The De Smet Board of Education held a regular meeting Monday at 5:30 p.m. in the library. They had a special guest, Jared Olson, who is the current business manager in the Beresford School District and past president of the South Dakota Association of School Business Officials (SDASBO). He was there to make a presentation to Susan Purintun, on behalf of SDASBO.
Purintun had been nominated and now selected as the 2021 Outstanding School Business Official. She will formally receive her award and be recognized by her peers Sept. 22 in Chamberlain.
Current SDASBO president, Darla Mayer said, “Susan has been an invaluable asset for the De Smet School, the De Smet Community and to SDASBO for 40 years. This award is a testament to the dedication, commitment and leadership Mrs. Purintun has displayed over her career.”
De Smet School Superintendent, Abi Van Regenmorter stated, “Susan’s dedication to success is second to none with her day beginning at 5 a.m. as the first person at the school, and ending well after dark, including weekends as well. I have seen the respect and dignity with which she treats students, making special effort to include those with diverse needs and disabilities. The courage and compassion Susan has shown to those less fortunate, has the ability to take her talents far beyond the scope of our little school on the prairie and will continue to positively impact the world.”
Many considerate and respectful statements were made about Purintun, but a recurring theme was compassion, dedication and courage. When Purintun received her award, a standing ovation was given by all.
Board members then set forth and tackled the technology budget presented by high school principal, Andrew Armstead. Total for the technology budget was $125,662.98.
Armstead said the budget amount rose a little from last year, but additions to this year’s budget included video surveillance and upgrading the wi-fi by installing new routers, switches and access points. This project alone accounts for just over $24,000. It is a necessary upgrade as the school has had outages in the past because of the aging equipment.
There were no questions or discussions about the budget, and the board voted their approval.
Some of the sixth-grade students have been working on social justice projects as a school assignment. They gave their presentations to the school board. The board heard from three groups. The first was #welikeanimals and presented the idea of building a barn on the back parking lot and allowing and teaching the students to care for the animals.
The second presentation was from #games. They were requesting the school to unblock computer games on the school’s network and internet. Allowing games on the school’s network could increase one’s dexterity, lead to socialization and improve attitudes according to the group. Despite their great arguments, the school board took no action.
#bethechange was the last and final presentation made to the board. Their agenda was focused on protecting the environment, whether it was land, water or space, we need to be protective of our planet.
• It was reported that House Bill 1217 has passed the House, and Governor Noem will be signing it shortly. It mandates a student must compete in sports for the gender they were born with.
• Building and Maintenance committee will meet Thursday.
• One Act Play gave a performance Saturday and did very well. At the state competition, three De Smet actors got superior ratings earlier this spring.
• Two classes, the eighth grade and seniors, will be taking a class and becoming certified in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) soon. This is a state mandate.
• If the boys basketball team makes it to State, the 18th may be designated as a distance learning day.
• Seating at the State Tournament in Aberdeen will be limited to 3,000 per game. Each of the two teams playing is given 80 adult tickets and 20 student tickets. The remaining 2,800 seats will be sold at the door.
• Lewis Drug in town has let the school know they will have 10 doses of the COVID vaccines available for teachers soon.
• The Music Booster trip will be April 5-11 to Washington, D.C. and Nashville, Tenn. Making the journey will be 53 students and 14 adults. There will be no music performances due to COVID. There is a parent meeting about this March 22.