewide 2010E discussions prior to release of the Governor’s plan. She recently chaired the ASBSD Resolutions Committee for 2006-07.

Simmons was appointed by the President of the National School Board Association to serve on the National School Board Policies and Resolutions committee for 2005.

“We look forward to having Patricia on the board,” said Department of Education Secretary Rick Melmer. “Her background and interest in children with special needs will provide a unique perspective, one that is not currently represented on the Board of Education. Her passion for education and children make her a great advocate for the young people of this state.”

Simmons started college at age 29 with six children, the youngest being one year of age. She graduated from Dakota Wesleyan University and is a registered nurse with Avera Children’s Clinic, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology on the McKennan Hospital Campus. She has practiced this specialty nursing for 24 years.

Simmons and her husband, Pete and family have lived in the rural Brandon community since 1980. She and her husband have nine children, seven who attended or currently attend South Dakota universities, one graduated from Iowa Lakes Community College with a diploma in welding, a post secondary educational program for special education students and one graduated from Gallaudet College in Washington, DC, the only university in the world for the deaf.

Simmons fills a position that was previously held by Barbara Everist of Sioux Falls.