Friday, April 30, 2021

Governor Noem proclaims Teacher Appreciation Week May 3-7

Whereas, South Dakotans believe in the importance of education for our students; and

Whereas, South Dakota teachers are our state's greatest assets for ensuring student success; and

Whereas, teachers are at the forefront of the effort to prepare South Dakota students to graduate from the K-12 system ready for college, careers, and life; and

Whereas, highly qualified teachers are trained professionals deserving of the utmost respect for the work they do; and

Whereas, our state is dedicated to supporting new and current teachers as well as recruiting future teachers from among the ranks of today's students by elevating the teaching profession; and

Whereas, South Dakota teachers have eagerly and capably stepped up to meet the unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19, 

Now, therefore, I, Kristi Noem, Governor of the State of South Dakota, do hereby proclaim May 3-7, 2021, as

Teacher Appreciation Week

in South Dakota.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Career Exploration: Why it is important


The South Dakota Week of Work will take place April 19-23. This exciting week is an opportunity for 10th and 11th grade students to explore career opportunities across the state, with many activities being held virtually, including live panel discussions with a wide variety of business and industry professionals. Registration information is now available on the 2021 Schedule page of the South Dakota Week of Work website.

Marcia Hultman is the Secretary of Labor and Regulation. Here she shares her thoughts on why career exploration is so important.

Hi, everyone. I’m Marcia Hultman, Cabinet Secretary of the Department of Labor and Regulation. As a former teacher, I’ve long known the importance of helping students make connections between classroom learning and the world of work.

I want to help students like yourselves understand WHY career exploration is so important. What you study in school sets an important stage for effective education and your future success.

While I was teaching English, I watched many students as they explored career options and made important decisions about their future. Their choices were not always for the right reasons or based on the best information.  

Now, as a leader of workforce development efforts, I continually see examples and hear stories underlining the importance of making informed career decisions.  

Employees in well-matched careers who enjoy their work and find personal value in it are generally more productive. Turnover resulting from employees discovering too late a field of work is not for them is difficult for employers who’ve invested time, money, and resources hiring and training them.

For young people and others choosing a career path, the investment in education and training is often costly. While there is always value in education, the return on investment is certainly better the more direct the path is to related employment.  

Our state’s employers need workers in many occupations. They offer great opportunities for youth and others in our great state of South Dakota.  

Resources to learn about these opportunities and make realistic, informed decisions about careers are invaluable. Our Labor Market Information Center has several career resources readily available. I encourage you to check out the Career Exploration and Planning Tools available on our website  

The tools include: 

  • Age-appropriate K-12 materials for downloading or printing, including fun career awareness booklets and activities.  
  • A career interest survey with extensive online resources for learning more about occupations of interest.  
  • Exploration of occupations by career cluster.  

All resources are available at no charge online. I encourage parents to check out what’s available too. 

Making informed career decisions is a win-win for South Dakota employers and individuals. It is vital to your success to make a positive impact on our communities and economy as both workers and citizens. Please learn more about our career planning and exploration tools.  

The South Dakota Week of Work is sponsored by the South Dakota departments of Labor and Regulation and Education, the Governor's Office of Economic Development, the South Dakota Retailers Association, and the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Congratulations to 2021 Perkins Reserve grant recipients

Perkins Reserve grants provide funds to support the purchase of industry-grade classroom equipment or curricula and high-quality professional development opportunities.

Thank you to everyone who submitted a Perkins Reserve grant application this year. The Department of Education reviewed 48 total applications featuring a variety of projects. It’s exciting to see these innovative ideas from our state’s career and technical education programs! 

Congratulations to the following schools on receiving a 2021 Perkins Reserve Grant:


Modernize manufacturing program with the purchase of a plasma cutting table

$   30,000.00


Add industry-grade welding equipment to enhance the manufacturing program

$     3,970.21

Dakota Valley

Add industry-grade welding equipment to increase the student capacity of welding courses and add dual credit courses

$   20,790.28


Enhance the Intro to Sports Medicine and Medical Terminology courses with industry-grade equipment

$     7,989.68


Enhance opportunities in ag metal fabrication with the purchase of a plasma cutting table

$   29,750.00


Enhance opportunities in ag metal fabrication with the purchase of a plasma cutting table

$   28,195.07


Purchase industry-grade ag metal fabrication equipment

$   12,264.92

Hot Springs

Purchase plasma cutting system to enhance curriculum in Ag, Food and Natural Resources and Manufacturing clusters

