- Last Updated: 19 July 2021 19 July 2021
The Story of Dr. John Harris
Dr. John Harris served as superintendent of the Sioux Falls School District from 1968-1992. Dr. Harris led the school system with compassion and integrity, touching the lives of thousands of students, teachers, and employees, and guiding the system to be one of the finest in the country. He is remembered for his gentleness, humility, graciousness, professionalism, intelligence, and sincere interest in people. He lived his philosophy that human contacts are the key element to education.
At a ceremony on August 30, 2007, a memorial plaque, purchased by the John Harris P.T.A., was dedicated. The plaque is mounted in the front hallway of the school to remind us all of the special men for whom the school is named. The plaque reads:
“Human contacts are the key element to education.
What we are really trying to do is open doors and expand horizons.
The horizons are different and the doors lead to different opportunities,
but what we are about has not changed.”
-Dr. John Harris
The 2021 Dr. John W. Harris Teacher of the Year event was held on Monday, March 8th.
The Sioux Falls School District is proud of our staff and teachers for your commitment to our children and encompassing the same values and passions as Dr. Harris. Each year the Sioux Falls Public Schools and Vern Eide Motorcars jointly sponsor this prestigious award. Due to COVID, the program will look different this year as we plan for the finalists and their guests attending in person at the Axtell Park Building. The event will be Livestream for all nominees and community members to attend virtually and enjoy from the comfort of home. Please join us as we recognize each nominee and finalist, and ultimately crown the Teacher of the Year!
Nominations are now closed for the 33rd Annual Dr. John W. Harris Teacher of the Year Award!
|Ann Robertson||Whittier MS||2021|
|Janelle Revier||CTE Academy||2020|
|Lynn Thomason||Lincoln High School||2019|
|Kimberly Dobson||Horace Mann Elementary||2018|
|Stefanie Hage||John Harris Elementary||2017|
|Janet Swier||Washington High School||2016|
|Gretchen Johnson||Cleveland Elementary||2015|
|Sarah Henrichs||Axtell Park Middle School||2014|
|Allison Hutchinson||Career & Technical Education Academy||2013|
|Donna LeiningerFinalist||Washington High SchoolFinalist||2012Finalist|
|Nicole Gardner||Harvey Dunn Elementary||2011|
|Teresa Timmerman||Lincoln High School||2010|
|Cher May||Terry Redlin Elementary||2009|
|Barbara Myers||Axtell Park Middle School||2008|
|Sharon Andrews||Challenge Center||2007|
|Karyn Veenis||Patrick Henry Middle School||2006|
|Barbara Dowling||Hawthorne Elementary||2005|
|Brent Eliason||Washington High School||2004|
|Roxie Ahlbrecht||Robert Frost Elementary||2003|
|Sally Rice||Edison Middle School||2002|
|Jeff Lukens||Roosevelt High School||2001|
|Linda Carmody||Eugene Field Elementary||2000|
|Audrey Lofgren||Robert Frost Elementary||1999|
|Bob Dolan||Washington High School||1998|
|Alice Sylliaasen||Eugene Field Elementary||1997|
|Don Reiffenberger||Cleveland Elementary||1996|
|Don Decker||Lincoln High School||1995|
|Judy Davis||Patrick Henry Middle School||1994|
|Phyllis Kruger||Harvey Dunn Elementary||1993|
|Julie Ashworth||Hawthorne Elementary||1992|
|Lois Sudbeck||Little Flower Elementary||1991|
|Sharon Schueler||Roosevelt High School||1990|
|Joan Conner||Lincoln High School||1989|
To be considered for Regional and State Teacher of the Year, the District Candidate should:
- Have a superior ability to inspire students of ALL backgrounds and abilities to learn;
- Be an exceptionally skilled and dedicated classroom teacher;
- Have the respect and admiration of students, parents, and colleagues;
- Play an active and useful role in the community as well as in the school; and
- Be poised, articulate, and have the energy to withstand the demanding schedule that would accompany selection as the South Dakota Teacher of the Year.
District Teacher of the Year becomes a nominee for his or her district’s Regional Teacher of the Year Award. If the District TOY is selected as the Regional TOY, he or she becomes a nominee for the South Dakota TOY. If chosen as the South Dakota TOY, he/she then becomes a candidate for the National TOY.