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School Board Candidates--Panel Discussion
 

Posted on May 24, 2017
Four candidates for one seat on the Sioux Falls School Board faced off in an hour-long forum at the Rotary Club of Downtown Sioux Falls meeting, Monday, May 22.

Randy Dobberpuhl, Dimitrios Gliarmis, Cynthia Mickelson and Carol Robinson were questioned about their qualifications and relevant experience, their interest in serving and their positions on a variety of issues involving public education and the Sioux Falls School District specifically. Retired journalist and Rotarian Jack Marsh moderated. 

The top vote-getter in the June 6th election will succeed Douglas Morrison, whose term expires June 30. There won’t be a run-off election. The five-member school board oversees the largest school district in South Dakota, with almost 25,000 students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, about 3,300 employees and an annual budget of about $300 million. School board members are paid $75 for each day they are in service to the school board.
Registered voters living within the boundaries of the Sioux Falls School District may cast a ballot at any of the 10 vote centers throughout the district, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 6. Those centers are: First Lutheran Church, Memorial Middle School, McGovern Middle School, Roosevelt High School, Edison Middle School, Whittier Middle School, Washington High School, Lincoln High School, Faith Baptist Fellowship Church and the Instructional Planning Center. District officials anticipate a voter turnout of 4,000-5,000 and will tabulate ballots by hand.

Absentee voting began Monday, May 8, and continues through June 5. Ballots are available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the Instructional Planning Center, 201 E. 38th St., Sioux Falls.

Randy Dobberpuhl, raised in Doland, S.D., has been a Sioux Falls resident since 2007. He’s a graduate of Doland High School, earned a BS in sociology and criminal justice from Northern State University and has been working in the human services field since 2001. He is employed as a case manager for the Safe Home program in Sioux Falls, which provides supportive services and permanent housing to chronically homeless individuals. Dobberpuhl volunteers as a mentor to a Sioux Falls school student and as a big brother in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. His two sons are elementary school students in the district. Dobberpuhl‘s wife, Kersten, is an administrative intern at Hayward Elementary.

Dimitrios Gliarmis, born in Sioux City and raised in Sioux Falls, graduated from Washington High School and earned bachelors in business economics from South Dakota State University. After college, Gliarmis worked as a teller at Home Federal Bank before taking a loan processing and teller position at Service First Federal Credit Union. He left there to become an inventory specialist and sales lead at Best Buy. Gliarmis is a graduate from the state law enforcement training academy in Pierre and briefly worked for the Sioux Falls Police Department. Gliarmis returned to a position at Best Buy and works as a certified personal trainer.

Cynthia Mickelson, raised in Miller, S.D., whose mother was a teacher and whose father became president of the South Dakota Board of Regents, earned a BA in history and political science from the University of South Dakota and a JD from the USD Law School. In her first job after graduation, she was a law clerk for South Dakota Supreme Court Justice Robert Amundson. Later, she was an attorney with Cutler, Donahoe & Mickelson law firm in Sioux Falls (now Cutler Law Firm). After practicing law for five years, she helped her husband, Mark Mickelson, start his own business, Mickelson & Company. She also launched a career as a grant writer. The Mickelsons have three sons in the Sioux Falls public schools. Mickelson has been a classroom, front-office and PTA volunteer. Mark Mickelson is a South Dakota state legislator and current Speaker of the House.

Carol Robinson, born in Sioux City and raised in Iowa, settled in Sioux Falls in 1991 after living in various states for her education and career. Robinson earned a BS in education from Wayne State College and an MS in mathematics from the University of South Dakota. Robinson was a graduate teaching assistant at USD and later taught high school math and science in Nebraska and South Dakota. She was a researcher for University of Nebraska Water Resources Department, worked as a legal secretary and paralegal in the law practice of her husband, Eugene Robinson, and went into business with him, owning and operating a deep-sea marina near Fort Morgan, Ala. Robinson has worked as a clerk for the US Postal Service in Alabama, Nebraska and South Dakota. She retired last year. Robinson was a classroom volunteer in the Sioux Falls schools while her daughter was a student.
 
Program Highlights May 22, 2017:
  • Randy Dobberpuhl, Dimitrios Gliarmis, Cynthia Mickelson and Carol Robinson presented their qualifications, relevant experience, their interest in serving, and their positions on a variety of issues involving public education and the Sioux Falls School District.
  • The top vote-getter will win the seat; there will be no runoff election.  The ballots will be counted by hand.
  • The election date is Tuesday, June 6, 2017.  Absentee votes can be cast at the Instructional Planning Center, 201 E. 38th Street.
Program June 5, 2017:
 
Paul Niedringhaus, Director, Metro Communications Agency - Metro Communications—First to Serve