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Board of Technical Education tabs Wendell as executive director

PIERRE -- Nick Wendell has been hired as the executive director of the South Dakota Board of Technical Education. The board unanimously approved his hiring during a special meeting today in Pierre. Wendell is now the director of the Center for St...

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PIERRE - Nick Wendell has been hired as the executive director of the South Dakota Board of Technical Education.

The board unanimously approved his hiring during a special meeting today in Pierre.

Wendell is now the director of the Center for Student Engagement at South Dakota State University in Brookings. He'll start his new job Nov. 6.

His salary as executive director for the state board will be $100,000. He finishes a term on Brookings City Council in March. He won't seek another term. He'll be allowed to continue to live in Brookings for at least six months. Dana Dykhouse, chairman of the Board of Technical Education, said Wendell can decide in the coming months on where the best location would be for his new job.

The Legislature established the Board of Technical Education earlier this year after South Dakota voters adopted Constitutional Amendment R last year. Wendell and the board will oversee public technical institutes in Watertown, Mitchell, Rapid City and Sioux Falls.

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Board members received about 70 applications for the executive director post and interviewed four people during a meeting last week in Watertown.

Dykhouse, from Sioux Falls, said Wendell was excited to get the call and that the other three finalists were also good options.

"He's excited about this opportunity," Dykhouse said of Wendell. "We're excited about it. I think he'll be the right person for the job."

Terry Sabers, a board member from Mitchell and vice president of Muth Electric, believes Wendell will do a great job.

"I think it's a good move and a good plan," Sabers said.

Wendell also spoke of his new job in a news release.

"I am grateful for the opportunity to serve South Dakota in this capacity and eager to get to work with the Board of Technical Education in helping our state's technical institutes build upon their success," Wendell said in a news release from the state announcing his hiring.

His salary at SDSU is $72,814.

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