Senate Ed. comm. favors Kirkegaard appointment

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Senate Ed. comm. favors Kirkegaard appointment

Senate Education committee members voted to support the nomination of Don Kirkegaard to permanently fill the Secretary of Education position.


At Thursday’s confirmation hearing, committee members voted to support Kirkegaard’s appointment to the position by Gov. Dennis Daugaard, which was announced in November.


Kirkegaard previously served as Superintendent of the Meade School District before receiving the unanimous approval of his school board to accept the appointment.


“I was honored to be considered,” Kirkegaard said. “Education has always been an important part of my life.”


Beginning his career in education as a teacher in the Bristol School District in 1981, Kirkegaard became a principal in the Britton School District in 1988 and later the district’s superintendent in 1994 – during which time he oversaw the school’s transition to the Britton-Hecla School District. He became the Meade Superintendent in 2011 before joining DOE as the Secretary of Education at the start of 2018.


“He’s a strong leader,” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany said. “He’s a proven leader.”


Representatives of many of the state’s education associations also offered their support for Kirkegaard.


“We feel that his experience…leave him well qualified for this role,” Watertown Superintendent and President of S.D. School Superintendents Association Jeff Danielsen said, adding the group offered Kirkegaard their “full support.”


Kirkegaard – who awaits the full Senate vote on appointment – will serve out the remaining year of Gov. Daugaard’s term.


“In accepting a one-year term, that’s commendable,” Sen. Joshua Klumb said. “I look forward to working with you and I wish you all the best.”


For updates on the Senates’ vote on appointment, as well as news on the latest from legislative session, check the ASBSD Blog, Twitter feed and Bill Tracker page.

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