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SD Department of Education
Oct. 2021  

Teacher Feature: Ballard selected as 2022 South Dakota Teacher of the Year
Stephanie Ballard, a special education teacher at George S. Mickelson Middle School in Brookings, has been named the 2022 South Dakota Teacher of the Year. Secretary of Education Tiffany Sanderson made the announcement earlier this month at a banquet in Fort Pierre.

Bierman honored with Governor’s Award for Outstanding Transition Services

Congratulations to Mitchell High School special education teacher Cindy Bierman, the 2021 recipient of the Governor’s Award for Outstanding Transition Services! Bierman leads PACT (program for adult community transition) for transitioning students to life after high school. The program works on academics, employment, independent living skills, and community participation. View a recording of the awards ceremony.

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month

The Dyslexia Handbook for Teachers and Parents in South Dakota is available to help parents and educators learn more about dyslexia and includes additional resources for teachers to access if they suspect a student may have dyslexia. Visit our Dyslexia webpage for the dyslexia handbook, a brochure, and many other dyslexia resources.

Tucker Tornberg
Nominate outstanding biology teachers

Congratulations to last year’s Outstanding Biology Teacher Tucker Tornberg (Centerville High School)! Nominate a great science teacher in your district for the Outstanding Biology Teacher Award. The award is sponsored by the National Association of Biology Teachers and honors teachers of the life sciences. Nominees will have until March 31, 2022, to complete their application for the award.

Voting open for Children’s and Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting for the South Dakota Library Association’s Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards is open. Students can vote for their favorite nominees. Downloadable award certificates, bookmarks, posters, and more are available from the State Library. Voting closes April 1, 2022.

Schedule Build Dakota Scholarship presentations in your school
The Build Dakota Scholarship is a South Dakota workforce development initiative that offers full-ride scholarships to students attending one of South Dakota’s four technical colleges in a high-need field. Schools can schedule in-person or virtual visits for students to talk with Build Dakota Scholarship staff. A video and discussion guide are also available.

State Library partners with Girls Who Code
The State Library is partnering with Girls Who Code to bring free computer science opportunities to elementary, middle, and high school students across South Dakota. Learn more about how school and public libraries can launch a club on the State Library’s Girls Who Code webpage.

Register for “Bright Spot” Suicide Prevention Learning Collaborative events
Join partners in suicide prevention to celebrate Bright Spots, successful and impactful work going on right here in South Dakota. This virtual learning collaborative will take place monthly. There will be a brief presentation from a partner in South Dakota followed by discussion and networking. Make sure to register via the links on this flyer. CEUs are available.

Board of Regents launches Our Dakota Dream coalition, extends free college application campaign
The South Dakota Board of Regents has announced the launch of the Dakota Dream coalition as part of an ongoing effort to encourage South Dakotans to pursue postsecondary education. Our Dakota Dream is designed to support the dreams of South Dakotans who require education after high school.

"Goat Tying," oil painting by Sarah Poncelow, Wessington Springs
Submit art for Governor’s Student Art Competition by Nov. 12
The South Dakota Arts Council is now accepting submissions for the Governor’s Student Art Competition. All K-12 South Dakota students are encouraged to participate. Selected student work from four age divisions will be exhibited in the state Capitol from January through September 2022. The submission deadline is Nov. 12.

Upcoming Events

A complete listing of events is available at GoSignMeUp.

EL Teacher Monthly Check-in Meetings
School year 2021-22

SDMyLife Training Series – Exploring Careers and Schools
Oct. 27, 10 a.m. CT, online
Oct. 27, 3 p.m. CT, online

WIDA Writing with Multilingual Learners in the Elementary Grades
Oct. 28-29, Fort Pierre

SD-STARS Training for District Users
Nov. 2, Mitchell
Nov. 4, Aberdeen
Nov. 9, Rapid City

SDMyLife Training Series – Personal Learning Plans
Nov. 3, 10 a.m. CT, online
Nov. 3, 3 p.m. CT, online

Dyslexia Assessment in SD
Nov. 5, Sioux Falls

Planning with the WIDA ELD Standards Framework
Nov. 8 and 15, online, 3-4:30 p.m. CT

SDMyLife Training Series: College Planning Tools
Nov. 10, 10 a.m. CT, online
Nov. 10, 3 p.m. CT, online

Board of Education Standards
Nov. 15, Sioux Falls

Indian Education Conference
Nov. 15-16, online

SDMyLife Training Series: Maximizing Xello Features
Nov. 17, 10 a.m. CT, online
Nov. 17, 3 p.m. CT, online

PEERS® for Young Adults – Certified Social Skills Training
Nov. 17-19, online

SDMyLife Training Series: Top 10 “How-To” Questions
Dec. 1, 10 a.m. CT, online
Dec. 1, 3 p.m. CT, online

SDMyLife Training Series: Reports
Dec. 8, 10 a.m. CT, online
Dec. 8, 3 p.m. CT, online

Save the Date: South Dakota Special Education Conference
March 15-16, Sioux Falls

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