Thursday, August 17, 2023

Welcome Back to School

One pretty clear indication that I chose the right profession is my feeling about the first day of school. The day you walk in the building and that wonderful amalgam of smells—floor wax, dry erase marker, new bookbag, and school breakfast—coalesce to evoke just one beautiful thought: school!

In my day, it was the smell of Elmer’s paste (that company’s glue just doesn’t have the same effervescence) that triggered a clamoring for school, but that different bouquet led to the same end, an acceptance of, and excitement for, a new academic year.

Even better than the fragrance of a new school year is the promise of one. This could be the year we turn the corner on elevated levels of absenteeism. The year literacy proficiencies leap forward as the result of a renewed application of the principles of the Science of Reading. The year the varsity football and volleyball teams grab state championships. The year that heals some of the old wounds from the painful COVID years, that changes the ache to a tingle. The year that we make a difference in one more student, one more athlete, one more musician, one more thespian, one more child.

It's the 4th of July, Christmas, your birthday, and Opening Day all rolled into one. And we have the privilege of working with South Dakota’s children, those whom parents place in our care and in our trust.

Dr. Joseph GraveWe are a blessed band working in a blessed profession. 

May 2023-24 fulfill every potential and every promise.



Dr. Joseph Graves

South Dakota Department of Education 

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