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Latest Media Releases



For Immediate Release: Oct. 4, 2009
Contact: Mary Stadick Smith - (605) 773-7228

Spearfish educator receives South Dakota Teacher of the Year distinction



Spearfish Middle School teacher Tom Mead was named the 2010 South Dakota Teacher of the Year Sunday evening, during a banquet at the Governor’s Teacher Leadership Conference in Pierre. The science teacher will represent South Dakota as the state’s candidate for the 2010 National Teacher of the Year.

After receiving a B.A. in biology from the University of South Dakota and a master’s in wildlife management, Mead spent the next decade and a half working in his field before obtaining his teaching certificate in 1989. He has been teaching science at Spearfish Middle School ever since.

Mead teaches all of his classes through an interdisciplinary approach, so his students learn more than just science. He also gives students a chance to experience science through real-world application, which teaches them that science is present in their everyday lives, in just about everything they do.

The Teacher of the Year program seeks to honor the contributions of the state’s outstanding classroom teachers, as well as bring more recognition to the teaching profession as a whole. In South Dakota, the Teacher of the Year is chosen from seven regional winners, who are selected by the Education Service Agencies. This year’s finalists included:

Nancy Block, Webster School District

Cher May, Sioux Falls School District

Anne Moege, Mitchell School District

Darlyne Johnson, Groton Area School District

Loris Lindskov, former Isabel School District

Lisa Handcock, Agar-Blunt-Onida School District

Tom Mead, Spearfish School District

As the 2010 South Dakota Teacher of the Year, Mead will receive the use of a car for one year from Integrity Auto of Spearfish; $16,000 technology package from SMARTer Kids Foundation; $3,000 cash award from Citibank; $3,000 cash award from South Dakota Community Foundation; $1,000 honorarium from Board of Regents; a $200 gift card from the South Dakota Retailers Association; and an Apple Award from South Dakota Education Association.

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