Susan Turnipseed, a Brookings 4th grade technology teacher, has been selected as the 2011 South Dakota Teacher of the Year. The announcement was made last night during a banquet at the Systems Change Conference in Oacoma.
The Luther College graduate has been teaching for more than 30 years – the past 29 years in the Brookings School District.
“While all of the candidates are deserving of this honor, Susan has shown a tremendous dedication to each of her students as unique individuals, as well as to constantly improving her professional practice through her own learning,” said South Dakota Secretary of Education Tom Oster.
Candidates for Teacher of the Year are expected to have a superior ability to inspire all students; be exceptionally skilled and dedicated; and have the respect of students, parents and colleagues.
The panel selected Turnipseed from six regional finalists to win the award. Those finalists included:
• Beth Farrar, Rapid City School District
• Beverly Kopren, Bison School District
• Kimberly Phillips, Chamberlain School District
• Helen Schwarting, White River School District
• Teresa Timmerman, Sioux Falls School District
As recipient of the honor, Turnipseed will receive the use of a new car for one year, a technology package valued at more than $17,000 to use in her classroom, cash awards and more.
In addition, she will represent South Dakota as a candidate for the National Teacher of the Year Award. The National Teacher of the Year Program began in 1952 and continues as the oldest, most prestigious national honors program that focuses public attention on excellence in teaching. The new National Teacher of the Year is announced during a ceremony in Washington, D.C., each April.