Help us to be the always hopeful
Gardeners of the spirit
Who know that without darkness
Nothing comes to birth
As without light
Nothing flowers.                               
May Starton
Happy Spring!!  With March winds blowing away the darkness and chill of winter and bringing the fresh feelings of spring, allow me to reflect on the memories of February as we celebrated the 20th Annual SDSTA Conference. Twenty years of science and math teachers working together to improve teaching practices, professional pedagogies, collaboration, and camaraderie. The first weekend of February should be marked on everyone's calendar as an important date to set aside for a great learning experience. Remember the conference conversations begin on Thursday night with "Science Talk". This is a fun time to share those
WOW lessons and just talk science with other teachers around the state.  Thanks Janet Wagner, from Bon Homme, for offering the question that began our rich discussion this year!  And, in case anyone is wondering, yes, we do get home in time for the Super Bowl on Sunday!!
OK, back to the reflections on the conference. Jon Richards, SETI rep from California, made us aware that our sense of universal neighbors may not be all wrong. The technology and efforts being spent on the search for the extra-terrestrial is detailed and beneficial! Featured speakers and presenters kept us hopping along the hallways as we moved from one presentation to another. Bobbie Traxinger's family were our special guests at Friday night banquet as we honored her memory and shared her moments. Thank you for the time and the conversations.
We voted in new officers during our science meeting on Saturday afternoon, and I would like to congratulate Julie Olson as our President Elect.  James Stearns and Elizabeth McMillan will continue as our treasurer and secretary. Both Mark and Marcy Farrand have decided to retire from

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the association, and we let them know they will be sincerely missed. Their efforts have moved the conference to new and comfortable heights for the vendors and greatly enhanced the overall ambiance of conference. David Ireland will step in as vendor coordinator and Jen Fowler will be the hospitality hostess. We will miss the Farrands, as we welcome both David and Jen. Janet Wagner, along with Jen Fowler, will represent us as K-12 liaisons. Thanks for all the past, present, and future people who are instrumental in running this conference.
A little bit about me…my name is Brenda Murphey, and I am honored for the opportunity to represent the SDSTA as president for the next two years. My teaching experiences began 19 years ago when I was hired to teach science at a three room alternative program in Rapid City. We called ourselves the "best kept secret" of Rapid City because we served struggling students in danger of not graduating. We have since grown to be known as Rapid City Academy with 450 students. My husband, Michael, is also a science educator. He is happily retiring this year from his administrative position at Central High School in Rapid City. He looks forward to having time to spend on his ranch hunting and fishing. I look forward to having hot meals ready to eat and a clean house ready for me to relax.  :o)  Time will tell whose wish is granted.  We have one boy in 7th grade, Ira, who works hard at keeping both Mike and I on our toes with his athletics, music, and academics. Our two older boys have moved to Illinois. One has finished university, married, and started a family of grandbabies for grandma to enjoy via SKYPE. The other has found the carefree lifestyle of being young and free most appealing!! I relive my youth in our conversations, but totally enjoy the stability my experienced age offers. Anyway, I look forward to spending two years with you. Please know your opinions and ideas are welcome! Happy Spring!!

                                    Brenda Murphey a               . SDSTA President--Feb. 2012-Feb. 2014