Samantha Walder

Samantha Walder

Dr. Samantha Walder is a mother, wife, educator and lifelong South Dakotan. Walder is in her 15th year in education, eighth as an elementary principal, and served as the only principal on the Social Studies Standards Revision Commission. Walder graduated from Castlewood High School and holds undergraduate degrees in history and political science with a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from SDSU. Walder earned her educational specialist in the principalship and doctorate in the superintendency from USD. Walder was named the 2023 South Dakota Elementary National Distinguished Principal.

The public listens to testimony on the proposed social studies standards at the South Dakota Board of Education meeting at The Rushmore Hotel in Rapid City on Feb. 10, 2023. (Courtesy of South Dakota Education Association)

Social studies standards would benefit from compromise and more work

By: - April 4, 2023

A final vote on the proposed social studies standards by the South Dakota Board of Education Standards will be on the agenda for the April 17 meeting in Pierre. This is the last of four statutorily required meetings during the public comment process. As the only principal who served on the 2022 Revision Commission, I […]

A proponent of the new social studies standards offers a statement of support to the state Board of Education on Nov. 21, 2022, in Sioux Falls. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

Social studies debate shows concerning shift from standards to curriculum

By: - November 29, 2022

Educators and parents alike have provided concerning feedback for the Proposed K-12 Social Studies Content Standards. South Dakota is at the midpoint of a statutorily required public comment process with four input sessions being held throughout the state. I testified to the South Dakota Board of Educational Standards in September, and due to time constraints, […]