SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — In 1871, the Civil War was recent history. It was also the year the Sioux Falls School District formally came to fruition, and on Tuesday the district recognized its 150th anniversary at Jefferson High School. Here, at a location that has yet to even have its first day of school, the district looked toward both its inception and future.
Jane Stavem is the district’s superintendent, but on Tuesday she also offered a history lesson.
“The first real schoolhouse, not counting the classroom at the front of the butcher shop — think about that for just a minute — opened in 1878 and was known as Central School,” Stavem said.
Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken was at Tuesday’s anniversary event, too.
“I just want to reinforce what an incredible district we have here in Sioux Falls,” TenHaken said. “As someone who gets to talk with mayoral colleagues across the country, we have a very special school system here.”
Any history lesson can apply to the future as well.
“If those who came before us 150 years ago were here today, they simply wouldn’t believe their eyes,” Stavem said. “And now it’s our turn as part of the ongoing legacy of this great district to make sure that 150 years from now, those who come after us can proudly stand on our shoulders.”
KELOLAND News asked school board president Cynthia Mickelson how the district is ready to tackle the future; her response centers on communication.
“Always being in communication with our community, knowing what they need, what the students need, so that they can succeed,” Mickelson said. “Because we want to make sure we’re meeting every student where they are. So that might mean something different in five years, 10 years, 150 years.”
The first day of the upcoming school year is August 26.