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Noem appoints education secretary, filling last cabinet vacancy

South Dakota Capitol building in Pierre (file)

Gov. Kristi Noem has filled the remaining open position in her cabinet.

Noem appointed Mitchell Superintendent Joe Graves to be the next South Dakota Secretary of Education. He replaces Tiffany Sanderson, who accepted a job as president of Lake Area Technical College.

Graves has served as Superintendent of the Mitchell School District since 2000. Before that, he served as superintendent of several school districts in Iowa between 1991 and 2000. He began teaching in 1986.

"I am humbled by Governor Noem’s confidence in me,” Graves said in a press release. “I have observed the positive change Governor Noem has made in our school systems up close as a Superintendent. Now, I am excited to play a more significant role in reforming our schools and raising the bar for what students and teachers can both achieve.”

This marks the third cabinet position Noem filled after a series of resignations late last year.

The governor recently appointed Melissa Magstadt as Secretary of Health to replace Joan Adam, who retired after less than a year on the job. The other opening at the Department of Social Service was filled by Matt Althoff. He replaced Laurie Gill, who also retired.

Josh Chilson is the news director at South Dakota Public Broadcasting. A Florence, S.D. native, Josh graduated with a journalism degree from South Dakota State University. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and videographer, and most recently as managing editor for Dakota News Now. Josh is based out of SDPB's Sioux Falls studio.
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