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Officials name next superintendent of School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

South Dakota Board of Regents
Jessica Vogel

A Northern State University professor has been named the next leader of the South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Dr. Jessica Vogel is an assistant professor of education at NSU, where officials say she worked alongside many students and staff members at SDSBVI.

"I look forward to working with our students and their families and supporting our teachers, staff, and outreach consultants," said Vogel in a press release. "To support growth in advocacy, instructional development, and independence for our students who are blind and visually impaired is the ultimate reward."

SDSBVI is an accredited K-12 school in Aberdeen overseen by the Board of Regents. It supports children with vision loss and provides access to educational resources to prepare students for life. According to the BOR, enrollment on the Aberdeen campus averages about 28 students, with nearly 250 students served by the school's statewide outreach programs.

Vogel holds a doctorate in educational administration - special education, a master's degree in emotional and behavior disorders, and a bachelor’s degree in special education. She is currently working on a master’s degree in visual impairments.

"I will continue to support SDSBVI's relationship with Northern State University to increase the number of teachers and consultants for the visually impaired students in our state." Vogel said. "I plan to be active in state and national associations to keep us current on research practices and closely connected to programs like ours."

Vogel will succeed the current superintendent, Dan Trefz, this June.