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NEWS 8.4.21: SD Teacher Shortage, Vaccine Push, DeJear in Sioux City, Morningside President Search

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Education leaders in South Dakota say that as the new school year approaches the state doesn’t have enough teachers and support staff, a situation they attribute to the coronavirus pandemic.

The State Education Secretary says every school district in South Dakota is dealing with staffing shortages with several teachers deciding to retire earlier than planned due to COVID-19.

The Superintendent of the Sioux City Community School District is one of three local leaders scheduled to speak at a news conference in one week to try and encourage those 12-years-and-older to get vaccinated. Also joining Dr. Paul Gausman at the event planned for next Wednesday morning at the Sioux City Public Museum, Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott, and the Director of Siouxland District Health, Kevin Grieme.

Twelve Clans Unity Hospital in Winnebago confirms a breakthrough case of the delta variant.

The community of Winnebago is 72% vaccinated and a post on social media says data proves vaccination can prevent serious illness. Health officials say there are currently three active cases in Winnebago.

K9 units across the region are in Sioux City taking part in a special law enforcement workshop.

K9s United is hosting the event at the Sioux City Police Department’s Training Center near the Sioux Gateway Airport . The workshop includes exercises on tracking, trailing, narcotics and explosives detection and more. The workshop is free for the 50 K9 teams taking part.

The training sessions for the dogs and officers continue through tomorrow.

Potential candidate for Iowa Governor Deidre DeJear will be in Sioux City tonight. A news release from the Woodbury County Democratic Party says DeJear is scheduled to be at the Robert Dunker Student Center on the campus of Western Iowa Tech Community College from 5:45 until 7 p.m. Everyone who attend this listening session is asked to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status.

So, far Governor Kim Reynolds hasn’t officially announced plans for re-election for November 2022.

Other challengers include Democrats State Rep. Ras Smith of Waterloo, Joshua Kuhn-McRoberts from Waukee who works for the Iowa Finance Authority, Kim West an attorney from Des Moines, and Independent, Robert Bond of Des Moines.

Morningside University launched a search for the school’s next president. A 16-member committee will oversee the endeavor. Current president John Reynders originally planned to retire last year, but pushed his retirement back a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He has been Morningside’s longest-sitting president at 22 years.

News release from Morningside College:

Sioux City, Iowa – Morningside University and AGB Search have officially launched the search for the next president of Morningside University. A position profile and other information are now available. 

For fullest consideration, applicants are encouraged to submit materials by Thursday, Sept. 30. Airport and campus interviews will take place during the fall semester. A 16-member President Search Committee comprised of members of the Morningside University Board of Directors, students, faculty, and staff is overseeing the search with the assistance of AGB Search. Former board chair Craig Struve ’70 is serving as chair of the committee. The Board of Directors hopes to announce a new president before the end of 2021.

The new president will take over leadership from current Morningside University President John Reynders, who is Morningside’s longest-sitting president at 22 years. Reynders first announced his retirement in February 2020, then announced in March 2020 he would delay his retirement an additional year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He will officially retire on June 30, 2022, with the new leader slated to begin July 1, 2022.

Morningside encourages its community to share the position information widely. Updates will be provided as the search process continues and finalists are selected. Stay tuned to morningside.edu for details.

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