Mitchell superintendent Joe Graves appointed as Secretary of Education
PIERRE, S.D. – Governor Kristi Noem appointed Joe Graves, superintendent of the Mitchell School District, as Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Education on Tuesday. Graves’ appointment will be effective January 10. Graves is replacing Secretary Tiffany Sanderson, who has accepted a job as president of Lake Area Technical College.
“Joe is a wonderful fit to lead our Department of Education and to help me achieve our goal of making South Dakota the leader for K-12 education in the nation,” said Governor Kristi Noem.
“I am humbled by Governor Noem’s confidence in me,” said Graves. “I have observed the positive change Governor Noem has made in our school systems up close as a Superintendent. Now, I am excited to play a more significant role in reforming our schools and raising the bar for what students and teachers can both achieve.”
Graves has a Master’s in history from the University of South Dakota; several Education Administration degrees from Drake University; a teaching certificate from the University of Iowa, and a B.S. in political science, psychology, and sociology from South Dakota State University.
He was awarded “Educational Advocate of the Year” by the School Administrators of South Dakota in 2018. He was also awarded “Administrator of the Year” by the South Dakota Music Educators Association in 2018. He has been published in numerous education journals.
Graves was born in Sioux Falls. He has been married to his wife Cheryl for 37 years. Together, they have four children and ten grandchildren.