HURON — The Huron State of Schools luncheon was held in conjunction with the Huron Kiwanis Club, where representatives of Huron Public Schools, Huron Community Campus and James Valley Christian School spoke about the various areas of development in each establishment of education in the community.
The luncheon took place Thursday afternoon at the Huron Event Center.
Michelle Schoenfelder, the principal at Holy Trinity Catholic School was unable to attend the informative meeting.
A welcome was given by Huron Kiwanis Club President Jesse Van Heukelom, followed by Governmental Affairs Committee member Mike Held, who introduced the speakers, plus special guests Leadership Huron Class of 2018-19.
“Thank you to Kiwanis for co-hosting this with the Governmental Affairs Committee and the Huron Chamber of Commerce,” Mike Held said.
The Huron Public Schools Superintendent Terry Nebelsick thanked everyone who has come together to work on continuing development of the education for young adults in the community, the continuing growth in enrollment, plus the many initiatives and focuses that the Huron School District prioritizes.
“We can celebrate that our enrollment continues to grow. We are up 48 students from last year with 2,660 students,” Nebelsick explained. “We are working on several initiatives, one of those is school safety. We have become a part of the Stand-Up project, which allows students and adults to text any concern which is then referenced immediately. I am very thrilled about our student achievement and that the students in the Huron School District have been able to show a steady line of improvements.”
Nebelsick also noted that the school board’s goals of staff development are continuing to produce strong outcomes with the focus on the consistent improvement of student achievement. There is a focus on improvements being made to the school’s facilities to ensure safety and security, and the continued strong relationship between the school district and the state legislators.
“As far as fiscal responsibility, we do not intend to rely on an opt-out, we have become solvent and will stay within our means,” Nebelsick said. “I am very proud of that and the financial stakeholders guiding us to the financial solution. We are either South Dakota’s largest small town or smallest city, and I am unbelievably blessed to be a part of it.”
Doug Pietz, the Executive Director of Huron Community Campus discussed some of the strategic focus and goals, accompanied by Jeremy Reed, the Vice President of Enrollment Management at Northern State University.
“The strategic planning committee of the HCC advisory board came together and drafted three goals and focuses on different areas,” Pietz said. “The first one is redefining the NSU business relationship, we’re making some huge strides of students attending classes at HCC understanding that they are NSU students. The second focus we had was expanding and diversifying programs that are offered at HCC, and goal three is the conjunction that HCC has with Southeast Technical institute, we are offering classes at HCC through Southeast Tech to get an associates degree in nursing which is a huge thing for our community.”
James Valley Christian School Superintendent Brian Held outlined the school’s priorities of academics, activities and Christianity, as well as touching base on the construction project that JVCS is working on, plus the importance of community involvement that school maintains through various activities such as the JVCS auction and fundraiser that was recently held.
“It was decided we were going to do an expansion, we are adding on a multi-purpose gymnasium, which will be used for banquets, practices and all the different things we have in there, concerts and more various different events. We feel very excited about this possibility that we have through this project,” Held explained.