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2024 South Dakota Teacher of the Year, George Hawkins


Honoring educators and public school supporters who work to make our schools great!
SDEA honors great educators, community groups, and individuals who go above and beyond for our schools and students.
Here are just a few ways to honor those who support great great public schools.

Early Career Educator Award

Delegates at the 2019 SDEA Representative Assembly passed New Business Item 4, which created an award to recognize outstanding educators in their first five years. The Early Career Educator (ECE) Award will recognize an ECE who is a SDEA member and who has excelled in differentiating instruction, developed engaging lessons, successfully built relationships with their students, and actively engaged in union activities. An individual member or a local may nominate an early career educator for this award. Each governance unit may select an Early Career Educator of the Year from nominations submitted in their unit. All the unit winners will be candidates for the statewide award, which will be announced at the Representative Assembly in Pierre.

ESP of the Year

The SDEA Education Support Professional of the Year Award recognizes the contributions of Education Support Professionals (ESPs) to their schools, communities, and their professions. The award is presented to a member of SDEA who demonstrates outstanding accomplishments and reflects the contributions of ESP to public education.

Friend of Education

The South Dakota Education Association/NEA is seeking nominations for the Friend of Education Award. The nominee must be a person or organization outside of SDEA/NEA. The nominee should have proven to be a genuine friend of education, educators, and/or students. The nominee should reflect the philosophy and principles of the association. The nominee through leadership, acts and support must have made contributions toward achieving a first-rate education for students in South Dakota.

Human and Civil Rights Awards

The South Dakota Education Association/NEA is seeking nominations for the Human and Civil Rights Award to honor an individual, student group, or organization for their work in promoting human and civil rights.
CeCe Gorder
I joined SDEA for professional development and to advocate for our profession. The best part about joining SDEA has been creating a network for my profession and being able to bounce ideas off one another to better our teaching.
Quote by: CeCe Gorder, Kindergaten Teacher
Aspiring educators work together on a problem based learning activity in an SDEA professional development session.

Get Support

Great educators create great public schools. SDEA provides the training, tools, and community support for educators to engage students, nurture justice, and excel in their profession.

Use Your Educator Voice.

We are THE voice for educators in South Dakota. See what membership can mean for you!

What’s on Your Mind?

We’re here to help. Our community comes to us seeking tools (guides, reports, trainings, and more) to help answer everyday questions. We’re here to support you in whatever you need.

It's about our kids.

The South Dakota Education Association (SDEA) is a professional organization working hard for educators, so they can continue to work hard for our kids. SDEA members provide a wide range of professional education services in communities throughout the state.