Local

SDPB WINS 2018 NATIONAL MURROW AWARD

(VERMILLION, SD) –  SDPB is pleased to announce SDPB has won a 2018 National Murrow Award. From more than 4,400 entries, this award recognizes local and network radio, television and digital news organizations for examples of outstanding journalism in 16 categories.

SDPB won the National Murrow Award for Excellence in Social Media for “The Shift,” a multiplatform reporting project on how changing populations affect schools, businesses and hometown life in South Dakota. See SDPB.org/TheShift

“Winning an Radio, Television, Digital News Association (RTDNA) National Edward R. Murrow Award means that a news organization has provided exemplary public service to its viewers, listeners and readers. These honorees truly represent the very best in broadcast and digital journalism around the world,” said Dan Shelley, RTDNA Executive Director.

USD Nursing Receives Full Accreditation for BSN Program

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota Department of Nursing has received full accreditation for its Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program.

The accreditation, issued by the national Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, spans a ten-year timeframe, meaning the USD BSN program is fully accredited until 2028.

“This full accreditation confirms the quality of our BSN program, and assures South Dakotans and others interested in receiving an excellent nursing education that our program will be available for many years and will continue contributing to health care in our state, in our region, and nationally,” said Haifa Samra, chair of USD nursing.

USD’s nursing program offers nursing education opportunities at four sites across South Dakota, including in Vermillion (main USD campus), Pierre (Capital University Center), Sioux Falls and Rapid City. An online RN-BSN program is also offered by USD Nursing.

Missouri River sandbars closed during nesting season

OMAHA, Neb. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reminds residents that many sandbars with active piping plover and interior least tern nests are closed for recreational use during the nesting season which runs from mid-May through August. The closures are necessary in order to protect nests and chicks and increase populations of these threatened and endangered birds.

With current water levels higher than normal, nesting habitat is limited along sections of the Missouri River. The endangered interior least tern and threatened piping plover lay their eggs and rear chicks on sandbars and reservoir shoreline on the Missouri River between Ft. Peck Dam in Montana and Ponca State Park in Nebraska.

Higher-than-average releases from all Missouri River System projects will continue over the next several months leaving less available habitat for the birds. The Corps will be placing signs on sandbars to restrict access and to protect the birds from pedestrians and off-road vehicles during the nesting season. Closed sandbars are marked with signs warning the public to keep out of the area.

Sandbars that do not have signs posted may also have active nests, but nesting activity is limited and the sandbars are open for public use. Anyone using unposted sandbars should be alert for nests and eggs as well as signs that may be difficult to see due to vandalism. The Corps urges people who spot a nest or a closure sign to move to a different sandbar. People using unposted sandbars should make sure to leave no trace of their presence and remove all garbage so that predators such as gulls and crows are not lured to the sandbars. People should also keep any pets from wandering onto closed sandbars.

Tern and plover nests are small, shallow depressions in the sand, and the buff-colored eggs are camouflaged to make it difficult for predators to see them. It is very easy to overlook a nest and injure the eggs or chicks, so it is vital to avoid closed sandbars until nesting season ends. It is important to protect these birds so the benefits of operating the Missouri River mainstem reservoir system can continue.

“Taking” threatened and endangered species may result in civil or criminal penalties. Under the Endangered Species Act, “take” means to harass, harm, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect a threatened or endangered species. Activities such as driving all-terrain vehicles on sandbars can harass birds and cause them to abandon their nests and lead to the deaths of the unhatched chicks.

The Corps works with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and state agencies to protect these birds in accordance with the ESA. Each year, these agencies coordinate to determine the appropriate level of restrictions based on the birds’ and the public’s use of sandbars. Please report violations to Nebraska Game and Parks at (800) 742-7627 or South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks at (888) 683-7224. In North Dakota, please call USFWS at (701) 400-8433.