$   30,000.00


Enhance the Ag, Food and Natural Resources program with drone technology

$     5,156.00

Northeast Technical High School

Purchase industry-grade equipment to enhance the Health Science Biomedical program and allow for increased student participation

$   14,888.00

Northern High Tech Consortium

Purchase an interactive seat to provide a real-life experience with the program’s heavy equipment simulator

$   15,845.00


Implement a middle school MakerSpace Lab to foster career exploration and promote CTE

$   19,021.10


Provide instructor training and course equipment for CASE Animal Science and Plant Science courses that will provide CTE for Core Content opportunities for students

$   22,158.80


Purchase industry-grade ag metal fabrication equipment

$     2,600.00

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Governor proclaims Feb. 1-5 School Counseling Week

Whereas, school counselors are employed in schools to help students reach their full potential; and,

Whereas, school counselors are committed to helping students explore their abilities, strengths, interests, and talents as these traits relate to career awareness and development; and,

Whereas, school counselors partner with parents to further the educational and personal growth of their children; and,

Whereas, school counselors work with teachers and other educators to help students succeed in school and set realistic goals for themselves; and,

Whereas, school counselors identify and utilize community resources that can enhance and complement comprehensive school counseling programs to assist students in becoming productive members of society; and,

Whereas, comprehensive school counseling programs are considered an integral part of the educational process:

Now, Therefore, I, Kristi Noem, Governor of the state of South Dakota, do hereby proclaim

Feb. 1-5, 2021, as

School Counseling Week

in South Dakota.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Winter sessions added to webinar series for K-12 social studies teachers

The Department of Education is facilitating a series of webinars during the 2020-21 school year for South Dakota's K-12 social studies teachers. Some webinars feature national social studies education experts. CEUs are available. Collaborative chats are also offered to continue the conversation and support learning.

Questions? Contact Melinda Johnson with the South Dakota Department of Education.

Find recordings and other information from previous webinars in this Social Studies Google Folder.

Schedule and registration links:

Jan. 28, 2021, 4-5 p.m. CT: Learning About Intellectual Charity with Harvard Fellow Nate Otey
This webinar is open to all K-12 teachers. What is intellectual charity, and why does it matter? When you hear the word “charity,” you might think about donating money or time to a good cause. But there’s another meaning of charity that has to do with how we make arguments. Intellectual charity is a skill. We practice intellectual charity when we listen to and think about other people's arguments with precision and care - especially when we disagree. Being “charitable” in this context means treating other people’s arguments in the same way you want them to treat yours: as intelligent and well-intentioned. Give people the benefit of the doubt and try to assume best intentions. Sounds simple, but this principle is very hard to practice when you disagree strongly.

Why does intellectual charity matter? If you’ve ever been part of a discussion where a point of disagreement turns into a wave of assumptions, faulty evidence, and emotional appeals, you’ve experienced the frustration of arguing without an honest exchange of ideas. This type of miscommunication happens everywhere - social media, classrooms, workspaces, and kitchens. The strain of talking past each other, learning nothing new, and feeling misunderstood often ends the discussion without making any progress.

Join Harvard Fellow Nate Otey to learn a simple, practical set of tools that you can use to improve your students' charity skills so they can discuss current issues with precision and care.


Feb. 2, 2021, 3:30-5:00 p.m. CT: Teaching the Great War with Elementary Students, featuring the National WWI Museum
Think World War I is only a topic for middle and high school students? Think again! Join a National WWI Museum and Memorial educator in this exciting webinar to learn effective teaching techniques for use with elementary school students as they are introduced to World War I. Learn about engaging classroom activities, lessons about alliances, trench warfare, and propaganda and ideas for more in-depth student projects that will develop students’ historical research skills. In addition, we’ll discuss recommended K-5 reading to enrich your lessons. Special emphasis will be placed on understanding WWI and its continued impact and relationship to global situations, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic.

These lessons will address the following South Dakota social studies content standards:

K-12.H.1: Students will analyze how major events are chronologically connected and evaluate their impact on one another.

K-12.H.4: Students will identify and evaluate the causes and effects of past, current, and potential events, issues, and problems.

K-12.H.5: Students will develop historical research skills.


Feb. 4, 2021, 3:30-5:00 p.m. CT: Making Connections with World War I for Middle and High School Students, featuring the National WWI Museum
Need some assistance to help your students recognize the critical importance of World War I history and its relevance to contemporary life, especially with the current pandemic in mind? In this webinar led by a National WWI Museum and Memorial educator, the focus will be on the continued impact made by the Great War on a global scale and how it shaped the 20th and 21st centuries. Webinar attendees will spend time beyond the western front, examining participants from all inhabited continents, how and why they contributed to the war effort, and effects felt from war outcomes.

