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Hall of Fame: Conrad PickTea Area School District inducts second Hall of Fame class

When Conrad Pick got on the school board 11 years ago, he wanted to get the district going in the direction they had established when the district was started.

As a members of the committee that worked on splitting the district from Lennox, he and Wayne Larsen both ran for school board that year to re-establish their goals they had set when they became a school district.

Both he and Larsen were on the committee to help form the district.

At the time, the buildings in Tea were overflowing and they were busing a lot of students to Lennox.

In the past 20 years, they have accomplished a lot in the quality of education in the district.

“In the last few years, we’ve had a lot of recognition of our administration, our teachers, our educational process and that’s continuing now where we’re noted as a model school a little bit in the state of South Dakota,” Pick said.

“That’s probably the ultimate satisfaction that our kids are receiving a high quality education and continue to improve that,” Pick added.

When he got on the school board, he had not previous experience of serving on a school board. He got on the board because he was in business managing Scheels stores. He had hired a lot of successful people with Scheels.

“I thought that would be one of my qualifications was hire the quality staff we needed to improve and run our school district,” he said. “My goal was always to hire people that know what they’re doing and could do a better job at that particular task and we did that with the hiring of Dr. (Jennifer) Lowery and the direction she’s taken the school district.”

At the time they hired Lowery, she was an assistant administrator with no real superintendent experience but she had lots of innovative thinking, was enthusiastic and had resources to ask for advice from her father who was a superintendent.

Besides being part of hiring Lowery and other staff, Pick has also headed most of the building projects. They had a plan that every building would be built to be added onto to save taxpayers as much money as possible with expansions. Those expansions came faster than planned due to the accelerated growth in the district and town.

“Our district is not very big. That’s a real shout out to our community for building the school system we have. It’s grown so much we’re over a million-dollar payroll,” he said.

Pick is grateful for the honor of being inducted into the Hall of Fame.

“I would say there’s a lot of people that won’t get recognized. It’s a good feeling. It was a huge team effort. I can’t take any credit. I showed up a lot and volunteered a lot. It’s a lot of people,” Pick said.

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