Susan Damm, Flandreau, SD

My name is Susan Damm. I am a Title Math & Reading teacher in the Flandreau Elementary school. I have been a member of SDEA since 2006. I have served as an EPIC member for the Eastern Prairie Unit in the past and I am currently assigned to serve on the EPIC committee going forward. I joined this wonderful organization years ago to become part of the TEAM! I wanted to be a part of an association who worked for the betterment of our profession. I believe very strongly in our ideals. I believe in what each of us does every day. We inspire the future, our future. I am a strong advocate for SDEA! I truly believe we are stronger together!

Scott Headrick, Dell Rapids, SD

My name is Scott Headrick and I serve as the K-12 Technology Integrationist, Personal Finance and Business Math teacher for the Dell Rapids School District. I also serve as the Co-President for the Dell Rapids Education Association. I have participated in SDEA for eight years because of the advocating SDEA does for public education at the state and local levels. The best part of joining SDEA is I have become better aware of the policies and procedures that govern our schools and made connections with SDEA members to better serve our students.

Dawn Wiebers, Madison, SD

Dawn Wiebers – Madison Education Association President, H.S. Chemistry teacher and Eastern Prairie Chair. I have been a member for 11 years and President of our local for 8 years. I joined SDEA to be part of a fantastic professional organization. The best part of joining SDEA is building my leadership skills, empowering members and influencing others to become engaged in SDEA. I whole-heartedly believe in SDEA and all the great things it has and will continue to do for its members.

Amanda Klawonn, Madison, SD

Amanda Klawonn, Madison Central School District, Madison, Special Education teacher - Student Empowerment Classroom, 3 years as member. Reason for joining SDEA: I won my initial membership at an EdCamp and have loved being part of this organization ever since. The best part of being an SDEA member for me is feeling connected to a broader array of educators and having a network that I can call upon if I have questions. SDEA helps me feel prepared as a teacher and provides opportunities to further improve my skill set.

Koreen Hammel, Hot Springs, SD

Koreen Hammel - Hot Springs Education Association - President 5th grade ELA teacher and ELL District Coordinator I have been a member for 9 years and President of our local for 4 years. I joined SDEA because my college professors and teacher mentors strongly encouraged me to do so. The best part of joining SDEA is having a voice that is heard. More often than not teachers can talk and voice their opinion but it is not heard. Teachers need to fight for each other. I was doing research one day on great leaders and came across a picture that said, "The qualities of a great leader" and the following were listed: Empowerment, Engagement, Influence, Innovation, Communication, Problem Solving, Transparency, Adaptability, Empathy & Continued Learning. I feel I was put in the local presidency position because of these qualities and I will continue to support my teachers.

Carla Diede, Harrisburg, SD

My name is Carla Diede and I teach math at Harrisburg South Middle School. I joined LEA/SDEA/NEA in 2007 because I wanted to enter my teaching career as part of a community of educators. I knew it would help ensure I had the necessary support to succeed as a first year teacher. Now as a part of HEA/SDEA/NEA, I appreciate the voice I have had over the past 11 years as a member and the work they do to make a true difference in education. Proud to be a part of this amazing group of educators!

Bob Hoffmann, Sioux Falls, SD

With over three decades of investment through SDEA/NEA, Social Security, and the SD Retirement System, I want my efforts to be safe and secure from political interference. That's why I continue my advocacy through NEA-Retired to take that message directly to our SD Congressional Delegation as an NEA Director for NEA-Retired. Our profession is also under attack from those who want to squelch our collective voices, and to take public dollars for their privatized agendas. So I'm using my "teacher voice" to make sure we have No Educator Left Behind!

Paige Wright, University of South Dakota

I'm Paige Wright, a senior from USD (Go 'Yotes!) and a student teacher at Harrisburg High School (Go Tigers!). I have had the privilege to serve a variety of leadership roles in SDEA, SDEA Student Program, and YESS. I joined SDEA as a college freshman because I believe education has the power to change the world, change hearts, and change lives. During my four years of involvement, I have gained supportive mentoring, valuable guidance, professional development opportunities, and sincere friendships. The best part about SDEA is the common goal of advocating for public education sincere friendships. The best part about SDEA is the common goal of advocating for public education more, I am proud to be apart of the SDEA family.

Dana Livermont, Rapid City, SD

Hi, my name is Dana Livermont and I have been a member of SDEA and RCEA for 7 years. I joined SDEA because it's important to our profession. Kids learn best from educators who feel prepared, supported, and inspired, and that's what SDEA strives to do for us! She’s been a member with RCEA for 7 yrs and is the College and Career Readiness Lead Counselor for the Rapid City School District.

Sue May, Yankton, SD

Greetings from Sue May, a twenty year member of SDEA. I teach first grade in Yankton and am beginning my first year as co-president of YEA. Being a member of my local, SDEA, and NEA has been an important part of my career in teaching. The best part of joining SDEA are the opportunities for professional development, networking with other educators, and having a voice in local, state, and national educational issues. We have so much more power in our communities when we work together to improve education in our state. I am proud to be a member and represent teachers in our district and community!