Country school teacher on billboard
Theresa Deuchar, instructor at the newly re-opened Deep Creek rural school, is the subject on a billboard approximately one mile south of Fort Pierre along Highway 83.
The billboard campaign by West Central Electric Cooperatives, Inc. began the week of August 20. The preliminary work-up and original photography was actually done in the spring of last school year. Then, Deuchar was one of the instructors at Milesville rural school, but then the Deep Creek rural school was re-opened for this school year. The billboard advertisement is expected to remain up for two years.
“I was very honored,” said Deuchar. She related that Connot said they would meet her at the school. She looked out of the window and saw three vehicles driving up. “I panicked,” said Deuchar. “The guys talked about country schools. I smiled a little bit and they took the picture.”
“We chose the school because we were excited the school was re-opening. I think its re-opening is cool,” said Joe Connot, director of member services for West Central. “What we are doing now is more energy conscious and energy conservation. That is what we are focusing on. West Central wants to profile members. That gives us a future in that area; children are our hope.” Connot continued, “I was just excited; you need children to grow. With that school opening up, we have growth in that area.”
“Whenever we change, we change another member (on the billboards), about every two years,” said Connot. His last billboard brainchild was of three young children walking along carrying fishing poles, with wind turbines in the background. That billboard was near Oacoma. The campaign pictorial before that was of Philip’s Brittney Drury and her daughter, Reghan, baking cookies. “We want to highlight different aspects,” said Connot of the varying billboard themes.
According to Connot, the Deep Creek School and its students will be the subjects of a story in the West Central bi-monthly magazine “Cooperative Connections.” The cooperative’s annual meeting October 3 in Philip will be the main subject in the magazine’s October issue. The Deep Creek Rural School will probably be the big story in the December issue.
With the current billboard, Deuchar sits on one of the school desks in front of the brown magnetic chalkboard that stretches across the room to the far wall. She liked the idea of promoting country schools, which are striving to offer the modern curriculum. She also liked the idea of Deep Creek School being the subject of a future magazine issue. “I think it will make the students more involved. They will realize they are in the spotlight, and they will strive to always do better. The billboard was just me, but the magazine will be them.” Deuchar praised the parents and their persistence in getting the school reopened. She believed that their actions show the students to be persistant in their own goals. “If you have a dream, pursue it,” said Deuchar.
Keven Morehart, superintendent for the Haakon School District, stated in a administrative announcement, “Staff, Theresa Deuchar was selected to be on the West Central billboard this year. Once again our school district gets great exposure due to your hard work and dedication to our students! Keep up the great work.”