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Top students In SD honored at banquet

The Class of 2024’s best and brightest students were recognized recently at the 34th Annual Academic Excellence Recognition luncheon.

Governor Kristi Noem’s office, Lieutenant Governor Larry Rhoden and the Associated School Boards of South Dakota (ASBSD) honored students who were identified as the top one percent of their senior class, from the state’s Public, Private and Tribal/BIE schools on Monday, Apr. 29. 

Students designated as their high school’s honorees received a certificate, signed by the Governor, a commemorative South Dakota pin and the opportunity to meet and have their photo taken with Lieutenant Governor Rhoden.

Honored from Tea Area High School were 2024 Valedictorian Taylor Johanneson and 2024 Salutatorian Katelyn Vasecka. Vasecka was unable to attend the event. 

This year’s banquet message was delivered by Lieutenant Governor Larry Rhoden. Lt. Governor Rhoden commended the seniors for their outstanding academic achievement. 

“What a privilege it is for me to be here,” aid Lt. Governor Rhoden told the seniors. “I want to congratulate each and every one of you. It’s clear your futures are very bright and preparing for your future is our priority.”

Recipients were encouraged to remain in South Dakota to pursue their college education and establish and continue their careers in our great state. 

The Lt. Governor’s message urged the academic honorees to not be afraid to “say yes” to new opportunities and challenges. Highlighting the fact that “saying yes” often leads to greater opportunities that were never thought possible.

ASBSD President Louann Krogman shared the students “epitomize the value of hard work that is ingrained in South Dakotans” which deserved the recognition they were receiving.

“Students, today we celebrate your well-earned accomplishments,” Krogman said. “You have worked so hard to reach the academic heights you have and we’re thrilled to be able to recognize your achievement.”

An achievement ASBSD Executive Director Dr. Douglas R. Wermedal urged students and their supporters to celebrate.

“Please, don’t miss celebrating what you’ve accomplished,” Dr. Wermedal told those in attendance. “Make sure you recognize and celebrate your academic excellence and the families who supported you.


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