2016-2017 State Employee Awards

Agency / Employee(s) Awards and Honors
Department of Education Angel Corrales, Data Manager for the South Dakota Department of Education, has been recognized by PACO. On Wednesday November 8, 2017, the Pierre Area Charitable Organization (PACO) honored citizens, groups and organizations that have contributed time, money, equipment and talents to help others. Among the award recipients is Department of Education Employee Angel Corrales. Angel is a data manager for the office of special education programs. Angel and his family were honored as a recipient of the Good People/Good Causes Award. Congratulations Angel and family. We think you’re “Good People” too.

Department of Education Mary Giddings, a long time DOE senior secretary received the Pierre Chamber of Commerce Pierre Pride Award. Mary received this honor because of her dedication to Countryside Hospice since 1982 and her service with Lion’s International for 22 years. Mary is an inspiration to all of her coworkers.
Department of the Miltiary Michael Haltiner, South Dakota Army National Guard Energy Manager, Rapid City, has received the 2017 Secretary of the Army Energy Award under the category of Individual Exceptional Performance at the Federal Energy Exchange Conference in Tampa, Florida, on August 17. Since Starting with the SDARNG in 2009, Haltiner has completed numerous projects aimed at impacting energy reduction levels in South Dakota, and is always involved in the design process of sustainability-focused buildings. His efforts have helped the South Dakota Army National Guard lead the nation in energy reduction, as South Dakota was one of only two states to meet the requirements of a presidential executive order mandating a 30 percent energy consumption reduction over a 10-year period.
Department of Health Kristin Rounds, Pierre, has been named the 2017 TB Controller of the Year by the National Tuberculosis B Controllers Association (NTCA). Rounds is the Tuberculosis Control Coordinator for the South Dakota Department of Health and has more than 30 years of TB control experience. The award is the highest honor presented by NTCA and is intended to recognize individuals who make an outstanding contribution and impact on TB prevention and control at the local, state, regional, or national level. Rounds was also honored for her service as a board member of the NTCA. Since 2014 she has served on the board representing states with low incidence of TB. She has also previously served the association as treasurer, member at-large, and representative for low-morbidity states.
Department of Health Jennifer King, Meade County Community Health Nurse, Sturgis, received a 2017 Nurse of Excellence Award from Black Hills Parent magazine. The annual award is presented by Black Hills Parent and co-sponsors Black Hills Surgical Hospital and Rapid City Medical Center to recognize exceptional nurses in the region. Jennifer was nominated by a WIC client appreciative of her support and education on topics from breastfeeding to child development.
Department of Health

Secretary’s Award winners:

Outstanding Contribution to Public Health Award (significant public health contributions over the course of a career)

Marcia Benning, Rapid City. Marcia is a dedicated Pennington County Community Health Nurse who goes above and beyond to serve the department’s clients. She willingly goes out of her way to provide vaccinations when it would be easier to schedule the patient for another day. She is in charge of quality assurance activities for all nurses in the large office and is a valued teacher and mentor for new and experienced nurses alike.

John Osburn, Rapid City. John shoulders a large workload as Assistant Administrator for the Office of Health Protection which licenses all food service, campground and lodging establishments in the state. At the same time he has managed the successful implementation of a new electronic licensure and inspection system which involved conducting user review testing, providing accurate and timely feedback to design staff, and providing state inspectors with initial and ongoing training. John also coordinates the inspection of over 400 temporary food service vendors during special events such as the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Rising Star Award (newer employee making significant contribution)

Eric Grimm, Pierre. Eric has advanced service delivery for the Office of Disease Prevention by growing capabilities and efficiencies in the department’s electronic centralized disease surveillance system. Using advanced computational statistical software, he analyzes and mines complex datasets, creating hundreds of high-quality visual images that transform raw data into meaningful and actionable information. At the same time he continues to build the internal surveillance system model and workflows and address corresponding data needs for program areas.

Excellence in the Workplace Award (outstanding performance during the past year)

Jessica Schreurs, Sioux Falls. A 12-year Correctional Health veteran, Jessica has been the Clinical Supervisor at the main Penitentiary (Hill) since 2014 and is an outstanding supervisor who, once fully staffed,  achieved zero turnover. She has helped in the Women’s Prison clinic in Pierre during staffing shortages and has been invaluable in helping orient the new Clinical Supervisor and Charge Nurse there. Jessica works tirelessly, often putting in 13+ hour days. Jessica willingly stays beyond her shift to assist with intakes and is committed to ensuring that staff are informed of all changes within the clinic and DOH. She is genuine, empathetic and honest with staff and patients alike and takes her work to heart.

Ashley Klatt, Watertown. As TB Nurse Consultant Ashley recently managed a challenging multi-drug resistant case from beginning to end. The disease process was complex, the patient had multiple co-morbidities and the individual’s primary language was not English. She was in constant communication with the patient, providers, the insurance company, and consults from Mayo Clinic Center and for nine months carried out Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) for medication administration using FaceTime on iPhones. Her dedication to the case was remarkable, and she was even on the phone with the family when the client dies in the hospital. Afterward, she helped the family get a death certificate so the client’s ashes could be taken to the family’s home country.

Department of Education

2016 Librarian of the Year: Nina Mentzel

Mentzel has been a librarian since 1992 and moved to South Dakota in 2000. She lives in Spearfish and has worked for the South Dakota State Library since 2014 as Senior Librarian/Metadata Librarian. Prior to this position, Mentzel served as the Instructional Librarian/Assistant Director for the South Dakota Library Network. Mentzel has also held positions in academic, public, military and corporate libraries.

Mentzel's duties include cataloging and digitization of the State Library's government documents collections. In addition, she serves as a consultant and trainer for librarians around the state regarding cataloging, integrated library systems and access to electronic resources.

Mentzel was the lead librarian and successfully implemented South Dakota Share-It, a new service of the South Dakota State Library. This service is provided at no cost to participating libraries. The South Dakota Share-It network allows users to search nearly 70 academic, public, school and special library catalogs. In addition it also provides a single interface to search the 51 electronic resources provided by the State Library to all libraries and citizens of South Dakota.

Mentzel was recognized at the annual South Dakota Library Association conference awards banquet, held this year in Watertown, South Dakota.

The South Dakota Library Association awarded the 2016 Librarian of the Year Award to Nina Mentzel, Metadata Librarian at the South Dakota State Library. Mentzel was nominated by her co-workers for this award which is given annually to a librarian who has made significant contributions to library service in South Dakota. Candidates for this award must have more than ten years of service in libraries and must be actively involved in the profession. Moreover, they must have focused attention on promoting libraries, librarians and their communities.

Department of Education The National Afterschool Association has chosen Sue Burgard as one of the Most  Influential People in State and Local Government. Sue was one of 33 individual honorees for this award. According to the AfterSchool Today magazine, the honorees were chosen because they are strong advocates and supporters of afterschool and out-of-school time programs. Their service, research and action in local government influence and affect large numbers of children and families. According to Sue: How could I not be driven to support afterschool programs, when I am continually surrounded by passionate and dedicated people with a goal of creating meaningful, safe, supportive, dynamic opportunities for South Dakota students and their families? I will quote a young boy on the Rosebud Reservation. When I asked why he enjoyed the afterschool program, he replied, "It just exercises my brain."