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Mitchell school board member selected for Dominican Republic volunteer trip

One Mitchell education official will soon find himself in the Dominican Republic.

Neil Putnam, vice president of the Mitchell Board of Education, was selected to participate in an intensive volunteer effort to build a new community center and cafeteria in Rio Grande, Dominican Republic.

The selection is part of the January 2018 Lifetouch Memory Mission, a group that began in 2000 to volunteer and rebuild communities around the world.

The project Putnam is a part of will continue to add onto a local K-8 school, and he's eager to get started.

"We're going to be engaged with the kids, having lunch with them, and this is their opportunity to learn from us as much as we're going to learn from them," Putnam said.

Putnam added that he plans to share as much information with students as he can about South Dakota.

Putnam, who is also a director for the National School Board Association, is one of 46 school volunteers — who range from school administrators to personnel — that were selected from around the country for the trip. Putnam will depart on Jan. 15 and return Jan. 23.

"I'm really looking forward to this opportunity," Putnam said. "And to help the kids, that's special."