The South Dakota Legislature established the Critical Teaching Needs Scholarship in 2013 to encourage high school graduates in the state to pursue a college degree in teaching and work in the profession in the state.

The USD students, their hometowns and area of study: Adriann Frankenhoff, Hayti, high school science; Katelyn Heisinger, Tripp, high school math; Kristin Pollema, Brandon, special education; Abby Roskam, Canton, high school math; Tucker Tornberg, Centerville, high school science; Erin Tounsley, Pierre, special education; and Brooke Vandersluis, Le Mars, Iowa, special education.

“The School of Education at USD is focused on preparing quality educators,” said Donald Easton-Brooks, education dean and professor. "Today we are witnessing a shortage of teachers both across the state and across the country. By awarding high school graduates an opportunity to have a meaningful impact on South Dakota schools, we are looking to promote quality teaching and address the shortage in the field. The students that received this scholarship are those who have a compassion for education and are those who are invested in having a positive impact on South Dakota communities."

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