Let’s have an amazing school year

Superintendent Blake Gardner
Welcome back to the 2021-22 school year! Where did the summer go? This is my 16th year in Hill City and I have worked in every building as a teacher, principal, coach or athletic director. I absolutely love this school and community and it is a blessing to serve as your superintendent.
I have always stated that four core pillars make a great school and that we have all four! First, we have amazing kids. Our students actually pull one another up instead of dragging each other down. Our kids are intelligent, funny, athletic, artistic, talented, hard-workers that make our school/community proud.
Second, we have top-notch educators. The term educators range from teachers to custodians to support staff to administration. There is a reason that we are consistently one of the best schools in South Dakota and it is because of the amazing culture and climate our educators foster. They come to work every day with an intentional attitude of serving our number one priority: our kids!
Next, we have supportive and engaged parents. There is a direct correlation between successful school and parent engagement. When education is valued at home, it is successfully instilled at school. Our families are the first to step up if our school needs something. They read with their elementary kids, they cheer on our athletes/performers and it’s so reassuring to get an email, note or a conversation when we hear, “I’ve got your back!” Believe it or not, not every school district has parents that are that supportive. Thank you!
Finally, we have a distinguished school board and a community that supports the school. Our school board received gold level status from the Associated School Boards of South Dakota. They are a liaison that provides the best education for our kids while being good stewards of tax payer money.
Our community shoulders a heavy burden to fund our school and I am so grateful for the wonderful and supportive people in our community. The rate of return our district is providing is second to none and I invite anyone who hasn’t been in the school to set up an appointment with me and take a tour. Education looks different today than it did 20 years ago.
In conclusion, when all four pillars are in perfect harmony with one common goal you get an amazing school district. That is exactly what we have. Not only did we survive the COVID-19 year of 2020-21, we thrived! No one person can take credit for our success, instead it was a result of all of us being on the same team with the same goal: the best eduction for our kids!
Let’s have an amazing year!

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