Staying Safe with Mosquitoes

The City of Yankton would like to remind all residents there are things you can do to help control mosquitoes. Spraying for adult mosquitoes will be conducted as needed this year but your efforts can make a big difference. By following these simple steps you can reduce both the amount of pesticide applied and your risk of contracting disease transmitted by mosquitoes. And you’ll enjoy being outside more too:

  • Properly dispose of unwanted containers (tires, buckets, cans, etc.)
  • Change water in birdbaths and wading pools at least weekly
  • Make sure rain gutters are properly maintained
  • Remove any debris (plastic containers, wrappers, cups, soda cans, etc.) that

may be hidden behind bushes or shrubs in your yard

  • Make sure any toys left outdoors are not holding water
  • Make sure flower pots do not hold water in the base for more than two or three days
  • Properly maintain swimming pools, covers, and water-proof tarps

The City of Yankton will contract with Yankton County to begin spray areas within the City of Yankton beginning June 25, 2018 through July 2, 2018, after 8:00 p.m., weather permitting.

 

For more information, please contact the Public Works Department at 668-5211.

FIREWORKS PLANNED FOR INDEPENDENCE DAY IN VERMILLION

Vermillion, SD, June 18, 2018 – Independence Day, or the Fourth of July, is right around the corner and falls on a Wednesday this year. In communities across the state and nation, families are making plans to celebrate our country’s independence and make plenty of great memories with loved ones. The highlight of this holiday is undoubtedly the magnificent fireworks displays. There’s nothing like lying on a blanket in the cool summer air, watching the vibrant pyrotechnics above going off to a chorus of ‘oohs’ and ‘ahs’ from all around.

In Vermillion, the community is invited to join together in watching this year’s stunning fireworks display as they are shot off from behind the Vermillion Technology Center. Excellent views are possible from Bartow Park or the Walmart parking lot. The display will begin near dusk, or approximately 10:00 pm. This year’s display is proudly sponsored by the City of Vermillion, Walmart, and the Vermillion Area Chamber & Development Company.

Questions can be directed to Susan Heggestad, Marketing & Tourism Manager at susan@vermillionchamber.com.

Faculty Feature: Law Professor Pommersheim Earns Recognition for Commitment to Tribal Law

VERMILLION, S.D. – University of South Dakota law professor Frank Pommersheim was recently recognized by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe for his commitment to Indian law and service as a tribal judge for over 30 years.

Pommersheim, a graduate of Columbia Law School, was first exposed to Indian law as a VISTA lawyer in rural Alaska.

“I had never been west of the Mississippi River but I was very taken by the cultural element and spirit of generosity,” Pommersheim said.

After his program ended, he briefly returned to New York before accepting a position in 1973 at a college, Sinte Gleska University, that was just forming on the Rosebud Indian Reservation.

“I thought I would be there for a short stay, but ended up spending 10 years living in Rosebud,” he said. “Sinte had a philosophy at that time of decentralized learning. They didn’t have a campus then so you took your classes to the community.”

Pommersheim was encouraged to become an active member of the community. He said sports were a leveler.

“I played softball and basketball and went to pow wows and events,” he said. “I’m not sure if others would agree, but I would describe myself as fairly shy so to a certain extent, it was good for me.”

After 10 years living in Rosebud, including three directing Dakota Plains Legal Services which provides legal aid to Native Americans across South Dakota, Pommersheim was recruited to join the faculty of the USD law school in 1984 primarily to teach Indian law where he started two traditions that have lasted over 30 years – a biennial Indian law symposium, and a field trip to the Rosebud Indian Reservation.

“I think we’re the only law school in the country to have hosted an Indian law symposium for 30 years,” Pommersheim said. “It’s an opportunity for students and the community to hear about the issues. There are very few forums where Indians and non-Indian people can come together.”

USD hosted its 15th biennial Indian Law Symposium in March 2018 inviting Patrice Kunesh, a former USD law professor and current director of the Center for Indian Country Development at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, as its keynote speaker.

Pommersheim also stressed the cultural element inherent in the symposium.

“There’s an opening prayer by [Native Student Services Director] Gene Thin Elk which hopes to open your heart to listen, to learn, and to show respect to one another,” Pommersheim said. “Embedded in what we do is a cultural element.”

Another way Pommersheim exposes students to Indian law is through an annual field trip to Rosebud.

“When I started teaching here in 1984, most of my students were from South Dakota. I assumed they knew something about Indian reservations,” Pommersheim said. “Two years in, I realized they didn’t.”

“People just kind of accept the landscape they’re in,” he said.

The trip includes watching tribal court proceedings, visiting the local jail and meeting with various members of the community including enjoying a meal prepared by the court staff at the end of the trip.

