Why Wall Rocks Series – #4 The Wall School District

1 Sep 2017


What is one of the most important influencers when deciding where to live, work and raise a family? That’s right: schools. What are the class sizes? What kind of reputation does the school have? What opportunities can my children access? With the first day of school quickly approaching, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about the fantastic Wall School District. In Wall, we are lucky to have one of the best schools in the state. Besides having a new school, a new athletic complex, and a 100 percent graduation rate for 2015, 2016 and 2017, here are a few more solid reasons the Wall School rocks!

#1 – Student-to-Teacher Ratio (and amazing teachers)

Wall’s student to teacher ratio is 11:1. Yes – for every teacher, there are only 11 students! No child is left out in the classroom. Students are able to build lifelong connections to their teachers and teachers truly care about student progress and success.

According to www.classsizematters.org, smaller class sizes help students, “score higher on tests, receive better grades, and exhibit improved attendance.” Their research also states that smaller class sizes, “enhance the development of ‘non-cognitive’ skills not captured by tests, like persistence, motivation and self-esteem, which are also linked to success in school and in life.”

The Wall School staff is dedicated and enthusiastic about teaching their students. The staff plays a tremendous part in making the school the amazing place it is!

If you want to give your children the best chance to score well on tests, be more motivated and succeed in school and life, Wall is the place for them!

#2 – Opportunities

 The Wall School System provides several academic and non-academic student opportunities.

Dual Credit Classes

High school students have the opportunity to enroll in dual credit classes, meaning they can take college courses while still in high school. This better prepares them for college, helps them save money on tuition and can help them graduate from college earlier!

Travel the World

Do you or your children have dreams of traveling the world? History and Government teacher David Ermish provides this amazing opportunity through EF Educational tours. Past tours offered include: Italy, France, China, Ireland and more! See the world by living and learning in Wall!

School-to-Work Program

Students also have an opportunity to learn more about their potential career path through the school-to-work program. Students work in a business of their choice for one hour each day throughout the school year. They not only get to test their potential career path, but they can see that there are many great job opportunities right here in Wall!

Education and Extra-Curricular Opportunities

Besides a fantastic core curriculum, Wall offers Spanish classes, agriculture education classes, multimedia classes, art classes, and band and choir opportunities.

Outside the classroom, students of all ages can participate in several activities. For the little kids, Wall offers a youth field day, football league, gymnastics, summer baseball, wrestling, youth rodeo and a youth basketball league. Middle school and high school students can participate in football, volleyball, basketball, wrestling, track, golf, cross country, rodeo and gymnastics.

Students can join the Wall Children’s Theatre, High School One-Act and spring plays, FFA, FCCLA, FOR Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Honor Society, Oral Interpretation, and Student Council. No student ever has an excuse to be bored in Wall!

#3 – Investing in the Future by Investing in the Past

The Wall School District is welcoming back more than just K-12 students this fall. The Wall School recently hired three Wall High School alumni to teach the next generation!

Lex Heathershaw is the new 8th Grade Health and High School Business teacher as well as the Head Boys Basketball Coach, Head Football Coach and the Activity and Athletic Director. Madison McLaughlin will be teaching 6th Grade Science, 8th Grade Science, Biology II and High School PE. Erin Cox (Simpfenderfer) will be teaching K-6 at Big White.

When asked why she decided to move back to Wall, Erin said, “I decided to move back to Wall after several conversations with my husband. We really felt Wall would be a good fit for the two of us based on our future goals for ourselves and raising a family.”

Madison McLaughlin looks forward to giving back to the community that has given so much to her.

“From an early age I knew I wanted to come back to Wall and be a part of our amazing community. When I was given the opportunity to stay I knew I couldn’t pass it up,” McLaughlin said. “This school and community have supported me in everything I have done in life and for that, I am so thankful. Now, I look forward to joining that support system in a different role by making our youth feel the same way I felt while I was a student here: loved and important. It’s been fantastic so far and I’m excited to be home.”

Mr. Cooper Garnos, Wall School Superintendent, is excited to welcome these former students back to Wall.

“We, the Wall School District, feel very fortunate to have them back in the Wall area and teaching.  These three will only compliment the outstanding staff we currently have at the Wall School,” Garnos said.

#4 – Making Things Happen

If the small student-to-teacher ratio, list of opportunities and excitement about bringing alumni back to teach isn’t enough for you, let’s look at Wall’s recent awards and accomplishments:

  • New Athletic Facility (Track, Field, Concessions)
  • Dual Credit Expansion
    • The Wall School District has one of the highest percentages of students taking and passing the Dual Credit Courses
  • High Test Scores
  • Consistently high state ranking for Smarter Balance Assessments
  • National Career Readiness Certificate – Assessment for Seniors
  • Track Award: Distinguished Outdoor Track Facility Award: Dec. 5th, 2016
  • High School: Newsweek Magazine’s Best High Schools – 2015, 2016, 2017
  • SDHSAA Academic Achievement Teams: 2015 (5), 2016 (4), 2017 (6)
  • National Blue Ribbon School – 2012
  • National Title 1 School – 2011
  • Consistently ranked as one of the safest schools in South Dakota and the US

With awesome people, growth, change, idea friendliness and an amazing school, Wall really rocks!

flags at sunset

wall school district

south dakota exemplary school

As always, thank you for being such a great community. It is because of you we have it all in Wall!

Cheyenne McGriff
WEDC Executive Director
(605) 279-2658

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