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Larson Wins School of Education Premier Scholarship

Carter Larson portrait Carter Larson is this year's winner of the USD School of Education Jeanne Spilde Gonzenbach Scholarship.

VERMILLION, S.D. – Carter Larson, an elementary education major in the University of South Dakota School of Education, is the recipient of the 2020-2021 Jeanne Spilde Gonzenbach Scholarship.

“I am grateful to have been awarded this scholarship and am honored to know there are other people who believe in my future as an educator,” said Larson, who will be a junior in the fall of 2020. “This scholarship will be beneficial in my next two years as it allows me to focus more in the classroom on how to become the best teacher possible rather than worrying about how to pay for my education.”

“Carter is a student leader on campus and in the community,” said Amy Schweinle, Ph.D., the School of Education interim dean. “He is passionate about education in South Dakota and is inspired to be a role model to our youth. He is truly deserving of this award.”

The Jeanne Spilde Gonzenbach Scholarship is a premier, two-year scholarship for students majoring in elementary or secondary education, have a passion for teaching and have a high financial need. The award provides financial support to recipients during their junior and senior years, at approximately $10,000 per year. The recipient must be an outstanding student who plans to stay in South Dakota to teach.

“South Dakota has always been home to me and always will be,” Larson said. “It has been my lifelong goal to give back to my home state. Teaching in South Dakota will be a way for me to support the community that helped me become the person I am today.”

A Vermillion, South Dakota, native, Larson said his passion for educating is shared throughout several generations in his family who have taught in South Dakota.

“I come from a family of educators who have positively impacted our state,” said Larson. “While growing up in Vermillion, I also had many great teachers to look up to, and this number has only expanded during my time at USD.”

This spring, Larson was elected vice president for USD’s Student Government Association. In the fall, he looks forward to helping meet the needs of USD students as vice president and taking more hands-on classes the School of Education offers.

“One of my favorite aspects of USD’s School of Education is the year-long residency, and I cannot wait for that experience my senior year,” said Larson. “I believe it will help prepare me in countless ways for my future.”


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.


Hanna DeLange
USD News