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New Teaching Scholarships Awarded

Kealey Bultena

Nineteen South Dakota college students are the recipients of a brand new scholarship program for future teachers. The Critical Teaching Needs Scholarship Program covers two years of college tuition for people who commit to teaching in South Dakota in certain subjects. 

State leaders identify four main areas of critical need in South Dakota schools for the scholarship: career and technical education, math, science and special ed.

State Secretary of Education Melody Schopp says encouraging people who want to teach in these areas can help alleviate some of the challenges of filling teaching positions with qualified candidates.

"The conversation is that we need teachers in all content areas, but these seem to be very difficult ones," Schopp says. "But the big part about this too is that we are encouraging them and incentivizing them to stay in South Dakota by giving that five-year commitment."

Schopp says a scholarship worth two years of college tuition also helps talented education majors successfully start their careers in K-12.

Students receiving the Critical Teaching Needs Scholarship for the 2014-2015 academic year are listed below.

Dakota State University
Mariah Grelson - Marshall, Minn.
Nicole HighElk - Plankinton
Eric Ruppelt - Tyndall
Stacey Schuller - Jackson, Minn.

Mount Marty College
Katelyn Heisinger - Tripp
Alex Mueller - Yankton
Courtney True - Yankton

South Dakota State University
Bradley Cihak - Tyndall
Dillon Johnson - Mount Vernon
Taylor Leonhardt - Groton
Frankie Lux - Leola
Nathan McMullen - Sleepy Eye, Minn.
Ashley Tollefson - Hitchcock
Trey Waltner - Marion

University of South Dakota
Alex DeVries - Lennox
Alison Petrik - Yankton
Tucker Tornberg - Centerville
Erin Tounsley - Pierre
Brooke Vandersluis - Le Mars, Iowa