SD Department of Education September 2014  

SD Teacher of the Year LuAnn Lindskov finalist in $100,000 Dream Big Challenge

Farmers Insurance is giving away $1 million in grants to teachers across the country. Timber Lake High School math and science teacher LuAnn Lindskov is a finalist in the $100,000 Dream Big Challenge. Lindskov’s “Weavers of Hope” proposal focuses on summer training and school year mentorships for 6-12 science, math and English teachers working in low-income schools. Voting opens Oct. 1. Anyone 18 and over will be able to vote once a day by going to:

New deadline! $1,500 scholarships available for teachers pursuing National Board Certification

South Dakota teachers pursuing National Board Certification are encouraged to apply for one of 10 $1,500 scholarships. These are one-time scholarships made possible with federal funding and administered through the South Dakota Department of Education.

Educators who receive the scholarships will be responsible for the $75 registration fee and $400 of the certification fee. Priority will be given to educators teaching in Priority and Focus schools.

The deadline to apply is Oct. 1, 2014.

To access a scholarship application for the 2014-15 candidate cycle, go to: Look under “Documents” on the right side of the page.

Contact Lanette Johnston, Department of Education, at (605) 773-8415 or with questions.

Time is running out to have your say on Smarter Balanced achievement levels

Achievement levels must be set for the Smarter Balanced assessment. This process will include an online panel, scheduled for Oct. 6-17, that will allow up to 250,000 K-12 educators, higher education faculty, parents and other interested parties to participate virtually in recommending achievement levels. This is a critical opportunity to collect input from a diverse group of participants and establish consistent measures of progress.

For more information, go to:

Registrations must be submitted online by Sept. 26.

It is very important to keep your registration confirmation email. The Department of Education will not be able to retrieve it for you.

Contact Jan Martin, Department of Education, at (605) 773-3246 or with questions.


This month we highlight South Dakota’s six Regional Teachers of the Year for 2015. The South Dakota Teacher of the Year will be announced at a special banquet Thursday, Oct. 16, in Pierre, featuring a speech by National Teacher of the Year Sean McComb. The event will be part of the Systems Change Conference. Congratulations to these outstanding educators!

Allen Hogie- Brandon Valley School District
(view video at: list=UUyELvhISGHZs5cb_MT2RFeQ)

“I try to do more than what is expected of me as a teacher, because it models a work ethic or behavior I wish to instill in my students.”

Allen Hogie has taught for 27 years. For the past 25, he has taught high school math in the Brandon Valley School District. He has achieved National Board Certification and is a past recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Hogie is the teacher contact for the local Serve and Learn Student Association and an advisor for the local chapter of the National Honor Society.

Hogie likes to give his students occasional writing prompts to gauge their needs: I have learned… I have/have not enjoyed… You will need to review… I suggest… He says, “Having students write about how they like to learn and what they have learned allows them to reflect upon their own experiences and provides me with valuable student-centered information which results in changing seating arrangements, modifying assignments, establishing proper pacing, and identifying gaps in prior mathematical learning.”

His principal writes, “Mr. Hogie is the chairperson of a math department that continues to produce outstanding individual and group results. He moved to the leadership role in this department a few years ago when a long-time department member retired. Mr. Hogie embraced his leadership role and has been able to push the math department to even greater accomplishments.”

Jennifer Larson – Sanborn Central School District
(view video at: list=UUyELvhISGHZs5cb_MT2RFeQ)

“When I was a little girl playing school with my younger sisters, I gathered and carefully saved a large stack of unused and unwanted worksheets from my teachers. Those worksheets were a prized possession. Now, I know that teaching is NOT a worksheet, a textbook, a technological device, or even a teacher’s edition full of prescribed activities.”

Jennifer Larson has spent all of her 14 years in education at Sanborn Central, for two years as a 2nd grade teacher, and the last 12 as a 1st grade teacher. She continually seeks out professional development, has obtained her master’s degree and has served as a cooperating teacher for several student teachers. Her greatest joy, though, is in connecting with her students. Her superintendent notes, Larson doesn’t use a teacher’s desk, preferring to sit at a kidney-shaped table, surrounded by her students.

That student connection is evident in Larson’s recounting of the moment she found out she had been nominated for South Dakota Teacher of the Year. Towards the end of a school day last spring, her principal and superintendent came into her classroom to make the announcement. When Larson’s students jumped up to give her a congratulatory group hug, one little boy exclaimed, “Miss Larson, even if you don’t get Teacher of the Year in South Dakota, you’ll always be our Teacher of the Year!”

Ann Noyes – Pierre School District
(view video at: list=UUyELvhISGHZs5cb_MT2RFeQ)

“We can have such a positive impact on our kids by fostering a co-teaching model, as parents and teachers, working together.”

For Ann Noyes, education is about collaboration. Noyes has taught for 16 years, the last 12 at Georgia Morse Middle School in Pierre as a 7th grade math teacher. She loves learning from those around her through co-teaching, observing colleagues and listening to her own students. She delights in hearing the myriad ways her students solve problems. And she eagerly shares her knowledge as a team leader and mentor.

