Introduced by:    Representative Nelson (Stace) and Senator Putnam

        A LEGISLATIVE COMMEMORATION, Honoring, commending, and thanking Mrs. Aldena Ecklein for over forty-one years of dedicated service to the youth and families of the McCook Central School District.

    WHEREAS, Aldena Ecklein graduated from Henderson (Nebraska) High School in 1967 and attended the University of Colorado earning a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education in 1970. She received her Master's Degree in Education in 1987 at South Dakota State University; and

    WHEREAS, Mrs. Ecklein began teaching in McCook County at the Bridgewater School District in 1971 where she taught for three years. Mrs. Ecklein went on to teach second, then third grade at Salem Elementary from 1974 to the present; and

    WHEREAS, Mrs. Ecklein has been involved in many educational advancements at McCook Central. In addition to teaching approximately a thousand students over the span of her career, Mrs. Ecklein mentored over twenty student teachers, and encouraged all her students to respect and relate to our elderly citizens, creating an adopted grandparent program at the local nursing home, which she has continued for over thirty years; and

    WHEREAS, with the generous support of her husband, Ron, and children, Kim and Kristina, Mrs. Ecklein has blessed the McCook County school and community with her educational as well as her musical talents. She has provided many years of piano lessons to students at McCook Central and has accompanied many school, church, and community events with the blessings of her music; and

    WHEREAS, Mrs. Ecklein may have been occasionally known for diminutive stature, but she will forever be known for her giant kind heart and the massive influence she made on the many lives that she touched with kindness and wisdom:

    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT COMMEMORATED, by the Eighty-seventh Legislature of the State of South Dakota, that Mrs. Aldena Ecklein is thanked, honored, and commemorated for her past and continued steadfast dedication to educating young South Dakotans and ensuring the bright future of this great state.