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Conservative Groundswell Shakes Up South Dakota School Board

Rapid City Education Center, Rapid City, S.D. (Kate Thomas)

For six years, Kate Thomas has been a lonely voice on the Rapid City school board, often the lone dissenter in votes on the South Dakota district’s budget, leadership, and academics.

Her colleagues on the seven-member board were good people whose hearts were in the right place, she said. But Thomas had a different, more conservative vision for the city’s schools.

Deb Baker, a retired businesswoman and great-grandmother, had never run a political campaign in her life. But she, too, worried about the direction of Rapid City’s schools, which some of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren attended. When she saw a liberal candidate

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Ryan Mills is a media reporter at National Review. He previously worked for 14 years as a breaking news reporter, investigative reporter, and editor at newspapers in Florida. Originally from Minnesota, Ryan lives in the Fort Myers area with his wife and two sons.

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