August 2019
Letter from the President
Janessa Bixel, SDAEYC President
Hello everyone, I am excited to begin the journey of serving you as President of the South Dakota AEYC. I have been involved with the Black Hills Chapter for the last several years and this is a big leap for me. It was a last minute change for me to run for this position and because so many awesome things are happening with early education in our state right now, I have a lot to learn and get caught up on. I hope that I can gracefully continue to lead this organization as well as it deserves. I look forward to getting to know you more and share my love of early education with you!
We love hearing about all of the fun events going on across the state. Be sure to follow us on Facebook for current happenings as well as great information relating to the field of early childhood education.

Janessa Bixel
A Message from the Vice President
Fran Apland, SDAEYC Vice President

Recently, I attended a TEDx event in Rapid City with the theme of Boundaries. As I shared this transformational information in meaningful conversation with a friend, they were unaware of what TED Talk or TEDx event meant. I shared that TED is one source that I use to increase my knowledge and concepts in my professional and personal life. This was revolutionary to them, so I want to share some information about TED Talks and TEDx with the South Dakota Early Learning community. A little bit of background information about this valuable and accessible form of information. The acronym TED comes from the three words technology, entertainment, and design. A TED Talk is about 18 minutes or less video talk on a subject where the speaker focuses on the local community. It is different from TEDx events that take a more global approach. One thing to keep in mind is that the talks belong to the speaker and directly relate to their knowledge base so consider vetting. Best of all you can put TED Talk in your search engine, smart phone, or smart television and watch for no cost.
Now I’ll share a few talks that I have found useful. Jannell MacAulay on — “How to Achieve High Performance Under Stress” is quite useful in our high paced field. I was fortunate to hear her speak when she was at Ellsworth AFB, this spring, and she has a relevant message for someone looking to increase their mindfulness. I might add, a great asset when working with young children. Her organization, J. MacAulay & Co. works with the Seattle Seahawks as a consultant. Another talk that I found enlightening is Alison Gopnik, a child development psychologist discussing, “What Do Babies Think?” Angela Duckworth a consultant and teacher, “Grit: The Power and Passion of Perseverance.” And lastly, I leave you with Rita Pierson a 40-year teacher! — “Every Child Needs A Champion”.
Please share your favorite TED Talks with me and let them inspire conversation in your home, workplace and community.

Fran Apland,
New 2019-2020 SDAEYC Board

Executive Board:
President - Janessa Bixel
Vice President - Fran Apland
Past President - Jessica Castleberry
Treasurer - Susan Ratkovsky
Secretary - Marcy Drew
Operations Manager - Ellen Schlosser
Conference Coordinator - Patricia Buechler

Governing Board:
Member at Large - Nicole Weiss
Member at Large - Bethann Murphy
Accreditation Chair - Nancy Schlichenmayer
Membership Chair - Jodi Butzer
Public Policy Chair - Fran Apland
Student Group Chair - Sherrie Bosse
Student Chapter Representative - open
SDAEYC Board Openings in 2020

Board Positions Up for Election
SDAEYC will be looking for individuals that are interested in being part of the organization, for the 2020-2022 term. Positions that will be open are: Vice- President, Treasurer, Member at Large, Membership Chair, Public Policy Chair and Student Chapter Representative.
Please contact Jessica Castleberry for more information
2020 SDECE Annual Conference
2012 Conf Logo
  SD Early Childhood Education Conference 2020

Developing Brains Matter!
Ap ril 23-25, 2020 at the Sioux Falls Convention Center

We are excited to announce we have great keynote speakers lined up to provide us with outstanding information to help us all in our mission to develop young children’s brains! Bob Greenleaf, Frank Kros, LaVonna Roth, and George McClosky will teach and lead us in facilitating our roles in the classroom to develop the minds of the children we serve. Besides pre conference and keynote presentations, these 4 will also provide 15 separate breakout sessions!
Lakeshore is also sponsoring a “Brain Break” session on Friday afternoon. Kevin Carnes will be leading a fun activity about developing brains through STEAM! We will have food, fun, and learning through hand on activities.
Call for proposals will be coming out this fall. I would ask you all to consider sharing your time, talents, and knowledge with others in the early childhood field. Please think about this! Our theme is “Developing Brains Matter”. As you consider presenting, keep the theme in mind! 

