South Dakota Focus: Teach For America

SD Focus - 04/26/2012

On SDPB April 26th edition of South Dakota Focus, we zero in on the Teach for America Program along with the Native American Initiative.  For over twenty years Teach For America has been recruiting, training and supporting top college graduates and professionals who commit to teach for two years in under-resourced schools and become lifelong leaders in the pursuit of educational equity. In 2004, Teach For America first placed 17 corps members in South Dakota. Today, there are 55 corps members working in South Dakota - teaching approximately 2,000 children. These teachers work on the Rosebud and Pine Ridge reservations. South Dakota is one of four regions with teachers in native communities as part of the large Native Achievement Initiative. Guests will help us better understand the mission of the program, plus you can call in with your own questions or comments. The program airs live on SDPB TV and online at at 8pm CT / 7pm mt. Send us your thoughts to or via phone Guests include:

 To watch the full program click here:

Jim Curran is the executive director for Teach for America's South Dakota region. An alumnus of the 2005 Phoenix corps, Jim moved to South Dakota to work as a program director in 2007. Jim returned to South Dakota from the Milwaukee region where he had been the Managing Director of Program, supporting corps members leading students to new levels of achievement in 88 classrooms in the region. Jim graduated from the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management where he double majored in Management and American Studies.


Lakota Mowrer is the Assistant Director at Four Bands. In this role, Lakota supports the leadership of Four Bands' Executive Director, establishes new and fosters existing partnerships, and leads and manages efforts to reach organizational goals. Lakota is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. She graduated from the University Of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology. Upon graduation, she joined the 2006 South Dakota corps of Teach for America and taught High School Special Education on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation at Todd County High School. Lakota obtained her Masters in Social Work Degree from Washington University in St. Louis with the Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies.


Lara Heiberger is a Rapid City native and South Dakota School of Mines and Technology graduate with a B.S. in Math. She is currently a Teach For America corps member teaching math at Todd County High School. She is a first year teacher.


For more information:

 Contact Us

Teach For America

  • South Dakota

132 North Main
Mission, SD 57555
p: 605-856-4359, f: 605-856-4359




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