“When I read student evaluations, they say the field trip is the greatest thing about the class. What it does without intentionally trying to do it is dismantle a lot of stereotypes,” Pommersheim said.

“Yes, there is a lot of poverty on the reservation. Yes, there is a lot of alcoholism. But there are a lot of people trying to do good too,” he said. “You can talk about it in class which is important to do but having students go out there. It’s different. It’s become an essential part of the class.”

Around the time he began to teach at USD, Pommersheim had also begun serving as a tribal judge in Rosebud and then for other tribes as well. Currently, he serves as a justice for the Santee Sioux, Crow Creek, Rosebud and Winnebago tribes. In the past, he has served as a justice for the Saginaw Chippewa, Lower Sioux, Mississippi Band of Tribe and the Grand Portage Chippewa. He has served as the Chief Justice of the Cheyenne River Appellate Court of Appeals for 31 years.

“Somewhat unexpectedly, I found myself sitting on tribal courts and writing a lot of opinions. And that was significant to me for my own professional development. At that time, tribal courts became more popular so it became an area of intense focus for me,” Pommersheim said.

He said after 30 years of experience with Indian law, respect is the key starting point to any discussion.

“I use the word respect. It’s huge in the Lakota world. The Lakota people have to feel like you respect them,” Pommersheim said.

He believes governments need to find more areas to cooperate to solve shared issues.

“I try to impress upon my students that good lawyering is often times finding the zones where you can cooperate and people can get along. That’s an important legal skill to have,” he said.

Despite the challenges, Pommersheim is hopeful about the future.

“You can’t escape history but I think slowly but surely there is more good faith on both sides and more and more people on the tribal and state level know more about Indian law,” he said. “Indian law has become more important. We offer more than just a mandatory course. And South Dakota is the only state in the country where Indian law is a mandatory question on the bar exam. To me, that’s quite significant.”

As for what Pommersheim thinks of his own role in the history of Indian law in South Dakota and his recent commendation by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, he was reticent.

“When I first came to Indian country, I remember going to one of the first graduations and being amazed to witness and experience the generosity of a give-away,” he said. “I was called forward to receive a star quilt by the family of one of the students. It was an incredibly powerful experience.”

“It’s not an award. In the Lakota way, you don’t give awards. They honor you. I think there’s a lot in the honoring that goes unsaid. There’s a tribe, a town, a community that appreciates what you’ve done,” Pommersheim said.

“It’s hard to put into words, but words aren’t really needed. I felt it very deeply.”

Two Vermillion Park Playgrounds Open after Renovations

The Prentis Park Playground area and equipment located at 20 Prentis Avenue, will be open to the public on June 22, 2018 with new exciting park renovations!  The park now offers a new swing set and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant swing set, a protective border surrounding the playground, and ADA compliant woodchips to further increase playground safety. Additionally, the 2-5-year-old playground was relocated from its location south of the primary playground area and is attached to the primary playground area.

The Rotary Park Playground area and equipment located at the northwest corner of Cottage Avenue and Rice Drive, will be open to the public on June 22, 2018 with new park equipment and other park improvements! The old park equipment was removed to make way for all new equipment, such as a new slide, ten spin, swing set, tire swing, and climbing feature. The playground was also remodeled with a protective border to surround the playground area and resurfaced with ADA compliant woodchips to further increase playground safety.

Road Closure

Shortly after 8:00 am tomorrow, June 13th, pavement removal will continue south, on the West City Limits Road (WCLR) project.  Traffic control will be adjusted to provide a full closure of WCLR, from 19th Street, to north of 21st Street.  This will include the intersection of 21st and WCLR.  Please follow the traffic control signage that has been installed.  The closure will remain in place until the west two lanes of traffic have been paved.