Keep informed on conference information by following our face book page:
and our website:

SDAEYC Conference Coordinator
See you in April!

SDAEYC Service Awards
Marcy Drew, SDAEYC Secretary

2020 Excellence in Early Childhood Awards
Do you know of someone deserving recognition for his or her service to children or the field of Early Childhood Education? Consider nominating him or her for a 2020 SDAEYC Award!
Award categories include:
Professional Service Award (SDAEYC membership required to receive this award)
The individuals who have provided outstanding service in the following types of professional roles are eligible for these awards:
      Early Educators & Caregivers, Early Childhood Leaders, Higher Education Instructors and Early Childhood Trainers,   Program Administrators. 
Citizen’s Award (SDAEYC membership not required)
a.  Members of the South Dakota news media for increasing public awareness of children’s rights and needs during the past year.
b. Public Officials on the local, state or national levels representing South Dakota who have been sensitive to children’s issues during the past year.
c.  Community leaders who consistently act as child advocates.
d. Authors from South Dakota who have excited the minds of young children or early childhood professionals.
e. Artists (dancers, actor, etc.) who have creatively expressed issues of children or who have helped children discover a fresh way to learn.
f. Inventors who have created toys or equipment from exceptionally safe, creative learning opportunities.

1 st Year Early Education Teacher Award (SDAEYC membership not required)
a.       Individuals who are in their first year of teaching children birth through age 8 (2 nd grade.)
b.       Has shown exceptional skills in teaching developmentally appropriate lessons, being an advocate for young children and/or a thoughtful and caring relationship with children, families, and other professionals in the field.

Early Education Student Award (SDAEYC membership not required)
a.       A student studying early childhood education in a South Dakota university, CDA or continuing education program.
b.       Individuals who show exceptional skills in planning and teaching developmentally appropriate lessons and/or are a strong advocate for young children and family issues.

Nominations are due by March 1 st , 2020
For an application go to click on MORE and them Membership.
If you have any questions, please contact:
Marcy Drew -
Ellen Schlosser at
Nancy Schlichenmayer, Accreditation Chair
NAEYC Accreditation went digital in November, 2018! You are encouraged to do a self study if you are considering accreditation; use the same tools the accessors use for classrooms and the entire program. Those tools are available by clicking on this link  SDAEYC has funds for accreditation scholarships. You can find the application by clicking on this link The scholarships are available for programs who are seeking accreditation, renewing accreditation or filing the annual report. Programs can earn one scholarship, per year, up to $500. 
Please submit scholarship applications to or mail the application to Nancy Schlichenmayer 202 W. Prospect #4, Pierre, SD 57501

Currently there are 6 centers in South Dakota that are NAEYC accredited. We look forward to that number increasing in 2020.

For more information please contact Nancy Schlichenmayer 605-380-1974
or by email @
Upcoming NAEYC Conferences

NAEYC Annual Conference, Nashville, TN
November 20th-23rd, 2019

Public Policy Forum, Arlington, VA
February 23rd-25th, 2020

NAEYC Professional Learning Institute (PLI), New Orleans, LA
June 7th-10th, 2020
SDAEYC Chapter Events & Happenings

Capitol Connections:

Capitol Connections started the reactivation process in May 2019. With only two chapter meetings being held so far the membership continues to grow, with plans to continue to increase membership numbers.
Capitol Connections has already started with big plans including Jim Gill coming to Pierre. Saturday, October 26th, 2019 will be the date for a three-hour early learning training and a children’s performance. Check out for more information on what’s coming our way!
A Capitol Connections Facebook group will be up and coming soon. Please be on the look out to join our group, to keep updated on future plans, including Jim Gill’s performance October 26.
Co-Chairs: Nancy Schlichenmayer at
Stephanie Patterson at