Take a peek into Noyes’ classroom, and it’s bound to be bustling. Students might be singing and dancing along to math-related music videos. Or they might be studying surface area and volume with painted cubes. They’re not just playing. As Noyes explains in regards to the cubes, “After the students have had a chance to wrestle with the problem, they organize their data in a table, verbally describe the patterns they see, algebraically describe the pattern, tell where they see the pattern in the model they built, and graph the situation.”

“The student achievement in Ann’s room is second to none,” writes her superintendent. “Mrs. Noyes is a master at determining individual students’ current status, and differentiating her instruction to best meet their needs.”

Justin Speck – Rapid City Area School District
(view video at: list=UUyELvhISGHZs5cb_MT2RFeQ)

“Educating the human being is more important than teaching the subject.”

Justin Speck has taught in the Rapid City Central School District in various capacities over the last 20 years. When he started teaching at Rapid City Central High School (his alma mater) 10 years ago, he took over from his former theatre teacher. The school’s theatre curriculum was already strong, and it has grown under his direction. Central’s theatre curriculum includes theatre orientation, history, acting, stagecraft, advanced theatre production and advanced stagecraft. Drama Club membership has increased from a few dozen to more than 200 students. In spring 2013, Speck became the Section 5 (SD, ND, MN, MO, KS, NE) recipient of the first-ever Heart of the Arts Award from the National Federation of High School Associations.

A former student writes, “I met Justin Speck when I was a student at Stevens High School in the mid-90s…And he changed lives. I recall standing in a circle after one of the shows, trading stories with other students. One of the techies shared that the technical theatre program under Speck got him away from drugs. The program gave him confidence. The program gave him a place where he felt safe and supported. I remember that moment so clearly, I can tell you where he was standing on the stage and what he was wearing.”

Lori Wagner – Webster Area School District
(view video at: list=UUyELvhISGHZs5cb_MT2RFeQ)

“My students know that I will be there to pick them up, but at the same time I am going to let them fall along the way to learn to be persistent, confident and that failure is part of success.”

Lori Wagner has taught math for 25 years, the past 13 in the Webster Area School District, where her classes span 8th grade math to pre-calculus and trigonometry. She is a firm believer in the power of technology in the classroom and strives to use the latest in hers. Years ago, that meant seeing the potential of graphing calculators early on and getting them into students’ hands as quickly as possible. Now it means using a SMART board and wireless microphone to record her daily lessons and place them on her wiki page.

One of Wagner’s greatest joys is helping students see how math applies to their lives outside the classroom.

A former student writes, “Applying what you learn in the classroom is as important as what you are taught. For me it was when she signed me up for the Engineering Expo at SDSU where students compete against other students in a math and physics type science bowl. This extracurricular instance is what locked me into my career as a mechanical engineer.”

Pam Wells – Mobridge-Pollock School District
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“Realizing that each student is a work in progress, a very individual work in progress, I must develop a teaching method that fits the needs of each student. Each child must be able to express his/her ideas and opinions without ridicule or derision.”

As a first-year college student, Pam Wells had planned to become a doctor, but when she started tutoring, she found her true calling in teaching. She has been teaching for 32 years now, the past three as a 9-12 chemistry and physical science teacher at Mobridge-Pollock High School. During her time in the district, she has worked with the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks to develop an environmental day for 8th graders. She also initiated the SMARTS Challenge Competition for high school students.

A colleague writes, “Students who may have thought science was boring or too hard walk away with a feeling of confidence and achievement, because their science teacher has given them the opportunity to experiment and delve deeper into the subjects of physical science, conceptual biology, and chemistry.”

“Mrs. Wells is an individual who does not demand respect from her students, she simply earns it,” says Wells’ superintendent.

Wells also sees great value in creating a deeper sense of professional community and often hosts gatherings of her colleagues during the school year.

Board holds first public hearing on proposed science standards, adopts new P.E. standards

The South Dakota Board of Education has held the first of four public hearings on proposed K-12 science standards. The proposed standards provide a foundation for students in grades K-12 to attain knowledge of scientific concepts and engage in the practices of science and engineering.

Read more at:
Learn what’s new in proposed South Dakota K-12 science standards

Watch video at:
Thousands of teachers find summer SLO training helpful

For a report on feedback from teachers who attended statewide summer trainings on student learning objectives, go to: Ninety-one percent of evaluation respondents found the trainings helpful.

Legislative Research Council seeking pages for 2015 Legislative Session

The Legislative Research Council is once again looking for high school students interested in being pages during the 2015 Legislative Session. Students must be:

• Juniors or seniors in high school (seniors are given preference)
• Sponsored by a legislator
• In good academic standing

Students need approval from a parent/guardian and their principal or superintendent. They must be able to serve during one of the following terms:

Term 1: Jan. 12-23
Term 2: Jan. 25-Feb. 6
Term 3: Feb. 8-20
Term 4: Feb. 23-March 6
Term 5: March 8-13 (one-week term)

Applications should be submitted to the Legislative Research Council, 500 E. Capitol Avenue, Pierre, SD 57501. Applications must be postmarked no later than Friday, Nov. 14.

