The House and Senate Education committees have started their meeting schedules early in this session.
The House Education committee kicked off the 88th legislative session’s committee schedule on Wednesday with a report from Secretary of Education Melody Schopp on the Department of Education’s educational outcomes.
On Thursday, the Senate Education committee met for the first time during the 2013 legislative session with a presentation from S.D. Board of Regents Executive Director Dr. Jack Werner on the recent study of the purpose of postsecondary education.
The committees engaged Schopp and Werner with a variety of questions throughout their presentations, which ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany pointed to as “a great sign of things to come from the committee members.”
Let’s meet those members.
Rep. Jacqueline Sly (District 33) is the Committee Chair and a Majority Whip for the Republican Party. Sly is a retired teacher with 37 years of experience, which she said were mostly spent in the Special Education field.
Rep. Jenna Haggar (District 10) serves as the Committee’s Vice Chair. Haggar, a chiropractic assistant, is beginning her second term in the House and said “she was very excited” about serving on the committee at the first meeting.
Rep. Julie Bartling (District 21) returns to the House after a two-year break; she had previously served from 2001-04 in the House and 2005-10 in the Senate. Bartling is the Assistant Minority Leader in the House.
Rep. Blaine Campbell (District 35) is newly elected to the legislature out of Rapid City. Campbell, a subcontractor in the technology industry, said he is looking forward to serving on the committee.
Rep. Scott Ecklund (District 25) begins his first term in the legislature this session. Ecklund is a family physician with 30 years as an Associate Professor at the University of South Dakota Medical School.
Rep. Paula Hawks (District 9) enters her first term in the legislature this year. Hawks lives in Hartford and was a high school science and technology teacher in the West Central School District for 10 years.
Rep. Timothy Johns (District 31) is starting his first year as a legislature in the 88th session. Johns is the Lead-Deadwood School District’s attorney.
Rep. Dan Kaiser (District 3) comes to the legislature for his stint hailing from Aberdeen. Kaiser is a war veteran with 10 years of law enforcement service.
Rep. Elizabeth May (District 27) joins the legislature for the first time this year. May is currently a ranch and business owner in Kyle and taught off and on for 20 years.
Rep. Ray Ring (District 17) is beginning his first term in the legislature this year. Ring was an Economics Professor at the University of South Dakota for 33 years and said he has consulted the state’s Legislative Research Council in past years.
Rep. James Schaefer (District 26B) returns for his second term in the House and on the education committee. A rancher outside of Kennebec, Schaefer graduated from Northern State University with a teaching degree and taught for seven years.
Rep. Mike Stevens (District 18) makes his way to the legislature for the first time this year. Stevens previously served 22 years on the Yankton School Board.
Rep. Burt Tulson (District 2) is back for his second term in the legislature. Tulson is a substitute teacher and said his wife was a kindergarten teacher for nearly 30 years.
Rep. Kathy Tyler (District 3) comes to the Capital to serve as a legislator for the first time. Tyler was a middle school teacher for 24 years, which she joked was “really, really good preparation for the legislature.” She was also a school board member for 13 years.
Rep. Hal Wick (District 12) revisits the legislature for another term in the House. Wick, a retired small business owner from Sioux Falls, is beginning his 19th year in a legislative career that has spanned five decades.
Sen. J. Mark Johnston (District 12) heads the Senate Education Committee as the Chair. Johnston begins his third year in the Senate and is a returning member of the education committee.
Sen. Timothy Rave (District 25) is beginning his third year in the Senate and 11th as a legislator. Rave, a paramedic operations manager out of Baltic, is on the education committee for the third time and will serve as the Vice Chair.
Sen. Angie Buhl (District 15) enters her second term in the Senate. Buhl is the Minority Whip for the Democratic Party. Buhl comes from an education background as her mother was an elementary teacher.
Sen. Phil Jensen (District 33) is switching from the House to the Senate this year, which is fifth as a legislator. Jensen, a small business owner from Rapid City, said at the first committee meeting that he was looking forward to helping the advancement of K-12 education.
Sen. Ryan Maher (District 28) starts his seventh year as Senator this session. Maher is the Majority Whip for the Republican Party and said he was happy to be a part of the committee.
Sen. Bruce Rampelberg (District 30) returns for his second term in the House. A retiree from Rapid City, Rampelberg expressed a “real strong interest in education,” at the opening committee meeting.
Sen. Deb Soholt (District 14) is in her inaugural year in the legislature. Soholt, a registered nurse, said she believes healthcare and education are currently in a state of transition.
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