Jackie Hendry

In The Moment ... October 17, 2019 Show 681 Hour 2

SDPB Health and Education reporter Jackie Hendry joins Lori Walsh to preview the discussion on early childhood education (Pre-K) on SDPB-TV's South Dakota Focus with Stephanie Rissler.

Education and healthcare reporting on SDPB is supported by Regional Health, helping patients and communities live well

Sioux Falls Teacher Surprised with $25,000 Award

Oct 17, 2019
Jackie Hendry

The Milken Educator Award is known as “the Oscars of Teaching.” Each year a task force appointed by each state’s department of education considers teachers who go above and beyond in their classrooms. The recipients are then surprised with a 25-thousand dollar award.

Wednesday morning, a high school teacher in Sioux Falls joined the ranks of Milken Educators across the nation. 

Jackie Hendry

The Head Start program serves pre-school kids and their families across the country. It’s often one of the only preschool options in rural areas. The goal? To help get kids from low-income households ready for school. However, in one central South Dakota town, a partnership between Head Start and the local school district is providing  preschool for any child.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The South Dakota Supreme Court ended its term with a hearing on Mid-Central Educational Cooperative’s handling of federal GEAR UP funds. The lawsuit in question followed investigations into Mid-Central business manager Scott Westerhuis, who murdered his family and set his house on fire before killing himself in 2015.

The case considers if two former GEAR UP students can be considered third-party beneficiaries of the contracts between the South Dakota Department of Education, Mid-Central Educational Cooperative, and the American Indian Institute for Innovation. 

South Dakota Board of Regents

Fall enrollment for full-time equivalent students at South Dakota’s six public universities is down three percent. That’s nearly a full percentage point lower than last fall. This is the fifth year in a row fall enrollment has shown a decrease in full-time students. 

The Board of Regents is the governing body over the state’s public universities. BOR Executive Director and CEO Paul Beran says the decline in students signals a strong job market that encourages some students to choose the workforce over education.

Jackie Hendry

South Dakota is no stranger to public art on a monumental scale. From the four presidential faces on Mt Rushmore to the Dignity statue overlooking the Missouri River, these pieces become part of a state’s broader identity.  



An estimate from the Sioux Falls School District shows about 350 children per year exceed federal poverty limits to attend Head Start, but preschool is too expensive for their families. The Sioux Falls Hope Coalition is a non-profit that partners with pre-schools and local businesses to provide that opportunity. With 150 students enrolled in pre-k in its third year, the Coalition’s leadership believes it won’t be long before it can give all Sioux Falls students a chance to prepare for kindergarten.

South Dakota Department of Health

The South Dakota Department of Health has confirmed two cases of mumps in southeastern South Dakota. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed 30 cases in bordering parts of the state. Many of those Nebraska cases were traced to people attending a wedding. 

Avera Health Communications Coordinator Nathan Johnson says at least one of the mumps cases is in Yankton County, but Avera has not seen any cases at their hospital.

In The Moment ... August 21, 2019 Show 642 Hour 2

The Frank LaMere Native American Presidential Forum continued Tuesday in Sioux City, Iowa. SDPB's Jackie Hendry provides coverage of the event on In The Moment.


In The Moment ... August 20, 2019 Show 641 Hour 1

The Frank LaMere Native American Presidential Forum is taking place in Sioux City through today. SDPB's Jackie Hendrie spends the hour reporting on the first day of the gathering named for LaMere, an activist, Nebraska lawmaker and seven-time delegate to the Democratic National Convention.

Matt Kapust, courtesy of Sanford Underground Research Facility

Researchers at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead say they’ve taken a huge step forward in the quest to confirm the existence of dark matter. Late last month, they finished assembling the key piece of the LUX-ZEPLIN experiment’s xenon detector. 

Proving the existence of dark matter requires enough precision to catch two flashes of light that would be undetectable to human eyes. Scientists believe those flashes happen if a dark matter particle collides with a xenon atom.  

Augustana University is partnering with Flandreau Indian School and the Washington Pavilion for a project that brings Native American perspectives into historical archives. Augustana is one of 25 independent colleges in the country to win a grant for the Humanities Research for the Public Good initiative. 

Photographs and other documents in archival collections may include Native Americans, but these items are rarely created by Native Americans.

“—and that’s a huge discrepancy in terms of representation of a population that has been silenced in a way.”

Jackie Hendry

Less than a year after Sioux Falls voters approved a $190-million bond for three new schools, the district breaks ground on its new high school. Thomas Jefferson High School is set to open in time for the 2021 school year. City and district leaders say the occasion marks growth not just for Sioux Falls, but for the entire state. 


In The Moment News is a new podcast recaping news of the week. Find it every Friday afternoon.

USD School of Education

During his time as dean of the University of South Dakota's School of Education, Donald Easton-Brooks formed a partnership with the Sioux Falls School District to launch the Teacher Pathway Program, which seeks to recruit a diverse pool of future teachers from its own student body. Easton-Brooks is a scholar of education policy and culturally responsive teaching. His book Ethnic Matching: Success of Students of Color was released earlier this year. 

SD Department of Education

The second cohort to complete a state-wide, two-year teaching mentorship program celebrated in Sioux Falls Thursday. The state department of education hopes pairing new teachers with mentors will improve teacher retention. 