Governor’s Family Will Attend Yankton Dedication on Thursday

YANKTON, S.D. —— Governor William H. McMaster’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren will join Yankton area residents in honoring the man who led South Dakota through tumultuous times in the 1920s.
A memorial to Gov. McMaster will be dedicated at 1:30 p.m. Thursday (June 14) on the lower deck of the Meridian Bridge. The public is welcome. There will be limited seating so attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.
Lt. Gov. Matt Michels will be master of ceremonies at the event. Others on the program include Dr. Mary McMaster, the governor’s granddaughter, and Yanktonians Mike McDonald, Ken Jones, Rev. Tim Fountain and Mayor Nathan Johnson.
Yankton County’s historic preservation commission headed efforts to memorialize McMaster after members were contacted by Governor Dennis Daugaard’s office. Daugaard and his staff had learned that several past governors of South Dakota were not memorialized in their hometowns, so they reached out for someone to help change that. McMaster was one of the forgotten governors.
The historic preservation commission issued a request for donations and costs were quickly covered. The memorial was approved by the State Historical Society. City of Yankton staff assisted with the project and are also helping with the memorial program on the bridge.
McMaster is an interesting historical character. The Iowa native was orphaned as a teenager but he found a way to attend college and came to Yankton County as a young man to begin his banking career. He soon found himself immersed in the progressive politics of the state’s Republican Party, first as a state senator and then as Governor Peter Norbeck’s lieutenant governor.
McMaster and Norbeck pushed a number of controversial ideas, including a loan program for small farmers, a state cement plant, a wildlife refuge and free textbooks for school students. They also initiated the idea that state government should assist farmers in promoting and marketing crops.
McMaster succeeded Norbeck as governor in 1922, a testament to their popularity even though the farm credits program seemed headed for disaster. McMaster was re-elected governor in 1924 and throughout his tenure he continued to advocate for farmers, small business and education. The best example of his populism came in 1924 when he sold gasoline to the public from state highway shops because he believed oil companies were gouging the state’s motorists.
McMaster also championed the construction of bridges over the Missouri River, and he personally dedicated the Meridian Bridge in Yankton.
About a dozen McMaster descendants will attend Thursday’s program in Yankton. While here, they will also tour the Missouri River by pontoon, the Masonic Temple and the Episcopal Church. The governor was active in both institutions. They will also visit his house at 508 Broadway.
All interested persons are welcome to attend the memorial dedication on the Meridian Bridge

COMMUNITY VOTING OPEN AS BUILDING RENOVATION NEARS COMPLETION

The Vermillion Area Chamber and Development Company (VCDC) is pleased to share the narrowed list of possible names for their new building as the renovations of 2 E Main Street near completion. While the options that were generated from the public earlier this year ranged from the historical to the hysterical, the VCDC’s Board of Directors was pleased to see such engaged community input, and had a difficult time narrowing down the extensive list. They are appealing to the community once more to vote for the best name for the historic location.

For the first few months of 2018, many voices from around Vermillion weighed in with their ideas for appropriate names for the new space that will soon be the permanent home of the VCDC. This building, which dates back to 1884, will also be the home of Charlie’s (USD’s retail store), as well as serving as a collaborative working space for entrepreneurs and business individuals of all types. “This space has over 130 years of history… and this new future gives it another century-in-the-making.  We are looking for a name that befits its legacy, as well as defines the present use and envisions the future of Vermillion,” says Nate Welch, VCDC President & CEO. “2 E Main Street has the potential to be a next-generation commerce center – allowing opportunities for engagement and collaboration between entrepreneurs, business leaders, the VCDC staff and board members, non-profit organizations, and the University of South Dakota,” Welch says.  “What’s also exciting is the partnership with the University to create a place where many Coyote fans will stop while visiting Vermillion, and have an opportunity to see all the great things Vermillion has to offer because our Visitor Center will be located there, as well.”

Earlier this spring, the VCDC’s Tourism Committee deliberated on the full list of name suggestions over several meetings. This committee, composed of representatives from many Vermillion cultural institutions, hotels, retail businesses, USD and more, discussed the options and meanings of suggested names at great length. The primary considerations given for choosing potential names were historical or community relevance, inspirational and functional meaning, and marketability, or ease-of-use. The finalists for the new building name are:

The Anchor Building – In architecture, a metal strap used to tie a wall to another structure. Also, a place or idea that stabilizes.

The Bond Stone Building – In architecture, a stone or masonry unit that projects back from the facing wall into a backup wall, tying the two together – in effect, strengthening it.

The Hub – A central area of activity.

The Burdick Block/Building An historical name of the building, referring to an early owner who was Mayor of Vermillion during the time of the flood, as well as a significant player in the transition to statehood for South Dakota, and in the formation of USD.

