Today's children are considered digital natives and those attending Mitchell's L.B. Williams Elementary School are benefitting from one teacher's passion for integrating technology into the classroom. Dina Vander Wilt has been teaching kindergarten for 20 years, 12 of those years in Mitchell. Throughout her career, she has insisted upon technology in the classroom where other teachers were reluctant. For those teachers, Vander Wilt has become a mentor and instructor.
Mitchell's Veterans of Foreign Wars Post recently learned hail damage to its building's roof will require either patching or complete replacement. Dr. Martin Christensen, past commander of VFW Post 2750, said they discovered a leak in one corner of the building at 215 N. Main St. and did minor repairs around the edge. "We thought it was the sprinkler system leaking at first," Christensen said. "Then it came through at a greater rate." To repair or replace the roof could cost up to $25,000 and the VFW post is looking into getting bids for the job.
Mitchell’s prom is a well-oiled machine, but not without 25 years of hard work by two key players. High school teachers Lori Schmidt and Tom Berg teach across the hall from each other, which has made collaboration easy. But what really jump-started their partnership was Schmidt wanting to quit coaching.
Mitchell High School sculpture students did a collective happy dance to celebrate their unique art submission being chosen in the top 50 for a national contest. Two groups worked on designs for two pairs of Vans shoes to enter the Vans Custom Culture competition. The school that wins the top prize will take home $75,000 for its art department. Now, it’s up to the public to start voting on Monday and boost the students toward the top 5.
Craig Bennett didn't happen upon the Veteran Service Officer position. He was built for it. Bennett, a 22-year U.S. Navy veteran, has served other veterans through other jobs in the Veterans Administration, but began this position in January. "As a veteran, I help veterans. And then veterans help other veterans. We're all one team," he said.
A Mount Vernon man showed no emotion during court when he was sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison for stealing $400,000 from a local farming family. Merle Northrup, 48, was employed by farmers David and Scott Estabrook in the Mount Vernon area. Between 2012 and 2016, Northrup transported and sold several loads of corn and soybeans to Cenex Harvest States (CHS) and POET Biorefining plants in the area. He sold the grain under his own name, received payment and did not give any of the money to the Estabrooks.
WESSINGTON SPRINGS — Kenzee Schafer is not deterred by criticism. The freshman student at Wessington Springs High School likes to create art and learn from any harsh words judges may send her way. Schafer's tenacity recently garnered her Best of Show at the 2018 Youth Art Show at Dakota Discovery Museum in Mitchell with her most vibrant painting — "Native Spirit." "I was shocked," she said. "It was surprising. I entered, thought I'd do all right because it was something I liked and it turned out good."
The Ethan American Legion received a $3,000 grant Thursday evening from Poet Biorefining. Becky Pitz, general manager at Poet in Mitchell, said 27 other entities applied for the first-ever Poet Never Satisfied Community Grant. "The Ethan American Legion is constantly giving back to the community of Ethan," Pitz said in an email to The Daily Republic. "They are selfless in their acts and never stop caring for the people and town they serve."
Kelley Thury's solid calling into the ministry began with a look and a nod. In 2010, Thury enlisted in the South Dakota National Guard and attended basic combat training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. During basic, her drill sergeant prayed over the group and said each one would go on to different fields — some would leave the Guard, others would stay in, and yet others would enter the Chaplain Corps. "He looked right at me and did a little nod," Thury said. "I said OK and sought it out."
Students at Mitchell High School now have more opportunity to discover the world of 3D printing. Marica Shannon, the visual arts instructor, applied for and received $3,000 in funding through the Kernel Innovation to Develop Success (KIDS) Community Grant. Shannon was able to purchase a stationary scanner, an Occipital scanner, and several iPad PROs, all of which can be used in conjunction with the 3D printers the school acquired earlier through a grant from Toshiba.