Photos: Governor Daugaard Attends Ribbon-Cutting at New Aberdeen Technical Academy

Governor Dennis Daugaard joined numerous luminaries today at 1 p.m. on the Aberdeen Central High School campus to celebrate the opening of the A-TEC Academy. Below are some photos of the ribbon-cutting and the new career and technical education building.

Mayor Mike Levsen speaks at ribbon-cutting for A-TEC Academy, Aberdeen, South Dakota
Mayor Mike Levsen notes that the Aberdeen school district built the five-million-dollar A-TEC Academy in less than a year, thanks in part to support from Governor Dennis Daugaard, in the form of a two-million-dollar grant from the Future Fund.
Tom Hurlbert, CO-OP Architecture, thanks local contractors who swiftly turned his A-TEC Academy designs into reality.
Tom Hurlbert, CO-OP Architecture, thanks local contractors who swiftly turned his A-TEC Academy designs into reality.
Governor Dennis Daugaard, A-TEC Academy ribbon cutting, Aberdeen, South Dakota
Governor Daugaard awaits his turn at the mic.
85 degrees, high noon sun, but Governor Daugaard and Mayor Levsen remain totally cool.
85 degrees, high noon sun, but Governor Daugaard and Mayor Levsen remain totally cool.
After deeming Governor Dennis Daugaard an honorary Aberdeen Central Golden Eagle, Superintendent Becky Guffin wishes the Golden Eagle soccer team luck against the Pierre Kernels in their match later in the day.
After deeming Governor Dennis Daugaard an honorary Aberdeen Central Golden Eagle, Superintendent Becky Guffin wishes the Golden Eagle soccer team luck against the Pierre Governors in their match later in the day.
Ribbon cutting, A-TEC Academy, Aberdeen, South Dakota
Local chamber members gather around Governor Daugaard to cut the ribbon for the A-TEC Academy.
Mayor Mike Levsen, A-TEC lead architect Tom Hurlbert, Superintendent Becky Guffin, Governor Dennis Daugaard, chief of staff Tony Venhuizen, and Secretary of Education Melody Schopp discuss the new A-TEC Academy.
Mayor Mike Levsen, A-TEC lead architect Tom Hurlbert, Superintendent Becky Guffin, Governor Dennis Daugaard, chief of staff Tony Venhuizen, and Secretary of Education Melody Schopp discuss the new A-TEC Academy.
Governor Daugaard and Mayor Levsen cool off inside the A-TEC Academy.
Governor Daugaard and Mayor Levsen get even cooler inside the A-TEC Academy.
A-TEC medical technology classroom
Governor Daugaard’s speech knocked this lady clean off her feet. Luckily, the A-TEC medical technology classroom was nearby.
CO-OP Architecture of Aberdeen donated this $6,950 Stratasys Mojo 3-D printer for A-TEC engineering classes.
CO-OP Architecture of Aberdeen donated this $6,950 Stratasys Mojo 3-D printer for A-TEC engineering classes. Now if the kids can figure out how to make the machine print teachers, they’ll have solved the teacher shortage.
Auto shop, A-TEC Academy, Aberdeen, South Dakota
Auto shop, A-TEC Academy, Aberdeen, South Dakota
Supt. Becky Guffin, Governor Dennis Daugaard, chief of staff Tony Venhuizen
Supertintendent Guffin Governor Daugaard and chief of staff Venhuizen the great work students will be able to do in the A-TEC Academy’s really big auto shop.
Bend Pak hoist in auto shop, A-TEC Academy, Aberdeen, South Dakota
Big Bend Pak hoist, and the kids still want to work on scooters. But hey! There are a lot of small engines out there, and that means a market for small engine repair.
Tony Venhuizen, chief of staff for Governor Daugaard, takes a picture of some of his favorite media people.
Venhuizen Cam!
Dakota Free Press blogger C.A. Heidelberger and Aberdeen American News reporter Katherine Grandstrand, A-TEC Academy auto shop, Aberdeen, South Dakota. Photo by Tony Venhuizen, SD Governor's office, 2015.09.01.
View from Venhuizen Cam! Yes, AAN education reporter has a bigger camera than I. But I have a cooler utility belt. (Photo by Tony Venhuizen, 2015.09.01)
CNC machine
Students use CNC machines like this one in the A-TEC Academy to design components. They transfer the designs via flash drive to machine tools in the shop.
Governor Daugaard inspects CNC machine.
Governor Daugaard inspects CNC machine.

23 Responses to Photos: Governor Daugaard Attends Ribbon-Cutting at New Aberdeen Technical Academy

  1. larry kurtz

    Melody Schopp looks like she’s working it pretty hard. Bet she rocks a Speedo.

  2. happy camper

    Is that a press pass? Are you like, official?

  3. Its a shame that only the larger schools seem to be able to support substantial vocational education anymore. By the time I reached high school, those classes were virtually non-existent (except for ag related votech courses).
    I dont like to beat the same drum as you on the Common Core Cory but, in this respect, making schools over concentrate their curriculum really leaves opportunities such as these behind.

  4. Douglas Wiken

    State law allows multiple small (or large) school districts to form local education boards with members from all boards. The fund system is also set up.

    Some of us in the Winner area have been pushing this idea since there is a building available and the Winner BOE has socked away about $6 million which we assume they intend to spend on a fourth and unnecessary gymnasium. Three does not seem enough. Out of towners have suggested that it is instead a failure of time and space management since each highschool class has fewer than 50 students and the last graduating class had 35 students.

