It was another day of teaching and inspiring students for math teacher Carla Diede at Harrisburg South Middle School on Thursday January 4th.  As the day progressing  she was surprised to discover her designation to be South Dakota’s newest recipient of a $25,000 award.  State Education Secretary Don Kirkegaard and Greg Gallagher, senior program administrator for the Milken Educator Awards, surprised Diede with a Milken Educator Award during a school assembly..

“The Harrisburg School District has been a leader in the personalized learning approach, and it takes great teachers like Carla Diede to make that happen,” said Secretary of Education Don Kirkegaard. “Carla epitomizes what it means to personalize instruction for, and make strong connections with, students.”

“Carla just does whatever it takes,” said Harrisburg South Middle School Principal Darren Ellwein. “I’ve worked with her for a number of years, and she has always gone above and beyond for students. She’s passionate about her subject matter and finding the most effective ways to use technology to enhance instruction. She is integral in our personalized learning track for our school and district. She leads professional development and supports all our teachers. I’m thrilled to see her recognized with this award.”

Diede has a Bachelor of Science in mathematics with an education specialization from South Dakota State University and a master’s from Southwest Minnesota State University.

Since South Dakota joined the Milken Educator Awards program in 2002, a total of $500,000 has been awarded to 20 South Dakota recipients.