OACOMA, SD -

A Yankton teacher is the 2017 South Dakota Teacher of the Year.

According to the South Dakota Department of Education, Beth Kaltsulas, was announced as the winner of the award at a banquet Thursday evening in Oacoma.

Kaltsulas is a math teacher at Yankton Middle School.  She’s taught in the Yankton School District for 30 years and says mentoring is a vital part of her profession.  Kaltsulas runs a daily math academy where students receive math tutoring before and after school.  She even helped start a math class to keep students who qualify for special education services in the general education setting. 

Kaltsulas was one of five regional finalists for the Teacher of the Year award.  She was selected for the top prize by a statewide panel of educators. 

As part of her award, she wins $5,000, thanks to donations from private businesses and organizations.  She'll also present a series of professional development seminars to aspiring teachers.

Kaltsulas is now up for the 2017 National Teacher of the Year award.  The winner will be announced in Washington, D.C. in the spring.