About SDAN

About SDAN

Who We Are

The South Dakota Afterschool Network works to better our state and its communities by connecting providers, parents and policymakers with proven tools and resources to increase the quality of and access to out-of-school time programming for K-12 children and youth.

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Mission

The mission of the South Dakota Afterschool Network is to support and sustain quality afterschool, out of school time (OST) and youth development programs to serve the needs of South Dakota’s youth.

Vision

We envision a state where all children have access to high-quality, safe and affordable programming that supports successful academic and positive social outcomes for students, parents, schools and communities.

Meet The Team

Billy Mawhiney

Executive Director

Billy Mawhiney grew up on a farmland in a rural Missouri town of 113. On the farm is where he learned a strong work ethic and how to be a caring neighbor. He is a member of the Wyandotte Nation, the tribe instrumental in the founding of Kansas City, Kansas and Detroit, whose tribe language family comes from the Northern Iroquoian. He began his career in afterschool while in college at the Boys & Girls Clubs in Springfield, Missouri. He spent 8 years at that developing impact programming. He would eventually take a leap into licensed school age programs at the YMCA for the next 4 years. He and his now husband Kyle would eventually move to Brooklyn, New York, where he fell in love with cooking. Billy taught cooking classes for high school students at Validus Prep in the Bronx. They moved to South Dakota to be closer to family, start a family of their own and eventually find his way back to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire where he was the Director of Operations.

Billy has spent his formative years in South Dakota working on advocacy at the state and federal level, expanding capacity for his organization and will now turn that energy into all afterschool programs throughout the state of South Dakota. In his spare time you can catch him in his heirloom tomato garden or teaching a cooking class at Plum’s Cooking Company in Downtown Sioux Falls.

Billie Jo Bakeberg

Director of Operations

Billie Jo Bakeberg is our new Director of Operations for the South Dakota Afterschool Network. Billie grew up on a ranch near Eagle Butte, SD. She credits the family ranch with instilling a strong work ethic and a stick with it mentality.

Billie Jo graduated from Black Hills State College (yes it was a college before a university). She began her teaching career, became married and started a family and soon after when her children were toddlers she began her career in afterschool, seeing the job as a temporary gig that fit the needs of her family. She soon realized that Out of School Time programs were her passion. She has spent the last 26+ years directing the Kids Club Kids program in Spearfish, which grew from 7 children to 240 children.

“I was the first president of the South Dakota School Age Care Alliance in 1999 and remain active in this statewide organization today,” Bakeberg said. “When the Afterschool Partnership was awarded to South Dakota, I became an advocate and supporter of this opportunity and served on the first leadership team. I have remained active as the Partnership transitioned to the South Dakota Afterschool Network, celebrating the vision of quality afterschool for ALL.”  As a White Riley Peterson Fellow she had the opportunity to learn from the best, think outside the box and advocate for quality standards for afterschool. WRP also gave her a new mantra; If not now, WHEN – If not me, WHO?  

When not working with her passion for afterschool, she can be found with her family. Billie Jo and her husband, Todd (now deceased), raised two children who are now both married and successful in their careers. Janesa lives in Wyoming with her husband Kyle.Jacksyn and his wife Elizabeth live in Boston MA. 2021 brought her new title of Grammy as her family welcomed Baker Scott to the family.

Jeff Sebern

Director of Programs

Jeff Sebern is our new Director of Programs for the South Dakota Afterschool Network. He holds a B.S. in Biology Education with a coaching endorsement. Jeff started his career as a science teacher in the Alcester-Hudson School district where he also served as Head Girls Track Coach.

“During my time there my passion for working with kids extended into the afterschool arena as I worked part-time in the program at the school which served youth in grades K-6,” Sebern said. “After four years in the school system I began to think about alternative ways I could still work with students but in a way that affords more flexibility and focuses on the student as a whole person.  As Club Director and eventually Teen/Outreach Director with the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire, I was able to find that holistic strategy applied towards the kids we served.  OST programs are crucial to the development of children as they become well rounded, resilient, and ultimately successful adults.  With an additional four years of experience working in this environment, I believe I bring a unique perspective to SDAN that can help support OST programs throughout the state.”