Content provided will be useful for teachers as they address the following South Dakota social studies content standards:

K-12.H.1: Students will analyze how major events are chronologically connected and evaluate their impact on one another.

K-12.H.4: Students will identify and evaluate the causes and effects of past, current, and potential events, issues, and problems.

9-12.H.4.1: Identify and distinguish between long-term causes and triggering events of WWI

9-12.H.4.7: Evaluate the causes and effects of the First World War on the United States

9-12.H.5.1: Determine the kinds of sources that will be helpful in answering compelling and supporting questions, taking into consideration multiple points of view represented in the sources, the types of sources available, and the potential uses of sources.


Thursday, October 8, 2020

Celebrating South Dakota Teachers


District Teachers of the Year

Aberdeen - Sara Weischedel
Agar-Blunt-Onida - Susie Rilling
Avon - Connie Gretschmann
Belle Fourche - Julie Erskin
Bon Homme - Ashley Armstrong
Brandon Valley - Michael Zerr
Britton-Hecla - Beth Renner
Canistota - Crystall Becker
Canton - Alexis Burwitz
Chamberlain - Kari Toupal
Chester Area - Laura Biagi
Clark - Heather Fuhrmann
Corsica-Stickney - Mike Tuschen
Custer - Karen Karim
De Smet - Jennifer Hojer
Deuel - Karan Domina
Doland - Katy Lyren
Elkton - Georgianna Jensen
Florence - Sarah Spiering
Frederick Area - Caitlin Podoll
Garretson - Matt Schrank
Harrisburg - Tamra Huffman
Henry - Deanna Martens
Herreid - Julie Graczyk
Lead-Deadwood - Shannon Mollman
Lennox - Lisa Muhs
Leola - Nancy Kindelspire
Lyman - Nikki Collins
Madison Central - Kindra Wiese
Milbank - Beth Wagner
Mobridge-Pollock - Ladonna Mielke
Parker - Mindee Birnstiehl
Pierre - Tom Rogers
Plankinton - Michelle Karst
Rapid City Area - Jamie Amundsen
Sanborn Central - Jill Reimer
Sioux Falls - Janelle Revier
Sioux Valley - Don Sutera
Spearfish - Chris Blain
Tea Area - Janice Gilbert
Timber Lake - Theresa Keller
Tri-Valley - Jennifer Even
Vermillion - Kelly Stone
Wall - Ronda Edgar
Watertown - Karen Johnson
Webster Area - Ashley Hanson
Wessington Springs - Julie Bruckner
West Central - Nicole Harmon
Willow Lake - Lindsey Tellinghuisen
Wolsey-Wessington - Jackie Fauth
Yankton - Beth Anderson

Friday, September 18, 2020

Virtual Summit Oct. 7-8: How to Coach Teachers to Teach Almost Anything

The Virtual Coaching Summit was scheduled to be a two-day live event; however, instead of a cancellation due to Jill Jackson’s untimely death in August, Jackson Consulting will provide a pre-recorded Virtual Coaching Summit that will feature Jill Jackson as the facilitator teaching How to Coach Teachers to Teach Almost Anything, a simple, practical plan for knowing how to coach, what to coach, and who to coach on your staff.

When: Oct. 7-8; 8-5 p.m. (local time for your Central/Mountain location will be provided)

Audience: Principals and instructional coaches                  

  •        Districts involved in SPDG and SSIP grants  
  •        MTSS districts
  •        Principal Leadership and Development Program (PLD)
  •        If spots remain, the Coaching Summit will be open to other districts

Highlights of what participants will learn:

  •     How to set a principal’s instructional goal
  •     How to differentiate coaching time, focus, and approach based upon individual teacher needs
  •     How to approach teachers for coaching without feeling awkward or evaluative
  •     How to have a debriefing that results in action that sticks long-term
  •     How to build real trust with teachers without wasting time building buy-in

Participant Information:

  •     No registration fee
  •     Registration deadline: Sept. 25
  •     All participants MUST sign-up at this GoSignMeUp link

o The registration will require a password: Jackson2020

o Registered participants receive a web link and password each day to access pre-recorded sessions.

o There is a maximum capacity of 100 participants for the event, so register early.

  •     All participants will receive the How To Coach Teachers to Teach Almost Anything textbook.

o Textbooks will be mailed to participants’ district location. 

o For more information on contents of the text:

Questions? Email Teresa Berndt.