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South Dakota Teacher of the Year


South Dakota Teacher of the Year (TOY)

The South Dakota Teacher of the Year Program is made possible by the National Teacher of the Year Program. The national program is a project of The Council of Chief State School Officers in partnership with the ING Foundation and People to People Ambassador Programs.

Teacher of the Year Nomination Process

The goal of the TOY program is to recognize and honor the tremendous contributions of outstanding classroom teachers. Note: a classroom teacher is a person who has a class of his/her own and spends at least three or more hours per day, five days a week, for six or more calendar months during a school year in a classroom teaching students. School counselors, school psychologists, and school social workers are NOT eligible.

Each TOY candidate should:
• Have a superior ability to inspire students of ALL backgrounds and abilities to learn;
• Be an exceptionally skilled and dedicated classroom teacher from a state accredited school, pre-kindergarten through grade twelve;
• Be planning to continue in an active teaching status (supervisory and administrative responsibilities are secondary considerations);
• Have the respect and admiration of students, parents, and colleagues;
• Play an active and useful role in the community as well as in the school; and
• Be poised, articulate, and have the energy to withstand the demanding schedule that would accompany selection as the South Dakota Teacher of the Year.

A school district may choose to set up its own selection process for choosing a District Teacher of the Year, or use guidelines created by the Department of Education. The guidelines can be altered to fit a district’s needs.

Each District Teacher of the Year becomes a nominee for his or her district’s Regional Teacher of the Year Award. If the District TOY is selected as the Regional TOY, he or she becomes a nominee for the South Dakota TOY. If chosen as the South Dakota TOY, he/she then becomes a candidate for the National TOY.

The South Dakota TOY will be announced at the Systems Change Conference and will honor the new South Dakota Teacher of the Year and Regional Teachers of the Year.

2014 Teacher of the Year
Previous Teacher of the Year
2005 Jensi Kellogg-Andrus
2004 Roxie Ahlbrecht
2003 Linda McKay
2002 Jeffrey Lukens
2001 Marilyn Herz
2000 Bill Zubke
1999 Kristine Malloy
1998 Denise Bryan
1997 Judy Kroll
1996 Jacqueline Omland
1995 Rebecca Ekeland
1994 Glenna Fouberg
1993 Julie Ashworth
1992 Lennis Larson
1991 Deborah Van Pelt Platt
1990 Carole Kasen
1989 Linda Hillestad
1988 Richard Meier
1987 Darell Pribyl


Lanette Johnston, Department of Education, 605-773-8415