The Blue Ribbon Task Force is perhaps best remembered for the resulting half-cent sales tax increase to improve teacher salaries in the state. But surveys conducted during the task force showed many teachers wanted a support system to help them adjust from college to running their own classroom.

Statewide Mentor Program Summer Academy

Jun 6, 2019
Adria Botella

In The Moment ... June 6,2019 Show 590 Hour 2

The South Dakota Department of Education is hosting hundreds of teachers from around South Dakota for the Statewide Mentor Program Summer Academy. The event marks a "graduation" of sorts for the first cohort in a program aimed at improving the retention of teachers. SDPB's Jackie Hendry visited with some participants at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls.

    Education and healthcare reporting on SDPB is supported by Regional Health, helping patients and communities live well

Jackie Hendry

In The Moment ... May 16, 2019 Show 577 Hour 2

SDPB's Jackie Hendry reports on a new study in "South Dakota Medicine" that explores the role of community in bullying prevention.

Education and healthcare reporting on SDPB is supported by Regional Health, helping patients and communities live well

Jackie Hendry

U.S. Senator John Thune made a classroom visit to New Tech High School in Sioux Falls. In January, students wrote letters to South Dakota’s congressional delegation, and Thune took them up on the invitation. He also answered a variety of student questions—most centering on climate change, and one on the potential of removing the party whip position in Congress. 

Senator Thune says he believes the climate is changing and that human activities are at least partially responsible. He acknowledges it’s important to reduce carbon emissions.

Avera Health

It’s been a tough spring for the state’s farmers and ranchers.  Wide-spread flooding earlier this year has pushed back planting--and that’s just the most recent challenge for South Dakota’s ag producers. Financial uncertainty can lead to anxiety and depression. But now there’s some help for farmers and ranchers, and those who work closely  with them. 

Walt Bones runs a family farm about 15 miles southwest of Sioux Falls. He grows corn and soybeans and raises cattle. It’s another rainy spring morning when he answers my call from his truck near his fence-line feed bunks.

Jackie Hendry

More than 113,000 people were on the national organ transplant waiting list at the start of 2019. On Wednesday night, Sanford Health in Sioux Falls hosted a flag-raising ceremony to honor organ donors and recipients. 

Laurie Jensen is the director of five Sanford Clinics in the area. In 2017, she learned one of the nurses on her staff needed a kidney and was running out of options. Jensen—who was 60 years old at the time—decided to look into the donation process. She assumed she would be too old. 

Jackie Hendry

South Dakota is one of only five states in the country with no state-supported preschool program. The Sioux Falls Hope Coalition is a non-profit dedicated to giving all children access to preschool. Wednesday it announced the Boys and Girls Club of the Sioux Empire is joining a partnership to offer free preschool for 20 local students.

Artist Retreat at Risk After Flooding

Mar 26, 2019
Jackie Hendry

The flooding in southeast South Dakota is also threatening a rare space for the state’s artists. The Retreat at Pointer’s Ridge in Baltic is a non-profit camp meant to give visitors a quiet space to reflect and create. But as the river rises, the camp’s future is uncertain. 

In The Moment ... March 21, 2019 Show 540 Hour 2

This is an anxious time of year for medical students across the country. Every March, nearly 40-thousand U.S. medical students all discover where they'll serve their residencies. The event is known as Match Day. SDPB's Jackie Hendry listened in last week at one of South Dakota's Match Day events.

Education and healthcare reporting on SDPB is supported by Regional Health, helping patients and communities live well.

Jackie Hendry

In The Moment ... March 14, 2019 Show 535 Hour 2

SDPB's Lee Strubinger & Jackie Hendry are with us today. Together they have a recap of the 2019 South Dakota Legislative session.

  Reporting on politics and public policy is supported by The Center for Western Studies at Augustana University

Legislators approve a ten percent ongoing increase in Medicaid reimbursement in response to the statewide nursing home crisis. That equals nearly 18 million additional dollars. 

Loren Diekman is the president and CEO of Jenkins Living Center in Watertown. He’s followed the Medicaid reimbursement issue closely and made several phone calls to the governor’s office and legislators. He says he’s very happy about the approved increase.

Jackie Hendry

In The Moment ... March 7, 2019 Show 530 Hour 2

A bill ensuring free speech on college campuses is moving ahead in the legislature.  SDPB’s Jackie Hendry has been following the story and visits with Cara Hetland.

    Education and healthcare reporting on SDPB is supported by Regional Health, helping patients and communities live well.

The Senate Education Committee ends the legislative session with a debate on the merit of certain resolutions and the federal Department of Education. A resolution calling for South Dakota’s congressional delegation to support dissolving the department moves to the senate floor without a recommendation. 

Senator Stace Nelson is the resolution’s prime sponsor. He tells the committee this is an issue Republicans have pursued on a national scale since the Department of Education was established in 1979.

In The Moment ... February 28, 2019 Show 525 Hour 2

The legislative session marches on, but no clear solutions yet for the state’s nursing home crisis. Low Medicaid reimbursement rates are putting a strain on South Dakota’s longterm care facilities, but the legislature has killed the only bills brought forth to increase funding. Jackie Hendry joins us now with more.

Education and healthcare reporting on SDPB is supported by Regional Health, helping patients and communities live well.

A bill banning instruction on gender dysphoria in South Dakota schools fails in the Senate State Affairs Committee. The bill’s proponents were unable to convince a majority of the committee that the issue is present in state schools.