Sandven honored for academic excellence

Academic success — Taylor Sandven, left, was one of more than 200 students honored as Hill City High School’s Class of 2017 valedictorian. Gov. Dennis Daugaard, right, presented the academic excellence award to Sandven at a luncheon Monday, April 24. [Submitted Photo]

The best and brightest from the Class of 2017 were honored for their academic achievements at the 27th Annual Academic Excellence Banquet in Pierre on Monday, April 24.

In conjunction with Gov. Dennis Daugaard, the Associated School Boards of South Dakota invited more than 200 students who were identified as the top one percent of their senior class from the state’s public, private and tribal schools to celebrate their academic accomplishments.

Hill City High School was represented by Taylor Sandven.

“These students represent the best and the brightest students in South Dakota,” said Anita Peterson, ASBSD president. “They have strived for and accomplished academic excellence. It is a group with untold talent and skill, a group with ideas and creativity abound; a group we hope become the next generation of leaders of our great state.”

Daugaard echoed Peterson’s hope, encouraging the students to appreciate all South Dakota offers.

“I hope you’ll consider a career right here in South Dakota,” he said. “Have your dreams and follow them where they may lead, but don’t underestimate the value of what you have here.”

The governor pushed students not to underestimate themselves, either.

“Believe in yourself. Have faith in yourself,” Daugaard said.