I just returned from the South Dakota Teacher of the Year award banquet, held at the annual Systems Change Conference. First of all, a huge congratulations to the 2011 SD Teacher of the Year - Susan Turnipseed. And also congratulations to the other 5 finalists. These educators are such fine examples of the wonderful educators we have all across this state.
The theme of this year's conference is "Passion & Persistance in Education". These regional candidates all exhibit passion for their chosen career. Our speaker tonight was the National Teacher of the Year and she was inspiring. And passionate about education!
I travelled together yesterday with 2 co-workers, coming home from a school we had been working in. Our discussion in the car turned to the some of the talented teachers we see in the schools we visit. Jack commented that South Dakotans don't know what great teachers they have in this state - and that since we are 51st in ranking for teacher salaries - that the state's schools get Buicks for the cost of a Yugo! I'm thinking there are a lot of Mercedes out there in South Dakota's classrooms!!