Superintendent's Message

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Philip Schonebaum

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Thank you for taking time to visit the Elk Point-Jefferson School District Website.  The school’s mission is to provide a safe environment where students will be empowered with knowledge and skills to successfully navigate life’s transitions and challenges.   Although each child is built differently, the district maximizes high quality teaching to facilitate an academic environment that can’t be matched.  The district will strive to be cutting edge and stay on top of the educational field. 

This will be my first year in the Elk Point-Jefferson school district and my family can’t be more excited to be here and work in the community and surrounding area.  Education is the great equalizer for every child in our country.   It doesn’t matter where you come from or the challenges we face, we are all given the opportunity to succeed through our school systems.  I am starting my 12th year in education.  Many of those as a school administrator (9).   I have developed a passion for ensuring that we do not look at education as a one size fits all approach and we must attempt to reach every kid at their level.  In deciding to come to Elk Point-Jefferson,  I saw an opportunity to lead and grow an established district.  I see the challenges that have been faced internally and externally in the district and feel confident we can expand on what has been done and honor those that have fought to have the best district in South Dakota.  My wife Danielle and I are ecstatic to raise our children in our communities and to have our children attend the Elk Point- Jefferson school district.      

I plan to work closely with the Elk Point-Jefferson school board, the staff, the students, the community, and all those that have a vested interest in the success of the district.   We will work on creating and continuing a culture of excellence for our students.   We will build meaningful relationships for our students, staff, and community that will be timeless and continue to create life-long learners in the Elk Point and Jefferson communities.  

The Elk Point-Jefferson School District will continue to excel in the present and as well as in the future.   We will hold true to our motto:  Showing Pride…Taking Action and foster a family atmosphere that only we will be able to have.   

In signing off, I would like to share a philosophy given to me by the book Fish: A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results.  There are 4 ingredients to a successful workplace.  The ingredients are simple and mere choices that we must make as educators/students/community members.   

  1. Choose your attitude

  2. Be Present

  3. Make someone’s Day 

  4. Don’t forget to Play

I encourage all of you in your job to keep these four in mind and I will continue to remind our educators, students, and stakeholders to do the same. 

I look forward to serving you all and learning from the Elk Point and Jefferson communities.