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Janklow’s Education Contributions Remembered

January 13, 2012, 5:09 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Janklow’s Education Contributions Remembered
ABERDEEN, SD - Even after his death, many of former governor Bill Janklow's projects live on today and are thriving. There are several examples in education.

Whether it was with technology, training or innovative thinking, leaders at Northern State University speak highly of Janklow's contribution to education. They're still seeing his ideas thriving every day when they go to work.

The Center for Statewide E-Learning at Northern State University offers a variety of courses to high school students across the state who might not otherwise have a chance to take those classes before college. It was one of Janklow's pet projects.

"I'm sad that he's gone. I'm glad that I was lucky enough to be a part of one of his dreams," Mary Cundy said.

Cundy was one of the teachers there when it all started more than a decade ago. She heard Janklow pitch the idea with passion, knowing he didn't doubt it would succeed.

It started serving between 200 and 300 students. Now it's at 1,100.

"I don't think that anybody except a really big thinker could have seen the potential for that sort of expansion and that sort of impact on everything in South Dakota," Cundy said.

The center is just one visionary contribution Janklow made to education in the state. It tied in with wiring schools for the internet and training teachers.

NSU's Vice President of Academic Affairs Tom Hawley worked with Janklow on some of those goals.

"To lay out a visionary plan for the state of South Dakota that we currently have and are reaping the benefits of, it's just amazing to me," Hawley said.

With so many successes, Hawley calls Janklow the epitome of a visionary leader. Hawley’s not only impressed with Janklow's many ideas but his ability to combine them under one big vision.

"His vision has now grown into something we just take for granted," Hawley said.

Cundy says there's no way to know the scope Janklow’s efforts had and continue to have on education.

Northern also credits Janklow for being instrumental in the building of the Barnett Center on campus.

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