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The 2023 SDMEA Board Election

(you will need your membership number handy)

Vote Here

Read the bios of all the candidates below:


Elementary Honor Choir Chair Elect

Miranda Mack is a first-year teacher originally from Redfield, SD. She attended SDSU for Music Education with emphases in voice and clarinet from 2014-2020, during which time she participated in a variety of musical ensembles, theater productions, clubs, committees, and the Miss America Organization (serving as Miss South Dakota from 2017-2018). Miranda spent two years after college traveling as a National Leadership Consultant for Chi Omega Fraternity, presenting leadership workshops to collegiate women and assisting Chi Omega chapters around the country with operational development. She is now finishing up her first year as the K-5 general music teacher at Lawrence Elementary in Canton and the Assistant Director of the Canton High School musical. Miranda also sings in the South Dakota Symphony Chorus and volunteers with several groups in the Sioux Falls area.


Alicia Turnquist is in her first-year of teaching and is the current Clark Elementary School Preschool-5th grade general music teacher and 5th grade band director. She attended the University of South Dakota. While at the University of South Dakota, she served multiple leadership roles as a member of USD's NAfME chapter. Upon her final year, she served as the chapter's president before student teaching in Canton, SD. She loves getting to spend her days with her students helping them discover how music can be made inside and outside of the classroom. If awarded this position, she would be excited about working with schools from around the state, sharing our love for music together with our students. 

Band Chair Elect

Joel Van Peursem is the director of bands at Mitchell Middle School where he directs the jazz band and drum line in addition to the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade bands. He is also the assistant marching band director, the high school musical pit director, and directs Severe Tire Damage, the Mitchell show choir band. Joel is originally from Vermillion, South Dakota and attended Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa where he received bachelor’s degrees in Music and Secondary Education. He recently was named the Coordinating Music Director for the Mitchell Municipal Band. He is a member of SDMEA and South Dakota Band Masters and participates in hosting all-state jazz band for the middle school every year. In his free time, he teaches private lessons and loves spending time with his wife Kaitlyn and their dog Coda.

Jean Morrison has been a music educator for 28 years. Her first 12 years of teaching was in the Rutland School District teaching K-12 Band and Choir. She has been in the Howard School District for 16 years teaching 6-12 Band and Choir. Mrs. Morrison teaches marching band, jazz band, concert band, pep band, junior high band, junior high choir and high school choir. She has also directed Show Choir in the past. She is the All-School Play Director and Student Council

Advisor. Mrs. Morrison received her Bachelors of Music Education from SDSU and her Masters in Music Education from Kent State. She is an active member of SDMEA and Bandmasters.

Austin Herrbolt joined the McCook Central School District in 2021. Prior to joining the staff at McCook Central, eh taught band in the Bon Homme School District in Tyndall, South Dakota and at the Watertown Intermediate School District in Watertown, South Dakota. He has taught all levels of concert band, jazz band, and marching band. His current teaching responsibilities include teaching three different concert bands, marching band, jazz band, and private band lessons.

Originally from Menno, South Dakota, Austin graduated from South Dakota State University with his degree in Music Education in 2019. During his time at SDSU, Austin was an active performer in the SDSU Concert Band, Percussion Studio, and The Pride of the Dakota’s Marching Band. He will be graduating from Northern State University in the Spring of 2023 with his master’s in music education. Austin was also a finalist for the 2022 Schmidt Music Outstanding Music Educator Award.

In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Austin serves as the Secretary for the Non-profit organization, SuFuDu. He is also the coach for the McCook Central/Montrose Fighting Cougar Volleyball Team. Austin is highly involved in his community and is an advocate for music and music education. One of his biggest accomplishments is double the numbers in his bands at McCook Central.

Aaron Schmeling is a 2005 graduate of Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. He began his teaching career as the 5-12 Band and 6-12 Vocal Director at Marion School District and stayed in that role from 2006-2010. Following Marion, he started his current job at Elk Point - Jefferson as the 5-12 Band Director and has been there for 13 years. Aaron is the Contest Manager for SDHSAA Music Region 1. While at EPJ, his groups have earned numerous marching band and jazz band awards. The groups have also earned Superior ratings at Solo/Ensemble and Large Group contests. The high school band has also taken trips to Memphis, TN (twice), San Antonio, TX and Tampa, Florida to participate in parades and bowl game performances as part of a mass band halftime show. In the judged parades during these trips, his groups have won outstanding band and caption awards for Winds, Drums, and Marching.

He has also spent time as a guest director for young festival bands in recent years. Schmeling has also spent time adjudicating for local and conference contests. He has also spent time performing with All America Band and Rockestra, both out of Sioux City. Aaron is married to his wife, Kristin, who is the 6-12 vocal director at Beresford School District. Together, they have three children, Carson, Maggie, and Ellie.

