Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce
Member Voices

A Letter from the Superintendent

Dear Sioux Falls School District Community,

As we embark on this new year of 2024, I want to remind everyone of South Dakota’s legislative session and stress the importance of our united support for public education. Our schools are the heart of our community, shaping the future of Sioux Falls. It is essential that we work together to ensure they have the resources and backing they need now and into the future.

The legislative session is when important decisions affecting critical areas, such as social services, juvenile justice, early childhood education, and academic opportunities, are on the table. I am hopeful that our legislators will prioritize constructive dialogue and actions over nattering negativity, keeping in mind Theodore Roosevelt’s words about the “Man in the Arena” and focusing on those actively contributing to positive change.

In our public education arena, I want to applaud our dedicated teachers and staff as the people who show up every day for children in our schools. Recognizing the vital roles they play, the need for fair compensation through appropriate state funding has to be an ongoing priority. Supporting our educators isn’t just about gratitude; it’s about preserving the foundation of our educational system.

I was recently in a room full of great Sioux Falls leaders. I asked them to raise their hands if they attended public schools. The vast majority raised their hands. I asked them to keep their hands up if they were a failure. None of them stayed up because that’s the reality of public education – successful community members who provide the goods, services, and leadership that have created the flourishing city of Sioux Falls for decades.

Let’s stand united in supporting public education and other critical areas impacting our children’s lives.

We only need to look around and see what public education has successfully produced – medical teams, teachers, bankers, business owners, entrepreneurs, entertainers, farmers, police officers, and many other professions and professionals too numerous to count.

As we approach the legislative session, let’s stand united in supporting public education and other critical areas impacting our children’s lives. Together, we contribute to the betterment of our schools and the holistic development of our community.

Every day, our schools open the doors for any child who comes through them, and sometimes, we even go and get them and help them get to school. That’s what the “public” in public education is – every child – your child.

Increasingly, in our world, some thrive on criticism without offering constructive solutions. To them, Theodore Roosevelt might say, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.”

The actions of our entire staff speak louder than the words of any nattering naysayer. If someone is concerned about public education – I invite them to join us in the real arena. It’s open to all.


Jane Stavem

Dr. Jane Stavem

Superintendent, Sioux Falls School District