Best, brightest of 2022 recognized for academic excellence

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PIERRE – The best and brightest from the Class of 2022 were recently recognized for their academic achievements during their high school career. 

On May 9, Gov. Kristi Noem and the Associated School Boards of South Dakota honored students who were identified as the top 1% of their senior class, from the state’s public, private and tribal schools as part of the 32nd annual Academic Excellence Recognition event. 

Honorees from the Brookings area include: Joshua Park and Aditya Tummala from Brookings High School; Erin Haufschild from Arlington High School; Mackenzie Hemmer from Colman-Egan High School; Emma Vandermeer from Deubrook Area High School; Charles Harming from Elkton High School; Makenzie Hendricks from Estelline High School; Austin Kulm from Flandreau High School; Trace Many Wounds from Flandreau Indian High School; and Kamryn Schwartz from Sioux Valley High School.

Students designated as their high school’s honoree(s) received a certificate, South Dakota pin and the opportunity to meet and have their photo taken with Noem.

“I am just so proud of you and all your academic accomplishments. I think it’s phenomenal the way you’ve applied yourself,” Noem told students during the event, adding the state is “committed to you and what you’d like to do in your future.” 

“We want you to achieve the highest level of your dreams.” 

ASBSD President Eric Stroeder added the hope is for these special students to share their talents with the people of South Dakota in the future.

“Many of us hope you will stay in South Dakota and become the next generation of leaders for our state,” Stroeder said. “We need your talents and skills. We need your ideas and creativity. We need you to continue to push our great state forward.”


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