WINNER-Dan Aaker is no stranger to West River.
A Bison native, Aaker is currently the activities director and football coach at Winner High School and the Middle School Principal. He'll now get the chance to represent all the West River schools.
On Monday, the South Dakota High School Activities Association announced three new board of directors and Aaker was voted in as the West River at-large representative.
"I truly look at it as representing all of West River and that's what the position is," Aaker said. "I was born and raised in Bison, which is a very small school. So I am familiar with the struggles these schools deal with. I have obviously been with a Class A school for 18 years now and we host a lot of region events, sub-state events with the SoDak 16. I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on all those things. Hopefully I can bring some of that knowledge to the table."
In April, nominees for three open positions on the SDHSAA Board of Directors were submitted at the SDHSAA annual meeting. Following this nomination, ballots were sent to every SDHSAA member school for a vote. All SDHSAA member schools are entitled to vote for every board position. The votes have been tabulated and approved for these open positions on the SDHSAA Board of Directors.
This is a five-year position that expires June 30, 2024. New members begin their terms on July 1 and their first regularly scheduled meeting is August 21-22.
Aaker's interest in the position stems from being more active as an activities director in recent years, while also serving on a pair of different committees in the state.
"I have been pretty excited to have an even more active role in some of the decision making processes for our student-athletes in all sports and activities and be a voice," Aaker said. "... One of the skills I feel I have is open-mindedness and I listen to all sides and try to make the best decision."
The other positions filled were Wakpala's Barry Mann (Native American representative) and Aberdeen Central's Mark Murphy (Large School Board of Education). The rest of the board of directors include: Sioux Falls' Brian Maher (Division I), Brookings' Randy Soma (Division II), Dakota Valley's Jerry Rasmussen (Division III), Faulkton's Craig Cassens (Division IV), Langford Area's David Planteen (Small School Board of Education) and Sioux Valley's Moe Ruesink (East River at-large).