“The School of Education is composed of humble people, who don’t often step into the spotlight of recognition,” said Jacqueline Wilber, Ed.D., director of Student & Professional Services and lecturer in the School of Education. “After all that has occurred in the past few years in the field of education, it feels necessary for us to take a step back and appreciate each other and to acknowledge our triumphs among the tribulations.”

School of Education Dean Amy Schweinle, Ph.D., took the stage to review the school’s successes over the last year. Some of the highlights included the following.

  • U.S. News & World Report ranked the USD School of Education number one in the region for online graduate programs in education, tied with the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and outranking all schools in South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota and Wyoming.
  • The School of Education Alumni Association hosted the 2023 Destination Delzell event in October and presented 2023 Legend of Delzell Awards to Jana Danielson, Jolinda Gray, Joan England and Orla (Chris) Christensen.
  • The 2023 Class of USD’s 30 Under 30 included six graduates from the School of Education, including Bailey Lagge, Dallas Doane, Katey Ulrich, Katie Nour, Liz Pekas and Matt Decker.
  • The 2024 South Dakota Teacher of the Year (George Hawkins), 2024 North Dakota Teacher of the Year (Sheila Peterson) and 2023-2024 National Teacher of the Year (Rebecka Peterson) are all graduates of USD.

Schweinle also highlighted several ways the USD School of Education is supporting South Dakota in addressing the teacher shortage.

  • The School of Education will receive $15,000 from Start Today SD and the U.S. Department of Labor and Regulation to develop a Teacher Fellows Registered Apprenticeship Program to support USD education students.
  • The highly successful Teacher Pathway program has expanded from the Sioux Falls School District to include the Harrisburg School District and the Yankton School District as well as the CORE Educational Cooperative to recruit high school students to become teachers in rural areas.
  • The Sioux Falls School District received a generous donation to support nearly 150 Teacher Pathway students.
  • USD – Sioux Falls now offers an elementary education degree to help meet the demand for qualified teachers in South Dakota’s largest city and provide more opportunities for students to pursue their career aspirations.

In addition, attendees heard from the four division chairs – Gabrielle Strouse, Ph.D., counseling and psychology in education; Jesse Sealey, Ed.S., Ed.D., educational leadership; Jessie Daw, Ph.D., kinesiology and sport management; and Daniel Mourlam, Ed.D., teacher residency and education – about achievements, grants, award winners and scholarship recipients in each of their respective areas.

During the 2023-2024 academic year, nearly $225,000 in scholarship funding was awarded to School of Education students. In a video that ended the night, students said, “Thank you” to donors and shared ways in which various scholarships have impacted their lives for the better.

Scholarships and scholarship recipients include the following.

Coyote Commitment Scholarship Recipients

Allan D. & Lois E. Nelson Family Scholarship Kennedy Vold

Andrew D. & Carrie Aust Olson Memorial Scholarship Abigail Buskohl

Benjamin & Ruth Rossow Scholarship Carly Starr

Bernice Newell Memorial Scholarship Carlie Rieffenberger

Bobb Ann Lyon Scholarship Aden Dominisse

Cragg Family Scholarship Katie Heimgartner

Donald L. Bechtel-School of Education Scholarship

  • Briana DeWitte
  • Anna Risty
  • Brooklynn Ver Steeg
  • Elena Whalen

Elizabeth Fritsch Memorial Scholarship Christina Spomer

Genevieve R. Cool Memorial Scholarship Ciera Himes

Heartland Consumer Power District/Dan & Dot O'Connor Scholarship Alexander Irvine

John & Helen Buehler Scholarship Savannah McGraw

John and Patricia Cruzeiro Scholarship Elena Whalen

Marie (Reetz) Turney, Samuel Reetz Turney & Dello Halsted Turney Memorial Scholarship Hattie Giblin

