Senator John Thune
As baseball tournaments come to a close and summer days spent by the pool dwindle, South Dakota families slowly gear up for the start of a new school year. I always enjoy this peaceful time of year in South Dakota. The song of cicadas is a reminder of the last few dog days of summer. The familiar sound of combines harvesting truckload after truckload of corn, soybeans, and other crops marks the end of another productive year and the beginning of another school season.
School supplies replace the shorts and swimsuits on store shelves, while teachers prepare their classrooms and finalize their lessons plans. This is an exciting time of year for families, even if the kids are not quite ready for summer to be over so soon.
The family calendar slowly becomes littered with Friday night football games, marching band practices, and cross country meets. Parents stay busy attending booster club meetings and school events to cheer on the local team, while kids get back in the routine of balancing homework, after school clubs, and sports practice.
While it is easy to get swept up in back-to-school activities, we must also take time to remember how fortunate we are in South Dakota to have such dedicated teachers and staff in our school systems. South Dakota's standard of excellence in the classroom is a prized tradition. We value our dedicated teachers who set up our students for a lifetime of success. Both of my parents were educators in Murdo and I saw firsthand how that dedication can impact students.
After the school supplies are purchased, the class teachers are announced, and the afterschool activities are planned, let us all strive to make this year the best school year yet in South Dakota. The future of our state lies in the success of our children.