Teresa Meland, Sisseton, SD

Teresa Meland Science teacher at Sisseton High School 32 years and SDEA member for 31 years. I joined because it’s my obligation as a professional to support my fellow teachers and the education system. The best part of being a member is the support of my fellow teachers and SDEA staff. It means I know I always have someone to turn to.

Beth Hansen, Vermillion, SD

Beth Hansen | Vermillion Education Association Reading Specialist at Austin Elementary School – 29 years as a member I joined initially for the liability insurance and have enjoyed it ever since. I think the best part of being a member of VEA is knowing that I am a part of a professional organization that works together to ensure that all members have a voice. It also is great to be able to bring positive change to our organization and watch it grow over the years.

Debra Dailey, Dakota Valley

I am Debra Dailey and proud to be of the Dakota Valley Classified Education Association since 1987. Currently as the DVMS/UE Secretary for 20 years. I joined SDEA for the security of the Liability Insurance and Legal Representation if ever needed, along with support through annual Negotiation sessions with our Administration. One of many highlights of joining SDEA was to participate in the National Convention in Philadelphia along with Lisa Jennings and Kara Hoines. It re-affirmed no matter what part of the United States we live or position we hold... WE ALL MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN OUR CHILDREN’S EDUCATION

Leslie Crow, Todd County

Han, Mitakuyepi. Leslie Crow, emaciyapi. Greetings! My name is Leslie Crow. I am a Lead Teacher at Okreek School within the Todd County School District. I have been a member for 2 years. I joined SDEA to be an advocate for other aspiring Native American educators. The best part about joining SDEA is networking with other educators to expand my teaching repertoire to help students grow into positive and successful human beings.

Curt Anderson, Oglala Lakota

Hi! My name is Curt Anderson. My local is the Oglala Lakota County Education Association within Oglala Lakota County Schools. I’ve been a member for 10 years and a teacher at OLC for seven years. I’m currently a 2nd grade teacher at Rockyford School. I’m also on the SDEA Board of Directors as a Minority At-Large member and also a part of the Racial and Social Justice Advisory Council. The best part of being a member is being a part of something that supports teachers and educators to help our students.

Madison EA

The Madison Education Association currently has 58 members from three buildings in our district. As a local we meet monthly for socials and bimonthly for meetings. We provide PD training for our members to strengthen leadership and our profession. MEA takes an active role in our community food pantry and banquet meal at the Methodist Church. MEA established a Teacher Support Grant that helps our members enhance their classrooms without spending their own money. MEA supports American Education Week, advocates through bargaining for our members and provides scholarships for our future leaders from MHS.

Dina Vanderwilt, Mitchell

I teach Kindergarten at L.B. Williams Elementary in the Mitchell School District. I have been a member of SDEA for 10 years. I joined SDEA so that I would have a voice and the “reassurance that someone has my back as a teacher.” SDEA gives teachers the resources and support to make a difference in students' lives. SDEA is a great place to connect with teachers in South Dakota so that we can learn from each other.

Meghan Wounded Head, Sioux Falls

I'm Meghan Wounded Head, and I teach Accelerated English 2 and AP Literature. This is my eighteenth year of teaching, the past seven at Sioux Falls Washington High School. While I've only been a member of SDEA/SFEA for a few years, I originally joined for security/protection. Serving as high school director for my local, SDEA/SFEA has really given me a spark. As I've grown to further understand the advocacy of SDEA/SFEA, I now know my role in SFEA to give teachers a voice and a positive boost so we can do what's best for our students. I want my colleagues to know we are there for one another and when united, we are stronger. That's what is most important to me - support and collegiality. We all do good things for the children we see every day; Let's support one another along the way. SDEA/SFEA gives us the platform to do that.

Alison TerHorst, Sioux Falls

My Name is Alison TerHorst and I am a teacher at Washington High School in Sioux Falls. I teach Psychology I & II, AP Psychology, and Teacher Pathway. I have been teaching for 14 years and have been a part of SDEA for 14 years. To be honest, in the beginning I joined because it sounded like a good protection plan, like insurance. I don’t think I fully understood what the SDEA did. But after building relationships with the past two presidents of the SFEA Pam Oberempt, and Tony Martinet, I am so appreciative of everything they do to support me. I have had a lot of medical scares in my family and the presidents have always helped me know how much time I get and really just helped me in both professional and personal ways. Every year there is something different that I find to appreciate.

Penny Shuster Louks, Belle Fourche

Penny Shuster Louks; Belle Fourche Education Association; 8th Language Arts; I have been a member of SDEA since 2004; previously, I was a member while teaching in Casper, Wyoming and a student member at BHSU as well. My reasons for joining SDEA are to engage with other professionals, to safeguard my rights as a teacher, and to advocate for new and continuing educators. The best parts about joining SDEA have been the opportunities to participate in continuing education that is meaningful and to work in my local, supporting others and effecting change within the district and my building.