Van Goor, who has served as a senior secretary in the student services department at the School of Education for more than two years, was nominated for the award by Linda Reetz, associate dean of the School of Education, and Kristine Reed, associate professor, Curriculum and Instruction. Both noted Van Goor’s hard work and dedication at making the department efficient and organized.

"Chelle is a take charge individual who stepped into a challenging position and has created new efficiencies in the office," stated Reetz. "In addition, she takes a very personal interest in each student’s progress toward their degree."

Van Goor, a native of Hayes, S.D., was honored for her efforts during a reception at the Beadle Room in the Delzell Education Center on April 7. Prior to working at USD, Van Goor was at the Vermillion Middle School for more than six years.

"I love what I do," said Van Goor, who also worked at USD's Career Development Center for a short time prior to the School of Education. "I found my niche in life and that's working with students."

Van Goor enjoys her day-to-day interaction with students as well as seeing them advance from first-year students all the way to college graduates.

"It's fun to see students progressing through their college careers to become teachers," explained Van Goor, who resides in Vermillion with her husband, Joe. "It's all about helping (students) achieve their goals. If they have questions, I want to make sure that they get answers as quickly as possible."

Added Reed, "each semester, Chelle is crucial in the placement of teachers and in collecting evidence of their successful completion of their final field experience. She has demonstrated a positive attitude, excellent organizational skills and an initiative in a variety of tasks that have added to the effectiveness of our office."

A photo of Van Goor receiving her award from USD President James W. Abbott is available for download at

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