Tea Area’s high school principal Collin Knudson has been named South Dakota’s Region 2 Principal of the Year.
Knudson, who has been with the district for 10 years and principal for the last four of those years, came to the district after teaching middle school in Flandreau. Originally from Brandon, he got his bachelor’s degree from Dakota State University and his master’s degree from the University of South Dakota.
Region 2 consists of about 40 districts in the southeast portion of the state.
In his time as principal, Knudson has enjoyed working with a great staff and learning about his students.
“We have an awesome group of teachers and an awesome group of students and a very supportive community,” he said.
Superintendent Jennifer Lowery agrees that his team in the high school has improved the education for Tea Area students.
“Mr. Knudson spends a lot of time at work and takes a lot of pride in the high school and the programming that it has. His leadership with really good staff members … has made our high school successful,” Lowery said.
Knudson said every day is different when he comes to work. Every year is different with new kids coming into the building.
“When the kids are here, the day goes by quicker. I don’t remember the last six months because it’s just going by so quick, which is a good thing,” Knudson said. “It’s better than sitting at a desk staring at the clock.”
Assistant principal David Preheim said Knudson works hard for students and wants them to succeed. Since he has been the principal, the high school has started the principal’s cabinet, honors program and Titan Hour. Soon the high school will also be able to offer more science, technology, engineering and math courses.
“Mr. Knudson has high expectations for himself, the teachers and students at Tea Area High School. He works hard to help students become academically successful as well as positive contributors to the school community,” Preheim said.
High school secretary Bonnie Haupt said Knudson is always a helping hand around the school.
“Mr. Knudson never hesitates to lend a helping hand; on any given day, he might be mopping up a spill in the hallway, unjamming a locker, shoveling the sidewalk, assisting a student with medical needs or scooping ketchup in the lunch line,” Haupt said. “He is always there to support students and staff and encourages everyone to reach their fullest potential.”
Knudson will go on to vie for the honor of South Dakota Principal of the Year at the state conference in April.