Gov.-elect Dennis Daugaard today announced the members of the Transition Advisory Committee on Education. The Gov.-elect also announced that Dr. Melody Schopp has agreed to lead the Department of Education as Interim Secretary.
This committee will aid Gov.-elect Daugaard and the Transition Team in identifying, recruiting, and screening candidates for Secretary of Education. The committee is chaired by Rick Melmer of Vermillion, the Dean of the University of South Dakota College of Education and a former Secretary of Education. Joining Melmer on the committee are:
· Slater Barr, Sioux Falls ? President of the Sioux Falls Development Foundation
· Julie Bartling, Burke ? State Senator from District 26
· Eric Bogue, Faith ? FormerState Senate Majority Leader
· Dayna Brave Eagle, Kyle ? Director of Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Education
· Kira Christensen, Sioux Falls ? Educator and 2009 Milken Educator Award winner
· Glenna Fouberg, Aberdeen ? Member of the South Dakota Board of Education
· Tim Mitchell, Rapid City ? Superintendent of Rapid CitySchool District
· Kevin Schieffer, Sioux Falls ? businessman
· Gary Williams, Watertown ? Mayor of Watertown and former President of Lake Area Technical Institute
?I really appreciate the time each of these persons has volunteered to help me select a great Secretary of Education,? Gov.-elect Daugaard said. ?These leaders care deeply about education, and I value their advice very much.?
In addition to identifying candidates for the Gov.-elect to consider, the committees will offer advice and an outside perspective to the new secretary after the appointment is made.
Schopp named Interim Secretary of Education
Gov.-elect Daugaard also announced that Dr. Melody Schopp, the current Deputy Secretary of Education, will lead the department as Interim Secretary until a permanent secretary is appointed.
?I want to thank Dr. Schopp for agreeing to lead the Department of Education during this transition period,? the Gov.-elect said. ?Although I would like to have every cabinet member in place by inauguration on Jan. 8, it is more important to take the time to find best candidate. In addition, the school year calendar would make it difficult for many candidates to assume the position before this spring. Melody is a well-respected leader with decades of experience in education, and she will be a steady hand over the next few months.?
An educator for more than 30 years, Dr. Melody Schopp started her career as an elementary teacher in Lemmon, S.D., and served as a school board member for nine years. During her 11-year tenure at the Department of Education, she has served as director of the department’s Office of Accreditation and Teacher Quality and is currently the Deputy Secretary. Some of her career highlights include creation of the South DakotaVirtualSchool and her current work leading the development of teaching standards for the state. Schopp also was recently appointed to the Council of Chief State School Officers’ Deputies Leadership Commission Executive Committee.