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Tessier's co-owner appointed to SD Board of Education

Longtime Mitchell resident Gopal Vyas has been appointed to the South Dakota Board of Education by Gov. Dennis Daugaard following the resignation of eight-year member Terry Sabers, also of Mitchell.

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Longtime Mitchell resident Gopal Vyas has been appointed to the South Dakota Board of Education by Gov. Dennis Daugaard following the resignation of eight-year member Terry Sabers, also of Mitchell.

Vyas, who has been a Mitchell resident for 38 years, is the chairman of Tessier's Inc., a mechanical contracting company, specifically heating, ventilation and air conditioning. He joined Tessier's in 1977 as executive vice president, responsible for all construction. He became a co-owner when APi Group acquired Tessier's in 2007.

Vyas received a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in India, a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Ohio University and a master's of business administration from Boston University.

"I'm pretty pleased to be appointed and I hope to learn a lot on how our education system works and hopefully help and make a difference in what our students are doing," Vyas said Monday in an interview with the Daily Republic.

Vyas' appointment will extend through December 2019. He said he will first learn how the board functions before jumping into anything. But other than that, he plans to continue promoting education and help grow graduation rates in the state.

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"I believe in education," Vyas said.

Technical education is very important, Vyas said. He has chaired the foundation board with the Mitchell Technical Institute for several years. Vyas also serves on the board of trustees of Dakota Wesleyan University and chairs their Academic and Student Affairs Committee.

Vyas is also involved with the Abbott House and is the chairman of the foundation.

Vyas will be replacing Sabers, who resigned on June 23. Sabers was appointed to the Board of Education eight years ago in March 2008.

In his resignation letter, Sabers stated he "personally learned a great amount about the entire education process."

Sabers' reason for resigning included a recent family business fire at Tickled Pink, a clothing store located on Mitchell's Main Street. The fire was caused by a recalled dehumidifier.

"The combination of a recent family business fire and other family, business and personal commitments has prompted me to evaluate my time commitment to the board activities as well as other areas of personal involvement," Sabers said in his resignation.

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