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1653, 29 May 18

West Bend Hires New Superintendent

Welcome to West Bend!

The West Bend Joint School District #1 School Board voted unanimously to choose Donald A. Kirkegaard as the next superintendent for the school district. Kirkegaard has accepted the position and begins his tenure on July 9, 2018.


Kirkegaard is currently serving as secretary of education for the state of South Dakota. He left a superintendent position in 2017 after being appointed as secretary of education by the governor of South Dakota. Kirkegaard’s experience includes nearly 23 years as superintendent of both the Meade School District and Britton-Hecla School District in South Dakota. He was also a principal in the Britton-Hecla School District for six years.

“West Bend is an outstanding school district in a community I will be able to call home,” said Kirkegaard, “This position is a really good fit for me, as the skill set the school board is looking for is what I can bring to the district. I appreciate the governor of South Dakota allowing me the opportunity to serve as secretary of education, and look forward to bringing my background and experience to the West Bend School District.”

While leading the Meade School District, Kirkegaard oversaw the implementation of all-day kindergarten, one-to-one technology for all students grades 4-12, expanded credit offerings, the building of a new elementary school, and new partnerships with businesses to improve the CTE programming.

Kirkegaard earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from South Dakota State University, a master’s degree in school administration from Northern State University, and an educational specialist degree in school district administration from the University of South Dakota.

He was named South Dakota Superintendent of the Year in 2009. In addition, Kirkegaard was a member of the South Dakota State Board of Education from 2007-2017, serving as president of the board from 2011-2017. He was an executive board member of the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement from 1992-2006, and a member of the South Dakota Governor’s Educational Task Force in 2003.


1653, 29 May 2018


  1. Charlie Hillman

    This is an excellent choice. Thoughtful and competent is just what we need.

  2. MHMaley

    I am far more confident with the makeup of the school board with the businessmen added this spring along with what appears to be an excellent hire for Superintendant than I was a year ago.
    Now they need to stay out of the news and do their jobs competently and quietly .
    We’ve had far too much unneeded controversy over the last decade in WB
    Boring and competent for this district would be beautiful .

  3. Mark Hoefert

    His first school district (Britton-Hecla) has an enrollment of 410 students. I think our high schools and auditorium and field houses would have enough capacity to accommodate the entire population of that school district at one time – as I recall, it is 5000, more or less.

    Boring and competent for this district would be beautiful .

    Have to agree that could be a good thing.  This guy is seasoned and experienced and closer to retirement than not, so he does not have to “prove himself”, worry about long-term career advancement, and should have enough options to “escape” if things get out of hand.  Maybe a period of calmness free of drama will be a nice set up for an “up and coming”  Superintendent 2-5 years down the road.

    Ironic that he is coming to West Bend at the age of 59 (or 60) and one of his predecessors is retiring this year at the age of 57.


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