Culhane to retire as Mitchell School District business manager, DWU's Kriese to assume role in 2023

Longtime district employee has served in the business office since 1984

Steve Culhane, who has worked in the business office at the Mitchell School District since 1984 and since 1994 as business manager, is expected to retire from the position at the end of the school year.
Mitchell Republic File Photo
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MITCHELL — There will be a change in one of the top administrative positions at the Mitchell School District next school year.

Steve Culhane, business manager for the district, is retiring at the end of the 2022-23 school year. The effective date for his retirement is June 30, 2023, according to the personnel information included with the Dec. 12 Mitchell Board of Education meeting agenda.

Culhane told the Mitchell Republic it was a good time for him to step away from the position, citing a desire to spend more time with family and travel.

“It’s time for a new chapter in my life and just spend more time with the grandkids, traveling and trying something else that will keep me busy,” Culhane told the Mitchell Republic.

Culhane has been with the district since 1984, when he began work in the business office as comptroller. He became business manager in 1994.


Theresa Kriese, who serves as executive vice president and chief financial officer for Dakota Wesleyan University, is expected to step into the district business manager role. Her effective hire date is listed as July 1, 2023.

Kriese, Theresa.png
Theresa Kriese

Kriese has a background with the Mitchell School District, having served as executive vice president at Mitchell Technical College until 2008 when she transitioned to Dakota Wesleyan. She also served as chief financial officer at the two-year technical school and is a former member of the Mitchell Board of Education, on which she served as president for a time.

Culhane said Kriese’s experience and history with the district should make for a smooth transition.

“Overall, it won’t skip a beat,” Culhane said.

Kriese is expected to stay in her position at Dakota Wesleyan through May.

Both Kriese’s hire and Culhane’s retirement are contingent upon approval by the board at the Dec. 12 meeting.

It’s been a long career with the district, he said, and it will be a little odd to step away from his duties after having worked for the district for nearly 40 years. But the chance to spend time with family without being beholden to a work schedule will be a blessing.

“The big unknown is: What am I going to do on a daily basis once I don’t have to show up for work on a Monday morning in July?” he chuckled. “I’m a little excited and a little apprehensive at the same time. But it’s a good time for me to step away.”

Erik Kaufman joined the Mitchell Republic in July of 2019 as an education and features reporter. He grew up in Freeman, S.D., graduating from Freeman High School. He graduated from the University of South Dakota in 1999 with a major in English and a minor in computer science. He can be reached at
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