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Hyronimus Wins $10,000 School of Education Gonzenbach Scholarship

Samantha Hyronimus photo Samantha Hyronimus (middle) is the winner of a $10,000 scholarship from the School of Education at USD.

VERMILLION, S. D. – Samantha Hyronimus, an elementary education and special education major from Worthing, South Dakota, is the winner of a $10,000 scholarship from the School of Education at the University of South Dakota.

The 2017-2018 Jeanne Spilde Gonzenbach Scholarship is awarded annually to two outstanding students planning to teach in South Dakota who have a passion for teaching, financial need and hold majors in elementary, secondary or special education.

“My favorite part of being in the USD School of Education is working with the professors and my classmates,” said Hyronimus. “Everything we are learning is helping me to become the teacher I want to be—a teacher who believes in the unique potential of all students.”

Senior Alanna Schmeichel, of Humboldt, South Dakota was announced as the recipient of the $10,000 two-year scholarship last year.

“Samantha is an remarkable student. She strives for excellence in her academic pursuits and genuinely cares for others,” said Monica Iverson, lecturer in special education. “She consistently demonstrates a strong willingness to work with students with exceptional needs and diverse abilities.”

“Receiving this scholarship means the world to me. It is humbling to know that there are people out there who believe in me, and want to help me succeed,” said Hyronimus.


USD's School of Education is transformative in preparing students both inside and outside the classroom. Its research- and practitioner-based programs train future educators, counselors, leaders, fitness and sport-related professionals for successful careers. The school focuses on a comprehensive learning experience, lifelong learning and developing professionals grounded in best practice. The school’s divisions include counseling and psychology, curriculum and instruction, educational leadership, kinesiology and sport management, and teacher residency and education.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.