The Mitchell Board of Education approved a contract extension for school district Superintendent Joe Graves at its most recent regular meeting Monday.

The new contract keeps Graves under contract with the district through 2023. The board did not discuss compensation terms for the extension, which is a detail that will be addressed when the board determines administration compensation later in the spring. The current salary for Graves is $142,765 a year.

The board has traditionally approved a new three-year contract for the district superintendent on a yearly basis. The board approved the contract extension after an executive session of just over an hour to conduct Graves’ yearly evaluation.

Deb Olson, president of the Mitchell Board of Education, said she was pleased to have Graves under contract for the district through 2022.

“We feel privileged to have someone who has his longevity, his abilities and his skills in the district,” Olson said.

Graves, 56, said he was looking forward to continuing his work with the district, which he joined as superintendent when he was hired in 2000. He is currently in his 20th year working for the Mitchell School District.

“I’m very excited about it. The board was very generous in their evaluation, and there is always another set of opportunities in each new instructional year,” Graves said.

MTI site house

The board of education also declared surplus the 2019-20 Mitchell Technical Institute student-built house to that it may be sold by sealed bids.

The board declared surplus the 2019-20 student-built house lot located at 2203 Dean Dr. in Mitchell. The house is listed as Lot Six, Tract H in the Wild Oak Golf Club Addition to the city of Mitchell.

According to Graves, this was the first year the house was constructed by first-year students in the shop, then moved to the site to be completed by the same students during their second year on-site. Second-year students poured the footings, foundation and basement floor of the structure, and a small addition was added to the back of the house. The basement will be partially finished in addition to completing the interior of the house.

The house will now be advertised for sale by sealed bid, with the bid opening taking place in early March. If the house does not sell by sealed bid, the district will list the property for sale with a realtor.


  • Hires: Tiffany Cundy, general food service, $13.50 per hour, Jan. 6; Matthew Schilling, Title VII, $13 per hour, Jan. 6

  • Transfers: Glenn Grindheim SPED paraeducator to special education paraeducator, Jan. 6; Kelsie Mastel, fourth-grade teacher, Longfellow to fourth grade teacher at L.B. Williams.

  • Resignations: Savannah Fischer, food service, Jan. 10; Kim Akins-Viviers, paraeducator, Mitchell Middle School, Jan. 3

  • Retirement/Early Retirement: TerriAnn Murray, fourth-grade teacher, L.B. Williams, end of 2019-20 school year.

  • Retirement: Ardis Beck, special services, L.B. Williams, end of 2019-20 school year.

  • MTI New Hires: Jennifer Schulte, IST spring 2020 adjunct, $2,400, Jan. 6; Kim Mohr, part-time LPN clinical instructor, $6,720, Jan. 6; Kasey Thomas, part-time Rad Tech clinical instructor, Rapid City, $4,760, Jan. 6; Anna Johnson, custodian, $15.30 per hour, Jan. 6.

  • MTI Retirement: Dave VerSteeg, telecom instructor, July 31, 2020.

Other business

Also on Monday, the board:

  • Approved the second reading of revised board policies regarding regular meetings, executive sessions and notification of board meetings. The changes bring board policy into line with South Dakota state codified law. The first reading of the revised policies was approved at the December meeting of the board.

  • Heard reports from members of the board and the superintendent.

The next meeting of the board of education is scheduled for Feb. 10 at Mitchell Technical Institute at 5 p.m. The meeting is open to the public.