Mark W. Delzell Memorial Scholarship Maddison Barnhart

Maureen Senner Pickering & Leland Steele Scholarship Catherine Reiter

Norman G. & Mildred L. Herren Scholarship Maia Kennedy

Norman Ward Memorial Scholarship Aaron Lingen

Otto Ullrich Scholarship Bailey Nielsen

Roger & Sandy Schaffer Scholarship

  • Maddison Barnhart
  • Anna Brown

Russell & Jane Dokken Scholarship

  • Melissa Bunner
  • Sydney Conley
  • Savannah McGraw
  • Landyn Mlady
  • Logan Thurston
  • Katie VanderVeen
  • Tatum Villotta

Sharron Elizabeth Enstrom Riise Scholarship Garrett Watson

The Allen and Mavis Stearns Scholarship Cambell Fischer

Tony Cacek Outstanding Social Studies Student Scholarship Emersyn Sudbeck

Viola & Cecil Kipling Jr. Family Scholarship Brooke Creviston

School of Education Scholarship Recipients

Allen and Linda Leck Scholarship Jordy Alvarez-Martinez

Bill Matousek and Marjory Caldeira Scholarship Kaitlyn Tassler

Caitlyn Carman Education Scholarship Aidan Feddes

Colleen Yunker Scholarship

  • Keira Hillrichs
  • Jeslyn Huinker
  • Maia Kennedy
  • Veronica Rhead
  • Charles Schroeder

Constance L. Hoag Scholarship Dylan Buchholz

Dr. Wayne H. Evans, Sr. & Patricia Evans Teacher Education Scholarship Shelby Wright

Edis Juel and Sidney E. Anderson Scholarship Olivia Shroyer

Grant Heckenlively and Geri Heckenlively Brook Scholarship Mark Loofe

Horace and Donna Walter Scholarship

  • Briana DeWitte
  • Laina Juergens
  • Emma Weisz
  • Elena Whalen

Jane Bartling Christensen Scholarship Brooke Creviston

Jeanne Spilde Gonzenbach Scholarship

  • Savannah McGraw
  • Rodriguez Garcia
  • Andres Torres

Karen E. & Dale L. Hofwolt Education Scholarship

  • Kelynn Anawski
  • Noah Sorgdrager
  • Regan Stoick
  • Eva Volk
  • Tanner Warwick

Mary Wanserski Memorial Scholarship Rebecca Kronaizl

Robert "Bid" & Jonette "Joni" Miller Scholarship Kennedy Kahler

Roger H. Davies Memorial Scholarship Abigail Buskohl

The Rush Family USD Scholarship Benjamin Kohls

Counseling & Psychology in Education Scholarship Recipients

Anita Johnson Gwin Scholarship Catherine Orban

David & Kay Olson Counseling Program Fund Reed Keen

E. Gordon Poling Memorial Scholarship Madelyn Wade

Hee-sook Choi School Psychology Scholarship

  • Bailey Todd
  • Todd Velianski

Robert H. & Myrtle E. Knapp Scholarship

  • Daniel Bishop
  • Todd Velianski

Education Leadership Scholarship Recipients

Dr. H.C. "Rus" Rustad Memorial Scholarship Diana Eastman

Dr. Harry Dykstra Memorial Scholarship Jordan Likness

Dr. Jan Ebersdorfer Women in Administration Scholarship Tiffany Shonerd

Dr. LeRoy Nelson Scholarship Philip Schonebaum

Dr. Perry L. Uhl Memorial Scholarship Kay Bas

Dr. Phil Vik Leadership Scholarship Zachariah Gors

Dr. Shawn P. Winthers Memorial Scholarship Endowment Merideth Wald

Floyd & Marlys Ann Boschee Scholarship Matthew Dykstra

Frederic Petersen/North Central Association Scholarship Lisa Carlson

James Flevares Memorial Scholarship Shanice Hall

One Room Rural School Teacher Commemorative Scholarship Paige Petry

Teacher Residency & Education Scholarship Recipients

Ben & Lillie Otto Scholarship Abbigail Nelson

E. Louise Coover Memorial Scholarship Thomas Lewis

Hazel Linderman Scholarship Dylan Buchholz

Patricia Tschetter Mendell Memorial Scholarship Candace Hanson

Robert & Elizabeth Wood Elementary Education and Special Education Scholarship

  • Kellie Jones
  • Karlee Kasperbauer
  • Carlie Rieffenberger
  • Kazlyn Schulz
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