Education expo aims to inspire next generation of educators

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — More high schoolers in KELOLAND may be getting a better idea of what they want to do after they graduate.

It’s all thanks to the Education Expo held at the University of Sioux Falls on Tuesday.

Ainsley Plack is a senior at Harrisburg High School, but on Tuesday she was learning at the University of Sioux Falls.

She’s one of the students who attended the expo.

The event also gave Plack a taste of the USF campus and education program as she considers a career as a teacher.

“I’ve got to start looking at college, stuff like that, but also because I’m interested in education and learning and growing with peers around me,” Harrisburg senior Ainsley Plack said.

Nearly 140 high schoolers from South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa signed up for the event.

“We have a national shortage of teachers across the country and it’s really important that we reach as many students as possible now in the high school years to hopefully build up that profession that they want to be an aspiring educator,” USF assistant professor of special education Jamie Juhl said.

USF hosted the event with Educators Rising South Dakota, an organization aimed at growing the next generation of teachers.

Students heard from guest speakers, took part in break-out sessions and more.

“It’s not your traditional just show up to campus, tour campus, have lunch, and send them on their way. It’s really about getting them involved with the professors and seeing what it would be like to attend the university of Sioux Falls,” Educators Rising South Dakota state director Travis Lape said.

While USF is an option for Plack, she hasn’t settled on a school just yet.

But she is certain about her passion for education.

“I really just want to show students that they can learn and grow and what makes everyone so unique and different, I want them to know how unique and different they are in their own special way,” Plack said.

Just recently, Educators Rising was on the University of South Dakota’s campus.

The organization has visits planned to Dakota Wesleyan and Northern State later this year.

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