ASBSD honored Veteran School Law Attorney Rodney Freeman school board members and community representatives who went above and beyond for their local school districts.
Freeman, of Huron, received the School Bell Award, which honors individuals or organizations who have served South Dakota public education in an exemplary fashion.
Freeman has played in significant role through his tireless work in South Dakota education for more than 40 years. Among his most significant accomplishments have been representing schools in front of the South Dakota Supreme Court and his work with the Council of School Attorneys.
For 46 years, Freeman has provided dedicated legal representation and service to K-12 public education, public school boards and school board members, school administrators and the South Dakota Council of School Attorneys.
“Rodney’s dedicated decades of service to school districts and school boards across the state and they’re thankful for his wealth of knowledge, professional demeanor and untiring commitment to serving education,” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany said.
“We’re grateful to Rodney for all he has done for school boards, administrators, staff and students.”
Timber Lake School Board President Marie Gross earned the 2020 Outstanding School Board Member of the Year honor, which is presented to a South Dakota school board member that embodies the spirit of school board leadership in recognition of his or her dedication to the advancement of student learning at the local level.
A true champion of education, Gross has set out to improve the educational opportunities and safety and welfare of all students who attend the Timber Lake School District through implementation of highly successful RTI programs, optimized data collection and use and much more.
Gross leads by example by setting high expectations for herself, her own children and the students of the Timber Lake School District.
“Marie is a dedicated public servant who strives to ensure each student in the Timber Lake School District receive a great education and is well taken care of,” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany said.
“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to honor Marie for her exceptional work as a school board member.”
Two Community Service Awards, which is presented to individuals or groups serving their local school district in exemplary fashion, were presented in 2020.
Sister Myra Remily of Aberdeen received the honor for being instrumental in helping non-English speaking families in the district through her work as a translator for parents and gathering necessary materials students need to be successful and secures basic school supplies, books, technology, entry fees and transportation and supports student learning outside the classroom, as well.
“Sister Myra has gone above and beyond to serve students and families in the Aberdeen School District, as well as the school system itself,” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany said.
“Her efforts exemplify a servants heart and we’re thrilled to recognize her contributions.”
Foreman Bus Service earned the award for providing fair, helpful and fast bus service to the Woonsocket School District for a number of years. Foreman’s have been a champion for the education of the whole child in support of arts, music and co-curricular programs for all students.
“Foreman’s Bus Service displays a clear commitment to the safety and well-being of the students and staff of the Woonsocket School District,” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany said.
“Their service goes above and beyond what’s asked of them and we’re happy to recognize their efforts.”
Two former school board members were honored with ASBSD’s Longevity Award, which recognizes school board leaders who have served20 or more years on a local school board.
Jeff Todd served 20 years on the Agar-Blunt-Onida School Board.
“Public service takes dedication and determination and Jeff’s 20 years on the school board is exemplary,” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany said.
“His commitment to the students, staff and communities of Agar, Blunt and Onida is phenomenal and we’re so happy to have had the chance to recognize him.”
Robert Wik served 24 years on the Gregory School Board.
“To serve for more than two decades on the school board is an amazing accomplishment,” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany said.
“Robert’s commitment to the students, staff and community of Gregory is phenomenal and we’re so happy to have had the chance to recognize him.”
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