Honored Women Educators of South Dakota


Honored Women Educators of South Dakota (HWE) met June 25 at the SDEA office in Pierre. Four new members were inducted into Honored Women Educators of SD, formerly known as the Annie D. Tallent Club of SD from 1954-1993. Educators are invited to join through a nomination process. New members include: Sharon Johnson, Webster; Brenda Nugent, Rapid City; Michele Petersen, Rapid City and Allison Vetch Leach, Aberdeen.

Old and New Officers for HWE
Left to Right:
Deanell Backlund, Pres./now Historian
Ralyna Schilling, Sec/Treas/now VP
Katie Larson, now Sec/Treas
Jacqueline Sly, VP/now President
Jean Clarke, Historian/now enjoying life    
(thanks for years of serving HWE, Jean)

Sharon Johnson taught art in DeSmet, Mitchell, Northern State University and Waubay. She has also taught in the gifted program. She has been a member of Mitchell Education Association, SDEA and NEA for many years.

Brenda Nugent taught 2nd grade in Texas, preschool in the Douglas district, country school (grades k-3 in Scenic), and combined grades 1 and 2 in Wall. Then she moved to Rapid City where she was a Reading Recovery Teacher, taught K, 1, & 2, and eventually was a Literacy Teacher. She has been a member of RCEA, SDEA, and NEA. Brenda retired from teaching this year.

Michele Petersen has been teaching special education teaching 6-8 grade special education since 2014. Beginning in 2011 she taught 3-5 special education. This year she is moving to the high school level in Rapid City. She has been an active member of RCEA and SDEA/NEA, now serving as secretary of the local organization.

New members inducted at June 25 luncheon.
Left to right:
Sharon Johnson – Webster SD
Brenda Nugent – Rapid City SD
Michele Petersen – Rapid City SD

Allison Vetch Leach has taught 3rd grade for the past 10 years. She is currently a 3rd grade teacher at O. M. Tiffany Elementary School in Aberdeen. She has been active in her Aberdeen Education Association working on and planning for negotiations and SDEA/NEA.

Allison (Vetch) Leach – Aberdeen SD

Each year a $500 scholarship is awarded a female student majoring in the field of education who is in the second semester of her junior year. The award is based on post-secondary accomplishments and involvement and financial need and is targeted toward providing resources to purchase books for the student recipients. This year Alayna Gorter, who attends SDSU majoring in Family and Consumer Science, received the scholarship.

Alayna Gorter – Attending SDSU for Family and Consumer Science Education

The purpose of HWE is to recognize outstanding South Dakota women educators and to promote relationships and networking among women engaged in education careers. Members have also been in the field of education in South Dakota for a minimum of ten years, are/were active members of SDEA/NEA, and have made major contribution in the field education. 

Submitted by:
Jacqueline Sly
President, Honored Women Educators of SD
22560 Potter Road
Rapid City SD 57702