Recent Press Releases

Washington, D.C. —  U.S. Senator John Thune today announced that the U.S. Department of Education is currently accepting nominations for the American Stars of Teaching awards. These awards recognize teachers across the nation who improve student achievement, use innovative strategies in the classroom, and make a difference in the lives of students.

"As the son of two school teachers, I know the importance that teachers have in the lives of their students," said Thune. "We all have had teachers who have been positive influences on our lives. This award recognizes the teachers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty--increasing achievement and brightening the future of South Dakota's children."

The following is a list of South Dakota teachers who received this award in the past:

2007 | Mike Olson | Bennett County High School | Martin
2006 | Lois Stuefen | Elkton Elementary School | Elkton
2005 | Lloyd Trautmann | DIAL Virtual School |
2004 | Karen Lukens | 2nd Grade | Hawthorne Elementary | Sioux Falls

Nominations will be accepted through March 31, 2008. To nominate a teacher, go to