State’s top seniors honored at banquet

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State’s top seniors honored at banquet

Gov. Dennis Daugaard joined in celebrating an accomplished group of graduating seniors and encouraged them to grow their own roots in South Dakota during Monday’s 23rd Annual Academic Excellence Banquet in Pierre.


“Some of the greenest pastures in America are right here in South Dakota,” Gov. Daugaard said, noting the low cost and high quality of living South Dakota offered.


Gov. Daugaard gave an impassioned speech at the luncheon.


Hosted by the Associated School Boards of South Dakota and sponsored by the South Dakota Community Foundation and Citibank, the banquet honored more than 200 students from the state’s public, private and tribal schools.


“Today we celebrate excellence and this is what it looks like,” ASBSD President Pam Haukaas of the Colome Consolidated school district said.


Schools are asked to identify one student for every 100 graduating seniors based on academic criteria, such as grade-point average and scores on college readiness tests.


“I do give all you students a great deal of credit,” Gov. Daugaard said. “You don’t get here just by luck. It takes hard work.”


Parents and high school principals are requested to join each student and share in the celebration, which drew over 500 students, parents and educators.


“We need to recognize how many people helped you along the way,” Gov. Daugaard.


An impassioned Gov. Daugaard urged students to show their appreciation for the dedication of those closest to them as he reminisced about his parents’ commitment to be there for him.


“Remember all the people who got you here,” Gov. Daugaard said. “Remember that they love you.”


To see more photos from the event, visit the ASBSD Facebook page.

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