Sully Buttes Social Studies instructor Conner Dekker is new to Onida, but not to small town living.
The Philip High School graduate attended college at South Dakota State University. “I went in with the intention of getting a History and Education degree,” said Dekker. “I ended up getting a minor in Geography and coaching along the way.”
Dekker says that through his student teaching experience at Brookings High School, “I got to experience a bigger, more diverse school, with students with different cultures and backgrounds. I learned a bit more about backgrounds I hadn’t been exposed to in a smaller town and school.”
Still, small town life drew Dekker who says that the only teaching opportunity he pursued was at Sully Buttes. “I met Mr. Chicoine at the Education Department job fair,” said Dekker. “I felt like I made a real connection with him, and I liked that he seemed like a real laid back administrator.”
A high school athlete in the sports of cross country, football, track and baseball, he also inquired about opportunities to coach. “Sully Buttes has a rich athletic history,” said Dekker. “I interviewed with Mr. Chicoine and Mr. White, and they offered me the job.”
After spending part of the summer wrapping up business in Brookings, Dekker arrived in Onida in July, and “started getting involved right away with youth baseball.”
“I met people in the community, and some of the student athletes,” Dekker continued. “It was nice to get welcomed in right away.”
Dekker says that he’s still getting his classroom set up. “The first couple days of school, I’ll have my students decorate,” said Dekker. “I’ll have them look for themselves in the newspaper and decorate with clippings.”
Along with his teaching duties, Dekker will be assistant coach for the Sully Buttes football and boys basketball teams.
Outside academia, Dekker enjoys video entertainments. “I’m big into music and movies,” said Dekker. “I’ve watched the Star Wars movies in timeline order, and I enjoy video games.”
He adds, “I get to the gym and play basketball, enjoy waling, hiking and boating. I like to be active when I’m not watching a movie.”