School is top in state

Esther Noe

During the Hill City School District Board of Education meeting May 9, it was announced that the 2022 US News & World Report ranked Hill City the number one high school in South Dakota. This ranking is based on a number of indicators, including Advance Placement Course offerings, Advance Placement tests passed, South Dakota Smarter Balance proficiency rankings in math, ELA and science as well as graduation rate, which is 97 percent in Hill City.
“It’s quite a feat,” said Superintendent Blake Gardner. “That’s two years in a row, and I believe three out of the last four years that our school district has had the number one ranking.”
Hill City was followed in this ranking by Rapid City Stevens, Sioux Falls Washington, Arlington, Sioux Falls Lincoln, Pierre, Dakota Valley, Brookings, Brandon Valley and New Technology High in Sioux Falls.
Next, Gardner shared that the Hill City National Honor Society had its induction and welcomed five new members. These are Abby Siemonsma, Natalie Hanka, Jacie DeVries, Natasha Winter and Riley Wiese. To gain this position, there are four qualities desired including scholarship, service, leadership and character.
Technology director Bryon Christian said he is in the process of checking in all the students’ laptops, completing an inventory and preparing the devices for the next year. To help the students efficiently clear their laptops, Christian put together an informational poster and video.
The school district is getting ready for summer projects, according to maintenance director Jeff Anderson. One big project will be replacing the chain-link fence around the school. The fence around the elementary school will remain until school is out, but the rest of it will be torn down shortly to get ready for the new fencing.
“I can’t wait,” said Anderson. “It’s going to look really nice.”
Middle and high school Principal Todd Satter said as of May 9, it was determined that every senior would receive a diploma. There are 44 seniors this year, which is the biggest class since 2019.
“It’s hard to believe that the next time we get together we will be through graduation,” said Gardner during his report. “Thank you guys for another wonderful year. I appreciate the support, and I thought all things considered it was a really good year.”
During the meeting the school board also approved the resignation of Stacey Stueven as a paraprofessional and wished her the best in the future.
In addition, the contract for certified teacher Brett Bishop was approved. Bishop will teach high school English as well as be an advisor for the one act play and assist with the high school class play.
Finally, there will be a Meet The Candidates Forum on May 22 at 2 p.m. in the High School Theater. This will allow the candidates to introduce themselves and answer any questions the public may have. The candidates include John Stam, Rob Timm, John Jorgenson, Andi Bauer, Eric Lind and Todd Grabow.
The next meeting of the Hill City School District Board of Education is June 13 at 6 p.m.

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