The Learning Link is an e-newsletter for students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the University of South Dakota School of Education.
Message from the Dean

Welcome to the Learning Link! Learn what is new at the USD School of Education. 

A special thank you to Joni and Bob Miller (pictured) for making a special campus visit in February. Their contributions to University of South Dakota School of Education scholarships, as well as, the upcoming remodel of the School of Education Center for Student and Professional Services is greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Go Yotes!

Dean Donald Easton-Brooks

Current Student Highlight: Samantha Hyronimus
Samantha Hyronimus, an elementary education and special education major from Worthing, South Dakota, is the winner of a $10,000 scholarship from the School of Education at the University of South Dakota.

The 2017-2018 Jeanne Spilde Gonzenbach Scholarship is awarded annually to two outstanding students planning to teach in South Dakota who have a passion for teaching, financial need and hold majors in elementary, secondary or special education. 

“My favorite part of being in the USD School of Education is working with the professors and my classmates,” said Hyronimus. “Everything we are learning is helping me to become the teacher I want to be—a teacher who believes in the unique potential of all students.”

“Receiving this scholarship means the world to me. It is humbling to know that there are people out there who believe in me, and want to help me succeed,” said Hyronimus.
Alumni Spotlight
Dr. Brett Bradfield   (pictured) was announced as the new president for the University of Sioux Falls. He is a 1997 USD School of Education Educational Administration graduate.

Jordan Rykal (pictured) recently accepted as position an Associate Buyer with He is a 2016 USD School of Education KSM graduate.

Beth Kaltsulas (pictured) is the 2017 South Dakota Teacher of the Year and is a 6th grade math teacher at Yankton Middle School. She is a 1985 USD School of Education Elementary Education and 1990 Master's in Education graduate. 

John Stassi recently accepted a position with the Sioux Falls Storm as their Head Equipment Manager/Director of Player Personnel. He is a 2015 USD School of Education KSM graduate. 

Congratulations to our outstanding alumni  featured
this month! Go Yotes!

Are you a School of Education Alumni?  Do you have news to share? We want to maintain a lifelong connection with our lifelong learners! Please submit your updates  here to be featured in an upcoming edition of Learning Link.

Research Updates

Dr. Ayana Kee Campoli recently had an article accepted for publication in the Journal of School Leadership. The article is entitled “Supportive Principals and Black Teacher Turnover: ESS as an Opportunity to Improve Retention.” Dr. Campoli argues that the Every Student Succeeds Act offers an important lever by which eduction leaders can improve teacher diversity. This will be her first publication from her doctoral research which she completed at Harvard University. The article will be published later this year. 

Dr. Suzanne Wiliams is co-author of the article entitled "Content Analysis of Conceptually-Based Physical Education in Southeastern United States Universities and Colleges" published in the The Physical Educator. The article explored conceptually-based physical education (CPE) in college courses. The study showed that there were shared commonalities and characteristics among all of the CPE courses and that PE and CPE are important components of higher education. 

The USD School of Education is finishing up it’s 2016-2017 grant cycle with Sanford Harmony and the Sanford Education Collaborative. USD is one of ten colleges and universities across the country that helps participate in disseminating, researching, and supporting K12 teachers in regards to the programming. The Sanford Harmony program aims to strengthen positive peer relations among Pre-K-6 children through specific daily practices and activities geared toward helping students cooperate across all lines of difference within school settings. Through USD’s efforts over the past two years, roughly 3400 students, in over 200 classrooms, 95 schools, and 65 districts in the state of South Dakota experience Sanford Harmony. USD School of Education faculty involved in this research project include: Ayana CampoliMarcy Drew (USD Harmony Ambassador), Nicholas J. Shudak, Suzanne Williams, and Sarah Wollersheim-Shervey.

Faculty Spotlight
Mark Baron, Associate Dean of the USD School of Education, was recently named Chair of the Research Committee that is a subgroup of the larger Common Metrics group. The Research Committee will make data available to faculty at any of the 14 institutions in the Common Metrics group and may have the option to award funded research grants in the future.

Lisa Hazlett, professor of Language Arts Education, has been invited to write a three-article series about exceptionalities in young adult literature by the journal, Voices of Youth Advocates (VOYA). VOYA is the leading library journal dedicated to the needs of young adult librarians, the advocacy of young adults, and the promotion of young adult literature and reading. 
ICYMI: In Case You Missed It

USD School of Education T-Shirt Design Contest is  accepting entries now through Friday, March 10. The winning design will be chosen on March 14. Submit your entry to Sydney at for a chance to win a USD School of Education swag bag, photo with Dean Easton-Brooks, and best of all, bragging rights! Get all the contest details here

Robby Weissinger finished in 5th place at the National Field Archery Association “Vegas Shoot” on February 10-12, one of the largest and most prestigious indoor archery tournaments in the world. Robby an elementary education and special education major from West Des Moines, Iowa.

“Great thing about archery is that everybody has to start somewhere,” said Weissinger. “I want to win a gold medal at the Olympics someday. That’s my goal. That’s what keeps me coming back everyday, knowing that if I keep working, I’ll get there.”

The February 2017 Dean's Chat was posted on the 15th with new monthly updates from the Dean Easton-Brooks. The February chat included: announcement of the 2017-2018 Gonzenbach Scholarship Recipient, Samantha Hyronimus, reminder that C&I Scholarship deadline March 15th and invitation to become a School of Education Student Ambassador - applications are due March 3rd! Apply here

I n addition, the USD School of Education made two on-court presentations during the February 15 Women's Basketball Game. View some favorite moments from the night.
USD School of Ed Upcoming Events

MARCH 2 South Dakota BIG (Business, Industry, Government) Job Fair & South Dakota Teacher Job Fair 10AM-4PM Sioux Falls Convention Center. $10 registration at the door for anyone not pre-registered by February 17.

MARCH 2-4 The  USD School of Education will be presenting at the upcoming AACTE 69th Annual Meeting in Tampa, FL . Follow the link for more information about the annual meeting, the presenters, and the topics to be covered. 

APRIL 7 The 4th Annual Calling all Coyotes Auction will be held at the Sioux Falls Convention Center from 5-11PM. Tickets are available here.

APRIL 11 USD on the Move: Phoenix, AZ
Join a USD alumni gathering at the beautiful Phoenix Country Club. Tickets to the event cost $25 per person and include appetizers,  beer  and wine. Register here.

JUNE 7, 8 & 9 USD Culturally Responsive Institute presents a Professional Development Workshop featuring Dr. Christine Sleeter. Register here.
Thank you for reading the second edition of Learning Link!
If you have a news item that you'd like to submit to an upcoming Learning Link, please reach out to Sydney at: