Western South Dakota's Only Ranch Station

Meade 46-1 School Board discusses future growth; approves contract for Kirkegaard

STURGIS, S.D. – The Meade 46-1 School Board discussed growth at Piedmont Valley Elementary School at their monthly meeting last night.

Superintendent Jeff Simmons says they seen 7-percent growth at Piedmont last year and that opens up some issues.

“The issue is do you limit open enrollment or do you open it up, and former school board member Curtis Johnson took to the podium and made a really good point that, you know, we need to continue to grow enrollment. Growth is a good problem to have. Enrollment is the engine that drives school finance.”

Simmons says they face a scenario in which they are maxed out in about five years.

“If we continue to grow at the rate we are, we are going to maxed out capacity in about five years, and you know trying to pass a bond election in our community would probably be a challenge. So, we have to stockpile capital outlay dollars to build on down there. We can do that, we have the funds to do it, but we’re also using the funds to pay for teacher salaries, so we have some decision to make in regard to our budget and how we are going to use those funds.”

Simons say they are also excited about possible growth in Sturgis.

The board last night also approved a contract to hire Don Kirkegaard as interim superintendent when Simmons steps down in June.

Kirkegaard is a former superintendent for Meade 46-1 who left in 2017 to serve as Secretary of the Department of Education. Kirkegaard stepped down from that post in July of 2018.

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photo courtesy Great Plains Fire


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