For more information on the page program, go to:

Government teachers, if you would like a legislator from your district to speak to your government class, please contact the legislator or the Legislative Research Council at (605) 773-3251.

Dakota Seeds internship program expanded to include high school students

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development recently announced an expansion to the Dakota Seeds internship program. Juniors and seniors with career interests in science, technology, engineering and math fields, accounting and manufacturing may now seek internships for their Youth Internship Capstone Experiences with eligible employers across South Dakota. The eligible employers can hire 11th and 12th grade students and receive financial assistance covering one-half of wage expenses, up to a maximum of $2,000.

Program requirements for students include:

• The student must work in a position that will allow him/her to fulfill the South
   Dakota Department of Education’s requirements for Capstone Experiences -
   Youth Internship.
• If the student graduates from high school at the conclusion of the spring
   semester, he/she may fill a summer position that helps advance his/her
   career pathway. Example: a summer welding position if the student is enrolled
   in a welding program commencing in the fall semester at a technical institute.

NOTE: Dakota Seeds is not a requirement of students enrolling in Youth Internship Capstones, nor are eligible South Dakota employers required to participate. If one or more of your students are interested in the opportunity, contact eligible employers in your area.

For more information about the Dakota Seeds program go to:, or contact Ann Gesick Johnson, Governor’s Office of Economic Development, at (605) 367-5340 or

South Dakota high school students on track to earn more than 4,000 reduced-cost dual credits

Statewide, almost 780 high school juniors and seniors have enrolled in the reduced-cost courses and are on track to earn more than 4,000 dual credits at South Dakota public universities and technical institutes.

Read more at:

New policy in place regarding fundraisers that involve food

With the new Smart Snacks ( regulation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, each state is required to set a policy related to fundraisers that involve food. South Dakota’s policy ( has been shared with your school food service director(s). In a nutshell, South Dakota will allow for each school-sponsored group to have one “exempt fundraiser” (selling foods that otherwise would not be allowed) per year during the school day. Non school-sponsored groups cannot have fundraisers involving unallowable foods during the school day.

Upcoming Events

For a complete listing of events, go to:

IEP Back to Basics
Sept. 22, Rapid City
Sept. 29, Sioux Falls

This training is designed for special education teachers and will cover the details of special education referral to placement. During this training, participants will review all forms as they follow the special education process from referral through consent, evaluation, eligibility, IEP development and parental prior written notice. Registration is limited to 50 participants. If more than 50 people have registered, you will receive an email indicating that you are on the waiting list.

Go to: to register. Search by course title.

IEP Process in Action
Sept. 25-Oct. 16, various dates and locations statewide

This training is designed to provide an overview of criteria used in the special education process. Participants will review and identify errors and omissions in the compliance requirements from referral to placement. Registration is limited to 50 participants. If more than 50 people have registered, you will receive an email indicating that you are on the waiting list.

Go to: to register. Search by course title.

Indian Education Summit
Sept. 28-30, Pierre

The 11th annual South Dakota Indian Education Summit provides a unique opportunity for tribal, BIE and public schools. It is a premier venue for learning about successful models and best practices, which address the needs and challenges of American Indian students.

This year’s theme is, “From Every Beginning, a Bright Future.” The summit includes two keynote speakers, a featured speaker, a school board panel, more than 60 specialized sessions, cultural activities and student-led discussions. Topics cover preschool through higher education and highlight ways to raise academic achievement and graduation rates.

For more information and to register, go to:

Integrating Universal Design for Learning and Augmentative and Alternative Communication in Special Education Classrooms (Pre-Conference Workshop)
Oct. 8, Sioux Falls

This is a pre-conference event, leading up to the South Dakota Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s 2014 Convention.

This workshop will explore concepts for Universal Design for Learning and implementation of UDL with Augmentative and Alternative Communication in special education classrooms. Participants will learn about current research and how to adapt materials for classroom implementation through hands-on activities. Speakers include Dr. Laura Ball, Rhys Potts and Anna Strickland.

Registration is $50 for the full-day workshop.

Register at or call (605) 274-2423.

15th Annual Systems Change Conference
Oct. 15-17, Pierre

This year’s Systems Change Conference will be held at the Ramkota in Pierre. This is one of the region’s premier professional development events for educators. On the evening of Oct. 16, the 2015 South Dakota Teacher of the Year will be announced during a special recognition banquet. Graduate credit and DOE contact hours are available. For more information, or to register, go to

Developing Universally Designed Lessons
Oct. 22, Rapid City
Oct. 24, Sioux Falls

This workshop will focus on developing universally designed lessons focusing on the National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC) curriculum and instruction materials.

Districts are encouraged to send an education team. Teams may be composed of the special education teacher, general education teacher, paraprofessionals, and/or related service providers. Teams will bring a student scenario and lesson plan and leave with lessons, materials and strategies adapted to meet the needs of their students that can be used on the first day of school.

Go to: to register. Search by course title.

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