Elementary Festival Chair Elect

Cheryl Tatro is in her 14th year teaching elementary music at Elk Point-Jefferson School District in Elk Point, South Dakota. In addition to teaching junior kindergarten through fourth grade classes, she also accompanies the fifth grade choir, junior high choir, and high school choir, as well as individual band and choir students that participate in solo/ensemble contest. She is in high demand as a piano teacher, an accompanist, and an adjudicator for piano competitions in surrounding communities.

Mrs. Tatro earned her Master’s Degree in Piano Performance at the University of South Dakota in 2009 where she studied under Dr. Susan Keith Gray. She earned her Bachelor’s of Arts degree from Briar Cliff University in 2007 where she studied under Dr. Richard Steinbach. Mrs. Tatro was an active member of Campus Ministry while attending Briar Cliff University. She began playing piano for church services, weddings, and funerals before her college days and continues these performance opportunities to support her local church and community.

Mrs. Tatro believes that students should be well-rounded invididuals that participate in a variety of activities at school. Leading by example, she was one of the founding members of the PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports) team, she is an active member of the EPJ Educator’s Association, she is on the school’s leadership team, and she mentors new teachers in their first years teaching at EPJ. While she stays active with her leadership roles, she continues to provide her students with musical performances and opportunities, such as the SDSU Elementary Festival Honor Choir where she has an increasingly large number of students selected each year.

Cheryl enjoys spending her free time with her husband, Ryan, and their three children: Anthony (freshman), Noah (6th grade), and Emily (3rd grade)

Choral Chair

Rebecca Rasmussen is in her 8th year of teaching K-12 vocal music at the Kimball School District. She has previously taught at Bridgewater, Emery, West Central, and Hills-Beaver

Creek, MN, for a total of 14 years. She is a member of SDMEA and ACDA. She previously served on the SDMEA board with 2 consecutive terms as the Elementary Honor Choir chairperson. During her tenure on the board, she was tasked with starting the Elementary Festival Choirs that have grown and flourished over the last 14 years. She also helped the board start the SDMEA conference that runs in conjunction with All-State Chorus and Orchestra.

Rebecca is very active in Region 5. She is in her 2nd year as the secretary-treasurer. She loves event planning! She is also very active in her church, playing the piano or singing for weekend services.

Rebecca has been married to Tony for 17 years. Tony’s son, Korbin (18) lives in Boise, Idaho, with his mom. Kimber (15), Delilah (14), Raelynn (8), and Aaron (6) keep the Rasmussens running all over for activities including shooting sports, 4-H, honor choirs, vocal and band contests, competitive cheer, track, volleyball, and golf.

If there is any free time, you will find Rebecca cooking, baking, spending time with friends and family, dusting off the golf clubs, or traveling!

Middle School Band Chair Elect

Desiree Yeigh is in her 15th year of teaching and is currently the Groton Area 5-12 Band Director. She also directs Flex Band, Show Choir Pit Band, Color Guard, and started a new MS and HS Drum Line this year. Desiree is a 2003 graduate of Aberdeen Roncalli High School and received her BME in Vocal and Instrumental Education and a Religious Studies Minor from Mount Marty College in 2008.

Desiree started her career in Viborg and taught 5-12 Band, K-5 Colony Music, and was a Cheerleading Coach. Her squads won "Spirit of Six" three years in a row. From 2012-2015 Desiree taught in Miller and was the director for 7-12 Band/Choir, 7-12 Jazz Band, and Vocal Jazz.

Desiree is a member of SDMEA, SDBA, and the Phi Beta Mu Sigma Chapter. She is also the Treasurer for the North Area Honor Band Committee. Desiree teaches K-5 Music at her church, is a piano instructor, and a FRG Co-Lead for the A Battery 1-147 Army National Guard. Desiree resides in Aberdeen with her husband, Caleb, and her two kids, Kyrie and Jeremiah.


Holly Gage is in her 16th year of teaching instrumental music. She is currently the Assistant Band Director at Patrick Henry Middle School, along with 5th grade band at Hawthorne Elementary and John Harris Elementary in Sioux Falls, SD. She started her career in Chamberlain SD and has spent a number of years in various middle schools and elementaries in the Sioux Falls School District. Holly also spent five years teaching general music, adaptive music, 3rd-5th grade band, and led professional development sessions at Fillmore Arts Center in the Washington DC Public School system. Holly has a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Augustana University, a Master's Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of South Dakota, and a Master's in Music Education from the University of South Dakota. She also enjoys teaching private lessons and performing with groups on the trombone whenever possible. Holly has a passion for middle school band and enjoys thinking outside the box to help them reach their full potential.