Member Voices

Teri Morgan, Mitchell, SD

Greetings from the Mitchell Education Association. My name is Teri Morgan and I teach Spanish at MHS. This is my 25th year of teaching and I joined SDEA/NEA as a college student. Initially, as a teacher, I joined for the legal representation and liability insurance. I knew I could not afford not having that support. My favorite part of MEA is the networking with other teachers. I enjoy being part of a district-wide organization that is the teachers’ voice. It is great to work with teachers from other levels and buildings in the district. Together we can do more!

Marcie Welsh, Brookings, SD

Hi, I am Marcie Welsh and I teach science at Brookings High School. I joined the Brookings Education Association six years ago when I started working at BHS because a veteran teacher, whom I respected, told me I should. I am so glad that I joined as I have come to realize the vital importance of being a part of the collective advocacy voice for students and public education. I am proud to now service the BEA as co-president and value the relationships I have made through the BEA and SDEA.

Robin Curtis, Winner, SD

Robin Curtis – Winner Education Association, 6th grade Language Arts & Science. Seven years as a member. The best part of joining SDEA: The collaboration with fellow teachers and learning opportunities provided by SDEA and NEA. Without SDEA, I wouldn’t have been able to grow in leadership without the experiences.

Ramona Quartier-Tschudy, Harrisburg, SD

I am Ramona Quartier-Tschudy. I teach 7th grade science at Harrisburg South Middle School. I have taught at Harrisburg for 24 years, and I have been a member all 24 of those years. I joined SDEA to be an active member of the professional organization though lobbying at the local and state levels, participating in multiple committees to advance our profession, and to support all teachers. The best part of membership is working with others to support teachers!

Tari Knock, USD

My name is Tari Knock and I currently serve as the president of the University of South Dakota chapter of the South Dakota Education Association. At USD, I am a Secondary English Education major. I joined SDEA because I am passionate about the field of education and believe that the only way to serve as an exceptional teacher someday is to start now by gaining experiences to better myself as a pre-service educator. The highlight of my experience in SDEA has been meeting so many people who are zealous about our profession; I truly believe without SDEA, I would have never met all these remarkable people.

Martin Sieverding, Menno, SD

My name is Martin Sieverding and I have been an SDEA member for my entire teaching career, 39 years. I was the Band Director at Menno for 21 years and have been the Technology Coordinator for 18 years. I am a member of the Menno Education Association. As many have done, I joined during my student teaching experience for the liability insurance. When I began my teaching career I joined to belong to my professional association. The best part about joining SDEA is that I am a member of the great organization that works hard for me, my fellow educators, children, and public schools.

Paula Weydert, Yankton, SD

I am Paula Weydert, member of the Yankton EA and 4th grade teacher. I am in my 40th year of teaching and have been a member of SDEA for most of those years. When I started teaching in SD, I didn’t join the association because I didn’t “get” its value. Eventually, I realized the difference that belonging to an EA made in every aspect of my job. We had a voice in every discussion of our salaries, benefits, leaves, and even the school calendar! I realized the support and expertise we received from SDEA. I became a believer, and even more, I became involved: working on committees, interviewing legislative candidates, serving in local offices. Now, I “get” it, and I am a proud member!

Joann Curoe Stephens, Belle Fourche, SD

Hello from Belle Fourche Education Association! My name is Joann Curoe Stephens and I'm a seventh grade English Language Arts teacher. I have been a member for 35 years and treasurer for at least half of that. When I first joined BFEA, I remember tenured members telling me I must join the association for legal representation and liability insurance. That may have been true then but I'm still a member. SDEA still gives teachers a voice and chances to be heard. SDEA offers trainings and workshops such as edCamps and preparation for National Board Certification. SDEA gives teachers what they need to be the best teachers. That's why I'm involved.

Pam Wells, Mobridge/Pollock, SD

Hi, I’m Pam Wells, a teacher at Mobridge-Pollock High School for the past seven years. Previously, I taught in North Dakota for 29 years. During those 36 years I have been a member…. I have never questioned why because I knew this was the organization that gives me the opportunity to chime in with the collective voice of a multitude of educators for the advancement of education in my local, state, and nation.

Jamie Ripperda, USD

My name is Jamie Ripperda and I am the secretary of the University of South Dakota chapter of the South Dakota Education Association. I am currently a sophomore and an English major with Secondary Education certification with a minor in Reading. I joined SDEA as a freshman because I wanted to gain as much experience and knowledge as I could in order to become a great teacher. The best part about SDEA getting to meet with people who have the same passion as you and want to work hard to become the best teacher they can be.