The Overture – A musical term referring to the introduction of something to come that’s more substantial.

Coyotes nab second-straight Showdown Series

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.—The South Dakota Coyotes have topped the South Dakota State Jackrabbits 14-13 to win the annual South Dakota Showdown Series presented by South Dakota Corn for the third time in the last four years. The official announcement was made Wednesday by South Dakota Corn Utilization Council officials.

The South Dakota Showdown Series is a point-based athletic and academic competition between the two in-state university rivals.

The Yotes outscored the Jacks 11-10 in athletic competitions for the second-straight year to keep the traveling trophy in Vermillion. Those points were decided by head-to-head competitions and Summit League Championship finishes in 17 men’s and women’s sports. Both programs scored the maximum three points allotted for academic achievement by compiling a student-athlete grade-point average above 3.0.

“I am so proud of all our student-athletes and coaches and happy for Coyote fans,” said University of South Dakota Director of Athletics David Herbster. “Maybe more impressive than that is how our schools have played a part in helping the South Dakota Corn Council and Feeding South Dakota generate $70,000 to feed those in need. That’s teamwork and the biggest win.”

Feeding South Dakota, the Series’ philanthropic partner, will be able to provide 280,000 meals for adults and children throughout the state because of the $70,000 generous donation from South Dakota Corn. Funds were raised throughout the year at a variety of activities, including the “Get Off the Bench” campaign. Now in its second year, the campaign took place at USD-SDSU rivalry games during the 2017-18 season where fans were encouraged to support the overall goal to provide funding in the state’s fight against hunger.

“Through this continuing partnership with Feeding South Dakota, our state’s farmers are making a commitment to provide hundreds of thousands of nourishing meals to individuals and families who are less fortunate,” said South Dakota Corn’s Teddi Mueller. “The Showdown Series and other events throughout the year raise awareness of the state’s needs and generate a substantial amount of money to ensure South Dakotans do not go hungry. We are all partners in this meaningful cause.”

Fans can visit www.sdcornshowdown.comwww.goyotes.com, or www.gojacks.com to track progress and see point totals. Spearheading the initiative between the athletic departments and South Dakota Corn are Coyote Sports Properties and Jackrabbit Sports Properties, the multimedia rights holders for USD athletics and SDSU athletics, respectively. Both are properties of Learfield, which manages multimedia rights for nearly 130 collegiate properties around the country.

Summit Activities Center Summer Membership Promotion

“Summit Up” at the Summit Activities Center this summer! Don’t miss out on another great summer at the Summit!  In addition to youth summer programs, summer swimming, summer workouts, and summer rentals, the Summit is now offering a Sizzling Summer Special!

Anytime between June 1 and August 31, anyone who renews or purchases a membership will receive the summer special discount! All annual memberships will be reduced 12% and all quarterly memberships will be reduced 5%, but only if purchased before August 31!  This offer excludes all corporate and EFT memberships.

So, take advantage of this deal while it lasts, get into the summer swing of things, and get your Summit Activities Center membership purchased or extended for the year!

For more information, please call 668–5234 or stop by the Summit Activities Center at 1801 Summit Street, Yankton, SD.  Remember to follow the Yankton Parks and Recreation Department on our Facebook page.

Mosquito Control Spraying throughout the City of Vermillion

The City of Vermillion will be fogging for mosquitoes Tuesday, June 5 or Wednesday June 6, 2018 after 9:00 pm, weather permitting.

For more information or questions contact City Hall at (605) 677-7050.

Check out our web site at www.cityofvermillion.us

 

Miami Marlins Tryout Camp to be Hosted in Yankton

In coordination with Miami Marlins Baseball scout Hank Krause, Mount Marty College Lancer Athletics will host a Miami Marlins tryout camp on Wednesday, June 13 in Yankton, SD. The tryout camp will take place at the home ballpark for the Mount Marty College Lancers baseball team — Bob Tereshinski Stadium, located at Riverside Field, 407 Levee Street in Yankton.

The June 13 tryout camp will begin at 9 a.m. Participants should be between the ages of 15 and 21 and must provide their own gloves, shoes and uniforms. In addition to scouts from the Marlins organization, several college coaches and other scouts will be in attendance. Cost for the camp is $20 per participant. Please bring exact amount in cash; checks may be made out to Hank Krause.