Dakota Midland:

Dakota Midland has been collaborating with Sanford CHILD Children in Aberdeen after their Saturday Spectacular on Saturday, September 28th to host a networking lunch from noon - 1:00pm. Dakota Midland will be providing a lunch with chips and a beverage for the participants. During this time participants will be networking, learning about NAEYC, SDAEYC & Dakota Midland Chapter of SDAEYC. All attendees will be signed up for some great door prizes; must be present to win.
Dakota Midland is also planning on having a book study, starting late fall early winter.
They are in the planning stages of what book they will be using and will announce the book title at the networking lunch.
You can contact Ellen Schlosser at

Dakota Prairie:  

Dakota Prairie met on June 11, 2019. We had 4 ladies present and early childhood specialist Nancy Schlichenmayer. We decided we wanted our chapter active again so Lynn Peterson and Melissa Hutmacher volunteered to co-chair. We all agreed we would like to work towards getting some indoor/outdoor activities to be kept possibly at our local community center for everyone to use. We would also like to try help with transportation costs for daycares/preschools to use the equipment, especially during winter months. Lynn worked with Great Western bank in Chamberlain to get our new account going. We all agreed that all need to promote our group and spread the word about us! Our next meeting was set for July 24th.
Contact Lynn Peterson at
Melissa Hutmacher at

East Central:

Upcoming Calendar Events
Monday, Sept. 16, 2019 at 6:30 pm (Qdoba tacos will be served) - Fall EC Chapter of SDAEYC - Membership Recruiting – Mentor-Mentee Speed Dating, Community Life Center, Brookings, SD
Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019 at 7 pm – STEAM Chemistry Week Panel, sponsored by SNEA, East Central Chapter of SDAEYC members invited, location TBD
Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019 from 6 to 7 pm – Brookings Back Pack Project Service Learning Event.  Directions to BBP Staging Site - About a half mile south of the intersection of 6th St. and Main Ave. (south of the railroad tracks), turn west on 2nd St. South. Turn right (north) on Airport Ave., then turn into the second driveway on the left (west). Go to the first door on the north side of the office building. A sign that reads “BBP Staging Site” will be hanging on the door.
Tuesday, Jan. 14 th at 7 pm, Topic – TBD, Location – TBD, sponsored by SNEA
Monday, Feb. 17, 2020 at 6:30 pm (Pizza will be served) – Technology in the Classroom Panel/Making in the Classroom, Children’s Museum of SD, Brookings, SD
Tuesday, March 10 th at 7 pm, Meeting sponsored by SNEA, Topic – TBD, Location TBD
Monday, April 13, 2020 at 6:30 pm – WYOC/Autism Awareness Month – Family Panel/Spectrum 605, Community Life Center, Brookings, SD
Membership/Potential Membership Communication:
       Survey Monkey Questionnaire about:
o   Monthly membership meeting times
o   Planning meeting times
o   Connections between EC Chapter and Student Organization
o   Mentoring Opportunity Recruitment
       Sending the Save the Date Card with all of the 2019-2020 meeting dates/event dates
      Sending out planning meeting minutes, event reminders & event news.
For more information contact
Kay Cutler at
Laura Gloege at

Missouri Valley:

The Missouri Valley AEYC and the USD Student Group will co-host a Back to School Make-and-Take workshop for early childhood educators on tuesday, September 17 from
4-5:30 in Delzell School of Education on the USD campus, Room 107. All are welcome to attend this free event – come make some resources for the classroom! Please pre-register at
For further information contact
Sherrie Bosse at
Carmen Stewart at

Siouxland :

Save the date for Sioux Falls WOW!

SF WOW will be held on Saturday, February 1st, 2020.
Dr. Anne Meeker will be speaking about "Sing, Play, Love."
Registration will be open soon at:

For further information contact
Karen Rieck at
South Dakota Association for the Education of Young Children