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Dr. Jennifer Lowery, Secretary
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Hello to all!
It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your president for the 2021-2022 school year. At this point in the summer, I would typically say we are all getting ready for the first days of teacher inservice and seeing the kids again this fall. But we all know this year we are getting prepared for far more than that.
Our world got turned upside down on March 13th and working with the unknown has become our new regular. We are trying to balance so many things: students’ education and health, teachers’ health, extracurricular activities, local, state and national politics, and of course, little things like the district budget, etc., etc., etc. I do not know the answer to many of these issues, most days, as I barely understand the questions, but I do know we all have the same challenges.
That is where SDSSA comes in. Our group encompasses the superintendents of 149 districts, all unique but all with similar challenges. SDSSA has a dramatic range of sizes of school districts with Sioux Falls at 23,000 students to Elk Mountain with 11 students. While I do not know Dr. Jane Stavem in Sioux Falls, I am positive that she would take the time to talk to me about my issues just as my good friend, Lisa Richardson, in Elk Mountain would. I have been a South Dakota educator for 30 years, and I know what educators in our state stand for, and what we are willing to do for each other.
While we are facing a lot of unknowns this year, I am positive about two things heading into the school year: (1.) I will be glad to see the kids again, hopefully for the whole year, and (2.) Our leadership skills will be tested almost daily. We are going to be making decisions and recommendations on issues that up until last year we have never given a thought. I am predicting that we will be jumping for joy when our hardest decision for the day is a late start or a snow day!
I hope you all take time daily to remember why we are doing what we do, and to find some joy in our daily work.
With highest regards,
Superintendent of Schools
Custer School District