For more information, on the tryout camp please contact Hank Krause at 712-568-2600 or at hkrause@premieronline.net

Public Service Announcement

Due to underground utility work, the intersection of 23rd Street and West City Limits Road (WCLR) will be closed to all traffic, on Thursday, May 31st.  Access, to all properties, on WCLR, north of 23rd, Street will be from 31st Street.  Please follow the traffic control signage that has been installed.  The closure is expected to last 2 days.

VERMILLION WILL BE “THE PLACE TO BE” IN JUNE

Vermillion, SD, May 25, 2018 –From arts to athletics and everything in-between, the City of Vermillion is expected to be bustling with activity during the week of June 4th through 10th. Not only will the community host the sixth annual South Dakota Shakespeare Festival in Prentis Park, but scores of high school football players and coaches, along with many family members, will also return this June for the SD High School All-Star Football Game, presented by Sanford. Not only will these headlining events draw large crowds, but in addition, the Vermillion Eagles Sunshine Aerie 2421 will host the 71st Dakota State Convention, bringing over 200 additional visitors to town!

“We often think of Vermillion as having vibrancy and energy during the school year – but not as much in the summer.  That hasn’t been the case the last few summers, as activities and events continue to roll into Vermillion.”  Says Nate Welch, CEO of the Vermillion Area Chamber and Development Company.  “I think more and more people around the state and the region are discovering that between all of the fine restaurants, shopping and outdoor amenities that Vermillion summers offer, this is a great place to visit, often!”

This year’s production for the South Dakota Shakespeare Festival is Richard III, and is sure to draw the typical large crowds of theater and Shakespeare enthusiasts from around the region. In the SDSF’s first history play, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, entices us to join him on his treacherous climb to political power. This gripping tale of political intrigue is chock full of drama, seduction, betrayal, and some of Shakespeare’s most enticing characters. The production will be presented June 7-9 at 7pm and June 10 at 4 pm in Vermillion’s scenic Prentis Park – next to the new municipal aquatic center, the Prentis Plunge. Free will donations are welcome, and a variety of refreshment vendors will be present during the run of the show. The audience is encouraged to bring their own chairs or blankets for seating. More information about the production can be found at www.sdshakespearefestival.org.

Another event expected to draw visitors from across the state is the 2018 South Dakota High School All-Star Football Game, presented by Sanford. Beginning June 6th, nearly 90 top young athletes and coaches from all over South Dakota will arrive in Vermillion for 3 days of training and special events including paintball, a skills competition, and an All-Star Recognition Banquet featuring C.J. Ham of the Minnesota Vikings. Then, the big game takes place in the DakotaDome on Saturday, June 9th and will likely draw a packed house. Tickets for the game can be purchased by visiting www.livevermillion.com.

Miami Marlins Tryout Camp to be Hosted in Yankton

In coordination with Miami Marlins Baseball scout Hank Krause, Mount Marty College Lancer Athletics will host a Miami Marlins tryout camp on Wednesday, June 13 in Yankton, SD. The tryout camp will take place at the home ballpark for the Mount Marty College Lancers baseball team — Bob Tereshinski Stadium, located at Riverside Field, 407 Levee Street in Yankton.

The June 13 tryout camp will begin at 9 a.m. Participants should be between the ages of 15 and 21 and must provide their own gloves, shoes and uniforms. In addition to scouts from the Marlins organization, several college coaches and other scouts will be in attendance. Cost for the camp is $20 per participant. Please bring exact amount in cash; checks may be made out to Hank Krause.

For more information, on the tryout camp please contact Hank Krause at 712-568-2600 or at hkrause@premieronline.net.

USD Teacher Pathway Promotes Diversity in Education

VERMILLION, S.D. – High school students from the Sioux Falls School District visited the University of South Dakota campus last week to learn from faculty and staff about the importance of diversity in education.

The students are participating in the USD School of Education’s Culturally Responsive Teacher Pathway, a partnership with the Sioux Falls School District that aims to promote teacher diversity and cultural responsiveness in the district.