    Technical and adult education is possible in many more areas if board members and administrations get past their irrational enthusiasm for competitive sports which provide near zero educational and behavior benefits as is evident locally.

    Don’t think small schools can’t do more. They have to have priorities that put education at the top of the list instead of the bottom.

  5. owen reitzel

    so did you talk to the Governor Cory?

  6. Larry, is the speculation about the Secretary’s fitness for certain garments relevant?

  7. HC, it’s as official as the one hanging around the AAN’s reporter’s neck. I just need to get a photo on mine. Should I use Tony’s?

  8. Owen, actually, sort of! The Governor asked what that CNC machine was, and I repeated what I’d heard from a teacher who’d been in the room before he came in. But I didn’t get a request in early enough for camera time the way KELO’s Erich Schaffhauser did. Gotta be more aggressive!

  9. larry kurtz

    only in a biblical way, cory: you wouldn’t understand. sorry i mentioned it.

  10. Deb Geelsdottir

    Winner has 3, three, THREE gymnasiums? That’s insanely ridiculous use of resources! Some people, mostly the BOE (?) have done an awful job.

  11. MD, I wish we could make more opportunities like this available for rural students. The $8.5 million that Governor Daugaard gave to public school districts last year for A-TEC and other projects included some sugar for Todd County, Burke, and Northwest Area. So there’s some help for rural areas.

    Aberdeen’s ability to build this facility shows that Common Core doesn’t kill everything… but note that the Governor isn’t finding $8.5 million (and another four million in Future Funds last week for our vo-tech schools) for gifted education, foreign languages, visual arts, music, or any number of other enriching programs that any school, big or small, would do well to offer its students. The Governor is handing out money for things the business community says it wants.

  12. Douglas, $6 million? Your board realizes they could build a facility like A-TEC and have a million left over to expand one of those gyms, don’t they?

  13. larry kurtz

    gymnasia were the resources of those living in six month winters where young men could work out their biblical aggression then plough deep into egypt.

  14. Deb Geelsdottir

    And another thing! Schools ought to be as eager to form educational cooperatives as they are to make sports co-ops.

    I can’t watch the rich suburbs high school boys sports. Their football games look like big college. There’s a swarm of coaches, all in matching outfits, video cameras everywhere, multiple headsets, big electronic scoreboards, the latest artificial turf, a variety of uniforms, etc. It’s sickening. Eden Prairie is coached by Bud Grant’s son and they’re working on a streak of 3 straight big school championships. I can’t even guess at the millions of dollars rich alumni pour into that high school sport.

    The University of Minnesota’s football coach gets raises in the hundreds of thousands annually. He’s higher paid than anyone else on any level at that Public School.

    I love sports and lettered in several when I was in college, but the way boys sports, especially football and basketball, have perverted education on the high school and college level is simply wrong and makes a mockery of what was supposed to be egalitarian public education. Grrrrr.

    [heartfelt rant over]

  15. Lar is right, if not Libertarian. That Ms. Schopp is a pretty young lady.

    Mr. H, methinks you spelled young Ms. Gruffin’s title wrong. I know you like to be correct and call out minor flaws in others so I knew you would appreciate this.

  16. To be more helpful, it was down about halfway through the Paparazzi pictures. There were too many to count. You posted this blogging: Supetintendent Guffin Governor Daugaard

  17. Thank you for you commitment to accuracy and relevancy, Grudz. I regret and have corrected the error.

  18. Agreed, Deb. Even though all extracurriculars only make up 3%–4% of most school budgets around here, the resources you see poured into a simple game are extravagant and would be better spent in ensuring an equal education for all students.

  19. You may be violating Annie’s HIPAA rights with that photograph.

  20. Call the Medical Board, Rohr! I’ll call Annette Bosworth as an expert on patient privacy!

  21. Douglas Wiken

    More about Winner, sports is a madness in this area. As for costs of sports, much of it is buried in other fund expenditures and BOE and Supt. are loath to keep or separate such expenditures like one would with enterprise accounting.

    The BOE was informed last year of the Governor’s Economic fund. At the time we were not aware that we had been over-taxed for several years to build up funds for this idiotic, unnecessary building project.

    Billy Sutton had about 36 column inches of info on the Blue Ribbon committee. It was worth reading, but instead of allowing 45% of the Capital Expenditures for other purposes such as fuel, etc. , there should be another fund something like capital expenses. Capital expenditures should be renamed Capital Building Fund. And then money could only be squirreled away in the Building Fund if the building plan had actually been prior approved by a vote of the people.

    The Mitchell Supt had a commentary in the MDR yesterday or the day before. He wants no limitations on the capital outlay fund. Not a big surprise because it allows administrators and BOEs to fail in their duties of transparency.

    As for Winner, the board, the chairman, and the Supt. give the impression that they believe residents of this district are a bunch of gullible fools. We have circulated a few petitions against the project and of the 10 or so homes I visited, the residents were something like 20 rabidly opposed, 1 puzzled, and 2 with “Warrior” stickers on their door in favor of the building scheme. The people we talk to suggest that the more they know about this, the more they are opposed.

    There is more to this story, but this is probably not the place for a complete listing of the scheme and related folly and waste….cart before the horse, etc. etc.

  22. Deb Geelsdottir

    Go get ’em Doug!

  23. I feel a feature story coming up on Dakota Today!

    Of course, if you and your neighbors fail to stop the gym, I hope you’ll report on Governor Daugaard’s visit to Winner to dedicate the building and celebrate all the career opportunities it will offer your young people. ;-)