Committee supports Sly and Guffin state ed. board appointments

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Committee supports Sly and Guffin state ed. board appointments

Two appointees surpassed their first legislative hurdle on their way to state board of education.


Former Rep. Jacqueline Sly and Aberdeen Superintendent Becky Guffin received supportive votes on Thursday (1/18) from the Senate Education Committee on their appointments by Gov. Dennis Daugaard to the South Dakota Board of Education Standards.


Both veterans of education, Sly spent a career spanning decades in elementary and special education before retiring and being elected to the state legislature, where during her tenure she served on the House Education committee – chairing it for four years – and as a member of the Blue Ribbon Task Force; while Guffin is in her 27th year in education, which has included 13 years as a teacher and 14 years as an administrator, including currently being in her fourth as superintendent.


ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany – along with representatives from many of the state’s education associations – testified in favor of both individuals during their confirmation hearings.


“I know that Jackie Sly is a woman who is invested in public education,” Pogany said of Sly, adding that during her time as Co-Chair of the Blue Ribbon Task Force she provided one of the “most incredible examples of leadership I’ve ever seen in my life.”


Guffin – who was also instrumental as a member of the Blue Ribbon Task Force – brings a wealth of knowledge about what schools should look like, said Pogany.


“She knows schools. She has a vision of what schools should look like,” Pogany said. “Becky knows what a good school looks like and she knows how to…achieve that.”


“She’s an outstanding administrator, teacher and person.”


The nominations of Sly and Guffin now move to the Senate floor for final approval. If approved, Sly would serve a four-year term concluding in 2021 and Guffin would serve out the remaining year of Don Kirkegaard’s term on the board, which he vacated upon accepting the position of Secretary of the Department of Education.


For updates on these appointments, as well as news on the latest from legislative session, check the ASBSD Blog, Twitter feed and Bill Tracker page.

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