Governor Dennis Daugaard has named Don Kirkegaard as the next State Secretary of Education.
Kirkegaard currently serves as Superintendent of the Meade County School District and is the President of the State Board of Education Standards.
Officials with the Governor's office say Kirkegaard will step down from those roles to accept the top job at the Department of Education. He has led Meade County Schools since 2011, and had stints as superintendent at schools in the northeast South Dakota towns of Bristol and Britton.
Kirkegaard holds a bachelor's degree from South Dakota State University, a master's degree from Northern State University, and an educational specialist degree from the University of South Dakota.
He replaces Melody Schopp, who is retiring on December 15th. Kirkegaard's first day on the job is January 1st. Officials say Deputy Secretary of Education Mary Stadick Smith will serve as acting secretary during the interim period.