OART tour, learn goals of Sitting Bull College

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By Marilyn Schlekeway

Oahe Area Retired Teachers donated $300 to the new addition at A. H. Brown Public Library. A selection of an area rug for the children’s wing was chosen at the recommedation of Karla Bieber, head librarian (at left). OART member Darlene Binfet (center) and Virgil Binfet, OART treasurer, presented the check.

Oahe Area Retired Teachers donated $300 to the new addition at A. H. Brown Public Library. A selection of an area rug for the children’s wing was chosen at the recommedation of Karla Bieber, head librarian (at left). OART member Darlene Binfet (center) and Virgil Binfet, OART treasurer, presented the check.

The Oahe Area Retired Teachers met Thursday, Jan. 24 at the Pizza Ranch in Mobridge, hosted by CJ Glader and Jim and Marilyn Schlekeway.
President Lowell Looyenga called the meeting to order with 17 members and one guest present.
Jan Brockel, site coordinator for the Mobridge campus of Sitting Bull College, addressed the group by giving a short history of the college, present status of the school, and the vision for the future. SBC just celebrated its 40th anniversary of providing educational opportunities to students in Ft. Yates and the surrounding areas. In the third year of operation for the Mobridge Campus, 30 students are attending the 17 classes offered here this semester. Although most classes are face-to-face, online and digital distance network classes are also available. Two full-time staff members, Jan Brockel and Mark Fuhrer, coordinate activities at the renovated building previously known as Beadle School.
The college offers seven bachelor’s degrees, 21 associate degrees, and 10 certificate programs. English, math, computers, study skills, psychology, health and wellness, criminal justice and GED tutoring are among the classes offered so far. An art class, available for the community, will be taught this winter for which participants may receive Continuing Education Unit and renewal credit. Dubbed the “Most Affordable College in the U.S.” based on out-of-pocket costs to its students, SBC looks to provide masters programs in business, education, and environmental science in the future.
The secretary’s report was approved as read by secretary Marilyn Schlekeway. Virgil Binfet gave the treasurer’s report, which was also approved as presented. Binfet and Lyle Kemnitz reported on the cemetery project. The outside is basically done; the inside work of sheet rock, painting and finishing remains.
Carolyn Paulson reported on the Grandparent Essay Contest. She has contacted all of the fifth-grade teachers in the area. Essays are due at the local level Feb. 8 and at the state level Feb. 15.
A chairman for the spelling contest in April is still needed.
A number of members will be volunteering at the SMARTS Challenge at Scherr-Howe Wednesday, Jan. 30. Students from surrounding schools will compete in various science and communication events.
Jane Looyenga reported that the Mobridge-Pollock schools have implemented a cyber-bullying hot line effective in January as part of their anti-bullying campaign.
Lobby Day is Tuesday, Jan. 29. Looyengas and Schlekeways will be representing OART and visiting with the legislators regarding concerns about education and senior citizen issues.
Volunteers are needed to move books to the new section of the city library. Jim Schlekeway moved and Brian Liedtke seconded that OART donate $300 to the library for new furnishings. The motion passed unanimously.
Donna Sherwood made Senior Citizen Center memberships available to members.
Members were reminded by President Looyenga to keep track of volunteer hours.
The South Dakota Retired Teachers state convention will be May 1 and 2 at the Ramkota in Rapid City.
Mark Fuhrer gave the members a tour of the Sitting Bull College building.

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