On June 30 Dakota Valley said farewell to one of their own – Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jerry Rasmussen. A graduate of Jefferson High School, Rasmussen has always been a part of the area. He began his teaching career after receiving his Bachelor of Science in Education, History with endorsements in Computer Science and Economics in May 1987. He taught Social Studies and was a coach first at Jefferson, then DV from 1987-1999. Rasmussen was promoted as Dakota Valley’s High School Principal in 1999 and held that position until 2016 when he was, again, promoted to Superintendent of Schools.

Rasmussen is now leaving his home of 34 years and pursuing new opportunities.

Dr. Jerry Rasmussen

Dr. Jerry Rasmussen

“To be able to use South Dakota retirement, you have to quit working for any public entities in South Dakota,” Rasmussen explained. “So that’s what led to just exploring what was possible and I have some connections to Minnesota and few to Iowa. While I was visiting with them, I ran across Lynd, MN.”

As of July 1, Rasmussen is the K-8 Part-time Superintendent at Lynd, MN. He will work 113 days a year (about two days per week) and oversee just over 200 students. Dakota Valley’s K-8 enrollment is 1,382 students.

“It’s going to be different,” Rasmussen said when asked how it will be going from 1,400 students down to 200. “It’s going to be a chance to know every student. Which as we’ve grown at Dakota Valley, with 1,400 students it’s just hard to know every student as well as you would 200. It’s going to be different not having a high school and not having high school events. It’s going to be a lot less nights and weekends. You also don’t have prom or Homecoming week. So, it’s going to be a different atmosphere. But, I’m excited.”

Rasmussen will also serve as a college professor at the University of South Dakota in the school of education. He will teach a course each summer on school facilities for those students in the Superintendent Licensing program. During the year, he will supervise all of the internships for superintendents, directors and special education directors through the USD programs.

“It certainly won’t be working 60-70 hours each week,” Rasmussen said. “So it’s exciting to have more time as a dad and grandpa. It’s exciting to join a new school district and work with them; it’s exciting to be part of USD.”

Deciding to come back to Jefferson after graduating from USD took some thinking. When he was presented with the opportunity to teach in his hometown, a professor asked him, ‘Does the staff and community remember you as a student or as an adult teacher?’ Rasmussen said, everyone was gracious to him when he joined the Jefferson staff.

See full story in this week’s Dakota Dunes / North Sioux City Times.