Two South Dakota schools earn national distinction

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Two South Dakota elementary schools, Explorer Elementary (Harrisburg) and Platte-Geddes Elementary, have been named 2021 National ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) Distinguished Schools.

The two schools will now be honored at the National ESEA Conference to be held in February 2022.

In news release, South Dakota Secretary of Education Tiffany Sanderson stated “we are so proud of the staff and students at Explorer Elementary and Platte-Geddes Elementary,” noting that each state may only nominate two schools.

Explorer Elementary was recognized for excellence in serving special populations of students (e.g. homeless, migrant, English learners, etc.), and Platte-Geddes Elementary was recognized for exceptional student performance and academic growth for two or more consecutive years.

“We are very proud to be honored as a National ESEA Distinguished School,” Explorer Elementary Principal Douglas Eppard said, who thanked parents, students, teachers, staff and program directors for their work.

Likewise, Platte-Geddes Elementary Principal Jennifer Knecht praised those within her system, saying “our students, teachers, and parents deserve this prestigious award for their hard work and dedication to academic excellence.”

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