Through research, School of Education Dean Donald Easton-Brooks, Ph.D., and his colleagues have demonstrated that students of color experience greater academic success when their education includes teachers of color—a finding that suggests a need for more teacher diversity in South Dakota. While over one-third of students in the Sioux Falls School District are students of color, 98 percent of their teachers are white.

USD’s program responds to that disparity by facilitating opportunities for students interested in becoming culturally-responsive teachers.

Students in the program have opportunities to visit USD, take a dual-credit course preparing them to become teachers, receive direct support from USD advisors and earn admittance to the USD School of Education. Students who successfully complete the program will be able to student-teach in Sioux Falls and become teachers in the district.

“The Sioux Falls School District is excited for the start of the Teacher Pathway program as a ‘grow your own’ approach to introducing the rewarding career of education to our students,” said Sioux Falls School District Assistant Superintendent James Nold, Ed.D. “The partnership with USD that allows our students the opportunity to receive dual credit and visit a college campus is all part of a very important process of increasing the overall depth of our teacher applicant pool and attracting teachers of diversity to our school district.”

USD is equally enthusiastic about the partnership. “We are excited to have an opportunity to work with Sioux Falls Schools on such an important initiative, as this has a chance to enhance our community on multiple levels,” said Easton-Brooks.

The visit day on May 14 included tours of the Center for Diversity and Community, the Dakota Dome, and Delzell Education Center. In the upcoming months, the School of Education and the Sioux Falls School District will continue to work with the students as they explore opportunities to create a more diverse and culturally-responsive educational community.

USD Farber Center Ready for 72nd American Legion Auxiliary South Dakota Girls State

VERMILLION, S.D. – The W.O. Farber Center for Civic Leadership at the University of South Dakota will host the 2018 American Legion Auxiliary South Dakota Girls State program May 28 – June 2.

This is the 17th consecutive year USD and the W.O. Farber Center for Civic Leadership will co-host ALA SD Girls State as 375 high school junior girls from across the state, chosen by the South Dakota ALA, learn about civic participation. Now in its 72nd  year, ALA SD Girls State teaches participants every aspect of American government from the state and local level to the federal and executive branches.

Students are divided into cities and counties where they have an opportunity to run for a mythical political office ranging from governor to local law enforcement positions. They will also have an opportunity to learn firsthand from state and local public servants, including, U.S. Sen. John Thune; U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds; Congresswoman Kristi Noem; S.D. Governor Dennis Daugaard; S.D. Attorney General Mary Jackley; State Sen. Craig Kennedy, State Rep. Jean Hunhoff and S.D. Public Utilities Commissioner Kristie Fiegen.

Inauguration of the new ALA SD Girls State governor will take place at 8 p.m. on June 1 in Aalfs Auditorium with Raina Grimsley, 2017 ALA SD Girls State Governor, providing the keynote address. The participants will be sworn in as citizens of ALA SD Girls State by The Honorable Judge Arthur Rusch, Ret. and a military tribute will be presented by Denny Brendan, SD American Legion Vice Commander of Watertown. The ALA Girls State Chorus, under the direction of Ethel Cooper of Springfield, will present a patriotic concert prior to the inauguration ceremony. The South Dakota Army National Guard will assist with all the flag ceremonies and morning physical fitness group runs.

The Law Enforcement portion for the week will include Colonel Craig Price, Superintendent, South Dakota Highway Patrol teaching a Law Enforcement Class. The Yankton Police Department Special Response Team and K9 Unit are also scheduled to do demonstrations and the Clay County Sheriff’s Department and Vermillion Police Department will be facilitating a Forensic Investigation Team. Lt. Michael Burgeson, Yankton Police Department, will offer an active shooter presentation Saturday, June 2, at 8:30 a.m., open to the public.

Sandy McKeown, director of criminal justice at USD, is in charge of the judicial portion and will be assisted by area judges and attorneys.

The ALA SD Girls State community project for 2018 is supporting Veterans (previously homeless) living in HUD-VASH housing, the Barakah House and those in the Transition in Place Program. Throughout the week, ALA SD Girls State will collect monetary donations, toiletries, towels, single bed sheets, alarm clocks, shower curtains, gift cards, and household kitchen items. Donations are also accepted by contacting Cheryl Hovorka, ALA SD Girls State Director, at (605) 677-5702 or via e-mail.

For more information about ALA SD Girls State, visit their website.