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SD Department of Education
May 2022  
teacher feature
DOE announces Regional Teachers of the Year

The South Dakota Department of Education is pleased to announce the following individuals as South Dakota’s Regional Teachers of the Year. Congratulations to these outstanding educators!

  • Region #1: Alyssa Cassels, 5-12 band instructor, Deuel School District
  • Region #2: Deb Jensen, kindergarten, Viborg-Hurley School District
  • Region #3: Loretta Knodel, third grade, Avon School District
  • Region #4: Jennifer Weishaar, first grade, Aberdeen School District
  • Region #5: Jennifer Macziewski, K-1 Primary, Rapid City Area Schools

Ballard Honored

Stephanie Ballard among State Teachers of the Year honored in Washington, D.C.

2022 South Dakota Teacher of the Year Stephanie Ballard (second row, fifth from left) recently joined her fellow State Teachers of the Year for a week of events in Washington, D.C. Activities included networking, education policy discussions, sightseeing, a visit to the White House, and an evening gala event.

Week of Work Career Fair SD Week of Work a success, panel recordings posted online

Thank you to the school districts who participated in the 2022 South Dakota Week of Work and provided tremendous work-based learning opportunities for their students during this special week and to those who do so all school year long! This event helps introduce middle and high school students to career opportunities in their own communities and across South Dakota.

Please complete survey to help inform K-5 STEM initiative
The South Dakota Department of Education seeks input from K-5 teachers to gauge levels of STEM-focused instruction in South Dakota classrooms. Your feedback will help the department determine effective pathways to facilitate STEM-related instructional activities and resources in districts across the state.

Dakota Dreams Teacher Leadership Academy Dakota Dreams Teacher Leadership Academy to begin in school year 2022-23

The Dakota Dreams Teacher Leadership Academy will offer eligible teachers a year-long, experience-based learning opportunity to further develop their educational leadership skills. Beginning in school year 2022-23, two cohorts of 30 students will meet over three instructional days during the school year as well as a three-day period in the summer.

Newly approved suicide prevention trainings available

The Board of Education Standards has approved three new suicide prevention trainings to meet the requirement of SDCL 13-42-71 for educator certification. One clock hour of approved youth suicide awareness and prevention training is required for educators for initial and renewal certification.

New social studies commission announced

In April, the Department of Education announced the formation of a new Social Studies Content Standards Commission. The group’s first meeting was held May 4. The commission will meet throughout the summer.

DOE sets targets for State Performance Plan

DOE’s Special Education Programs (SEP) has set targets for all students with disabilities receiving special education services in a public school district. SEP worked with stakeholders in 2021 to determine new baselines and targets and develop strategies to improve outcomes for students with disabilities.

Apply for SDMath/SDSci Leadership by May 20

SDMath/SDSci Leadership is a program to create and support a dynamic network of educators. The program selects, challenges, and develops K-12 South Dakota mathematics and science educators who have demonstrated an interest in leadership skills related to mathematics and science education. Apply by May 20 to join the next cohort.

South Dakota State Fair admission passes available for Read & Win program

Free 2022 State Fair admission passes are now available for the Read & Win program. To honor outstanding academic achievement, the state fair is partnering with schools and public libraries to promote youth reading. The Read & Win program encourages summer reading as an incentive to earn free admission to the state fair for children across the state.

Upcoming Events

A complete listing of events is available at GoSignMeUp.

Title Programs Bimonthly Zoominars
June 21

Growing Great Readers
MTSS Summer Education Conference

June 21-22, Oacoma

Board of Education Standards
July 18, Pierre

South Dakota Best Practices in Teaching Mathematics
July 21-22, Pierre

Top 20 Training
July 21-22, Oacoma
(Schools can use ESSER funds to attend this training)

Foundational Reading Skills Grades 4-8
July 26-27, Fort Pierre

Foundational Reading Skills Grades K-3
Additional location! July 26-28, Sioux Falls
Aug. 2-4, Fort Pierre

Save the Date: Indian Education Summit
Sept. 8-10, Rapid City

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