The South Dakota Association of Elementary School Principals is recognizing Dr. Samantha Walder of the Tea Area School District as this year’s outstanding elementary principal:
Samantha Walder from Legacy Elementary in the Tea Area School District is the 2023 South Dakota National Distinguished Principal Honoree.
Samantha has served as an elementary school principal for the past eight years with a current student preschool-5th grade enrollment of 527.
The South Dakota Elementary Principals’ Association says Walder’s focus on school culture and communication was a highlight of her application [staff, “Tea Woman Named Outstanding Elementary Principal,” KSFY, 2023.03.24].
Dr. Walder served as one of the few South Dakota K-12 educators on Governor Kristi Noem’s handpicked social studies curriculum standards committee. After that redo committee turned into a rubber stamp for standards written by Hillsdale College, Dr. Walder publicly testified against the adoption of those radical, costly, age-inappropriate, overly politicized, and unconservative Hillsdale standards.
SDAESP and related orgs will hand out awards to Walder and other top school admins at the South Dakota Principals Conference in Deadwood June 12–14. No word yet on whether Governor Noem will attend the conference to recognize Walder’s outstanding principality.