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South Dakota sees a large number of superintendent job openings potentially due to COVID-19

Published: Apr. 23, 2021 at 6:29 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - South Dakota school districts have 28 superintendent job openings this year, with 17 of those openings coming from the current superintendent retiring.

“It’s not the largest,” said Tom Oster, the owner of Dakota Education Consulting. “The 2011-2012 school year was the largest after the major budget cuts in education. But this year ranks right up there and a lot of that has to do, I think, with the stress from COVID.”

While 2021 superintendent turnover isn’t dramatically higher than normal years, the amount of retirements is.

“What we’re seeing this year is superintendents retiring a little bit younger than they typically would. I do think if you have the ability to retire that dealing with COVID might have sped up that process,” Oster said.

Terry Nebelsick has worked in education for 44, including being the superintendent of the Huron School District for the last 10 years. He has decided to retire this year.

“The work that was entailed was different than the work of my first 43 years. Really, the focus became normalcy with as much safety as possible,” Nebelsick said.

Nebelsick’s decision to retire was less about COVID itself, rather, it was more about future preparedness.

“When we saw that the corner was being turned and that it looked like we could have everything established for normalcy for the next superintendent and the community, then we really felt like it was the right time,” Nebelsick said.

Beresford, Canton, Parkston, Dakota Valley, as well as others, are all seeing turnover at the Superintendent position due to retirements.

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