Tom TermesTermes honored as “Educator for the Year”

Tom Termes, assistant technology professor at Black Hills State University, was recently selected by the South Dakota Association for Career and Technical Education (SDACTE) as “Educator for the Year”.

Termes was selected for this recognition because of his work with distance learning. This is the first time a BHSU instructor has received this prestigious award, which is rarely given to a university-level instructor.

Termes developed a plan in 1998 to teach electronics to high school students using the Internet and secured grants from the Nida Corporation of Melbourne, Fla., and the National Science Foundation to develop and operate the online electronics program.

As a result of his efforts over 800 high school students have been able to participate in high quality, rigorous electronics courses. Twelve school districts from the region have participated in this cutting edge program: Belle Fourche, Box Elder Job Corp, Cheyenne Eagle Butte, Custer, Douglas, Edgemont, Hill City, Hot Springs, Lead/Deadwood, Meade, Oelrichs, and Spearfish.

The instructional system that was developed through Termes’ efforts now serves as a model for startup programs all over the county, including China, Micronesia, and Saudi Arabia.  

The online program also suits the needs of rural school districts that don’t typically have the resources to support high tech instruction, such as electronics.  

Termes and BHSU continue to support the online electronics program, which is entering its ninth year. Currently there are eight school districts in western South Dakota using the system that Termes developed, and he continues to work to find innovative ways to expand the program to our entire state.

“As we continue to elevate the need for technical education in our country, educators are faced with two challenges: first we must tap the intellectual capabilities of all students including females, minorities and under motivated students; and second, we must come to the realization that the majority of jobs require technical preparation, including math science and technology,” said Termes.

Termes has been a member of the BHSU faculty, in the department of Industrial Technology for 18 years. He received his bachelor of science in education from the University of South Dakota in vocational education. He earned his master of art in education from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind.