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Lynn Vlasman, Lyman School District
SDSSA President




Superintendents of South Dakota:

I look forward to the 2016-17 school year and the honor of serving as your SDSSA President.  I have been blessed to work in education for 41 years and the last 20 as a superintendent.  During that time I gained greatly from the advice and leadership of former and current superintendents.  This is a profession that almost requires that we network and learn from our peers.  SDSSA and AASA are tremendous professional organizations and I thank those of you that are members and certainly encourage those that are not to consider joining. 

SASD and SDSSA as well as other educational groups have worked hard over the last several years to draw attention to teacher shortages and the increasing pay disparity between SD and its neighboring states.  That hard work has paid off with the Legislature and the Governor passing historic legislation to increase K-12 funding by over $ 60 million dollars.  It was a hard fought battle and it involved a number of amendments and compromises that had some negative impacts, but overall it allowed many SD districts to provide our dedicated teachers with some of the largest pay increases in the history of our state.  I personally had doubts until the day the Governor signed the bill that I would ever see SD address the problem of low teacher compensation.  I commend those that served on the Blue Ribbon Task Force and Governor Daugaard for their leadership.

 We are in the first year of the new state aid formula and our work is not done.  We need to continue to assess whether the new formula will allow SD to continue to close the compensation gap with our neighboring states.  This is difficult because those states may have more financial resources than SD.  Where we do compete is in the quality and dedication of our teachers and the character and ability of our SD students.  We cannot afford to slip back after this large step forward.  We cannot afford to lose our teachers or our young people to neighboring states.  We are dependent upon an investment in quality education that will provide the leaders of tomorrow to move SD forward.

 As administrators we continue to face new issues and challenges on a daily basis.  Our role is to work collaboratively with the federal government, state agencies, and our local communities always with the intent of doing what is in the best interest of our students.  This can mean advocating for maintaining or expanding funding for special programs such as our federal Title programs, proposed changes in our school lunch programs, and implementing the changes in the new Every Student Succeeds Act.  On the Civil Rights front, we may wrestle with how to best balance the rights of transgender students with the issues of privacy for all students.  These are significant challenges.

 At the state level we are just beginning to review and assess the data from our first year of using the Smarter Balance Assessment.  Educators across SD will be examining that data to identify areas of student strength and those that need improvement.  The SD Dept. of Ed. is working to assist schools as they make the transition from the former DSTEP assessment to a significantly different test.  These are big challenges, but our teachers and administrators are up to the task and will provide feedback to the SD Dept. of Ed. on areas of concern in working with the new assessment.  This is a significant challenge. 

 At the local level, I am often overwhelmed at the amount of support that we get from our communities and the businesses within our communities.  My experience has been if you can demonstrate a legitimate need for young people, your communities will work hard to find a way to meet it.  I believe this is true of every school district in SD. 

 There are good things happening in SD at every level.  Our schools are often an integral part of those changes and we have a tremendous responsibility as leaders within our respective districts.  I wish you the very best as you face those challenges this year and remind you that you are not alone.  If you reach out to a fellow superintendent or to the SDSSA, help is never far away. 


Mr. Lynn Vlasman

SDSSA President




SDSSA Sponsors

Discovery Education


  D.A. Davidson --  Dalsin -- Foster, Jacobs & Johnson -- G.A. Johnson -- GenPro Energy Solutions --Golden West Technolgies -- Great Plains Brokerage -- Horace Mann -- Howalt+McDowell Ins. Infinite Campus -- Johnson Controls --  Lunchtime Solutions -- Tremco


A&B Business -- Architecture Inc. -- ASBSD Protective Trust -- CBM Managed Services -- CrisisGO -- Delta Dental -- Direct Digital -- Doughterty & Co. -- G & R Controls -- Lightspeed Technologies -- North Central Bus & Equipment -- Trane -- TSP


Balfour Yearbooks -- Elite Business Systems -- Foreman Sales & Service --  Plan Services -- Puetz Corp -- SW/WC Service Coop

SDSSA Contact Information
Brian Field, Secretary