It’s been a fantastic ride!

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It’s been a fantastic ride!

Each month ASBSD President Pam Haukaas will highlight a topic, which is helping advance K-12 education in South Dakota.



It has been a fantastic ride!


At the awards Luncheon during the ASBSD-SASD Convention, I will finish my tenure as ASBSD president and turn the reins over to the capable hands of Denise Lutkemeier.


I am so honored to have served as your president.


The value of the learning opportunities I have had and the people I have been able to network with has been beyond measure. There are many individuals with a passion for providing the youth of our state with the highest quality education. It has been a joy to interact with them and share our ideas and vision.


“Partnering. Advocating. Leading.” is the ASBSD mission statement and focus.


Under the adept leadership of our Executive Director Dr. Wade Pogany, I feel your association has adhered to this mission. We have built bridges of communication to the Governor’s office, legislature and educational organizations across the state.


We are now becoming a leader for public education in South Dakota.


This has been accomplished by the great staff that serves you.


This past year, Dr. Randall Royer joined the ASBSD team as Leadership Development Director. He has been instrumental in the development of School Board U; an online platform dedicated to delivering board development training through eSolution.


Also joining us this past year was Matt Flett, who became the Director of the Associated School Boards Protective Trust in July. Matt will no doubt continue to enhance ASBPT coverage for our members.


Last September, Director of Policy and Legal Services Gerry Kaufman came aboard. Gerry is working to update all ASBSD sample policies and explore an interactive platform to assist boards in their own policy development.


Director of Communication Tyler Pickner tirelessly worked to develop a new website equipped with interactive tools and a regularly updated blog. His goal and passion is to keep you informed and up-to-date on the latest news in K-12 education. Through his efforts we now have a presence on Facebook, Twitter and numerous training and information videos on YouTube.


Chief Financial Officer Bill Lynch keeps our audits clean with his thoughtful analysis of budgetary issues and vigilant accounting.


Then there is our fearless leader. I have the greatest respect for Dr. Pogany and feel privileged to have him as executive director during my watch.


Dr. Pogany is a resource frequently called upon by the media. He has been referenced in many news stories about k-12 education in the past year. Most importantly he has been a tireless fighter for funding, as well as all legislative issues that impact our schools.


ASBSD Accountant Deanne Arbach, Executive Secretary Katie Mitchell-Boe, Teacher Placement Manager Emily Somsen, Policy Services Associate Kay Thompson-Tieszen, ASBPT Risk Manager Ken Bridger, Protective Trust Manager Heidi Jennings and ASBPT Enrollment and Billing Specialist Dawn Magee complete this amazing staff.


The National School Board Association (NSBA) has been a continuing resource for legislative and legal issues that impact our schools. The NSBA National Convention kept me apprised of the best educational practices and updates on current national policy.


Beyond our state I have had the opportunity to work with representatives of what is known as the NSBA’s Western Region. Comprised of neighboring states of North Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, New Mexico and Oklahoma, the Western Region states share many of the same educational issues and it has been invaluable to have the ability to network with representatives of those states.


You, as school board members, are the backbone of our educational system.


Our agenda is to provide the highest quality education for every student that enters the doors of our schools. I challenge you to use the resources provided by ASBSD and NSBA to educate yourselves so that the decisions you make are thoughtful, based on sound research and an understanding of the issue. All of the electronic bulletins are archived and the ASBSD website provides links to the South Dakota Department of Education, NSBA and the services provided by your organization.


School districts will continue to face an uphill battle to provide the best educational possible with the available funding.


However, we will stand united against adversity and advocate for the funding we need to educate our youth, the future of a strong and vibrant South Dakota.


It has been a fantastic ride as the ASBSD President. Thank you for letting me serve you.

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