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Above: SDAEYC Secretary: Karen Rieck presenting Michelle Erpenbach the 2023 Citizens Award

Right (from left): Representative Linda Duba, SDAEYC Member-at-Large Kevin Nelson, SDAEYC Secretary Karen Rieck, ELSD Director Kayla Klein, Award Winner & Sioux Falls Thrive Executive Director Michlle Erpenbach, John T Vucurevich Foundation Associate Executive Officer Jess Gromer

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Left: SDAEYC President, Janessa Bixel;  2023 Professional Service Award winner,Tami Skorczewski; SDAEYC Secretary: Karen Rieck


Left: SDAEYC President, Janessa Bixel;  Kay Cutler accpting the 2023 1st Year Teacher Award for Emma Gaes; SDAEYC Secretary: Karen Rieck

Right: SDAEYC President, Janessa Bixel;  Kay Cutler accpting the 2023 Early Education Student Award for Alyssa Haufschild; SDAEYC Secretary: Karen Rieck


Professional development and the recognition of excellence are of critical importance to the South Dakota Association for the Education of Young Children (SDAEYC).  The SDAEYC awards celebrate those dedicated to the field of early childhood education and acknowledge dedicated professionals whose work impacts the quality of care and early education for young children in inclusive settings and their families. 

The Awards Committee is seeking nominations for four honorary awards to be given at the annual SDAEYC Conference. Evidence of philosophy and activities should be presented in the description of outstanding service and in the letter of support from peers and/or students. 



Past Service Award Recipients

Award Categories

SDAEYC Membership Required

  • Early Childhood Education Teacher Award

  • Outstanding Educator Award

  • Early Childhood Education Leadership Award 

SDAEYC Membership NOT required

  • Early Childhood Education Student Award

  • Citizens Award

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