Sheila Hansen

Gov. Mike Rounds honors Hansen on Feb. 20, 2004, for her dedication to South Dakota and its veterans.

Gov. Mike Rounds honors Hansen on Feb. 20, 2004, for her dedication to South Dakota and its veterans.

Sheila’s work has gained widespread recognition and awards. In 2000, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum chose her as a senior education fellow. Her fellowship project, Testimonies from the Midwest, is a work still in progress but is also available to view online. In 2001, the School Administrators of South Dakota awarded Sheila the state’s Golden Apple for innovative curriculum design and implementation; in 2002, the Veterans of Foreign Wars chose her as the Middle School National Citizenship Teacher of the Year, and she was the featured speaker at the South Dakota Retired Teacher Convention in Pierre. She has also been nominated and/or chosen as Middle School Teacher of the Year, Fibercom/Highmark Teacher of the Month, Student Choice Employee of the Year, Who’s Who Among American Teachers, and Disney’s American Teacher Awards. By executive proclamation, August 21, 2002, was “Sheila Hansen Day” in the state of South Dakota.  

Her connections with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in DC have led to her helping to bring a Museum-sponsored teacher in-service to Sioux Falls in 2002 and being a teacher trainer at the Museum for a summer educational conference that same year. In the last year, she was a featured speaker at the Museum’s 10-year anniversary kickoff event, “An American Mosaic: Lessons from the Holocaust” in April of 2003, where she was introduced to speak by Ted Koppel and interviewed for an article in the Washington Post. While there, she met Nobel laureate, Holocaust survivor, noted author, and personal hero, Elie Wiesel, moments before he and Colin Powell delivered keynote speeches for the Days of Remembrance commemoration in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. In December of 2003, the USHMM flew Sheila to Des Moines, Iowa, to represent the Museum in presenting a middle school student at North Polk Junior High with first place in the middle school division of the Museum’s Art and Writing Contest. In March of 2004, Sheila will be a facilitator and instructor at the USHMM’s Forum at Stanford University in California.  

Additionally, Sheila has been a guest and featured speaker for three years at “Leadership 2000” held annually in Custer State Park and sponsored by Senator Daschle.


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