Some of his passions outside of work are spending time with his family and pets as well as outdoor activities such as hiking and fishing. As the spring brings warm weather, you can frequently find him in his waders fishing at an area lake and enjoying the sunset and peaceful environment that comes with it.

Lisa Verdin

Director of Marketing & Engagement

Fifteen years ago, after working post-college in for-profit marketing roles, Lisa landed in the nonprofit world by chance and has spent every moment since falling in love with the missions she been able to serve.

“I have always felt fortunate to hold what I see as the best job in an organization, the storyteller. After spending the past eight years telling the story of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire, my passion for the mission of supporting youth has become synonymous with my personal mission to spend my life doing what I can to create a better tomorrow for others. I’m excited to join SDAN to continue telling the story of the importance access to quality afterschool programming plays in creating a better tomorrow.”

Lisa holds a BA degree in Journalism/Advertising from South Dakota State University. She enjoys spending time with her husband and teenage son Dylan. 

Lisa Verdin

Director of Marketing & Engagement

Fifteen years ago, after working post-college in for-profit marketing roles, Lisa landed in the nonprofit world by chance and has spent every moment since falling in love with the missions she been able to serve.

“I have always felt fortunate to hold what I see as the best job in an organization, the storyteller. After spending the past eight years telling the story of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire, my passion for the mission of supporting youth has become synonymous with my personal mission to spend my life doing what I can to create a better tomorrow for others. I’m excited to join SDAN to continue telling the story of the importance access to quality afterschool programming plays in creating a better tomorrow.”

Lisa holds a BA degree in Journalism/Advertising from South Dakota State University. She enjoys spending time with her husband and teenage son Dylan. 

Dawn Marie Johnson, MSW

Director of Leadership & Culture

Dawn Marie has devoted her life to helping others discover their own strengths. Growing up in a small town on the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation, she experienced a community that took pride in its people, even with limited resources. Rallying around those who deserve support and celebrating those who experience success has been part of her outreach strategies to build a better tomorrow for all those around her.
Dawn Marie is a highly active leader in the Sioux Falls community. In 2022, she was appointed as a Commission on Human Relations member. Since 2021, she has served on the Bridging the Gap Community Foundation, SFSD Indian Education Parent Committee, and graduated from the Leaders of Tomorrow leadership training.
Part of Dawn Marie’s mission is to connect her and her community to Indigenous roots and history. In 2020, she was awarded the Dreamstarter Grant through Running Strong for American Indian Youth. She has offered traditional practices to her students and connected local elders to youth through this. Prior to this opportunity, Dawn Marie hosted several successful community events that featured local and national Indigenous artists, leaders, and entities.
Dawn Marie spent the last ten years supporting school and after school organizations through her power of collaboration and partnerships. As an afterschool director, she was awarded National Afterschool Association’s Next Generation of Leaders in 2019 and recognized for her community work and professionalism by the University of South Dakota’s 30 Under 30 Alumni Award the same year. She graduated with her Masters in Social Work from the University of South Dakota in 2020 and contributes much of her success to striving to set a positive example for her eight year old daughter, Rhayn Marie Villanueva Medrano.

Karla Johnson

Grant Writer

Karla Johnson has been the Network Lead of South Dakota Afterschool Network since August 2018. Karla is the former Business Development Director of EmBe in Sioux Falls and CEO of Youth Enrichment Services. Karla is one of the pioneers of South Dakota’s School Age Care industry, creating programs in elementary schools as early as 1980. She established before and after school programs in numerous public and private elementary schools throughout southeast South Dakota and provided technical assistance to several school districts across the state as they created before and after school programs for their students. She is a past president of the South Dakota School Age Care Alliance board, a past Chair of the South Dakota Afterschool Network, and a past member of the National Afterschool Association Board of Directors. Karla is also a past President of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra League and former member of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors.

Karla Johnson

Grant Writer

Karla Johnson has been the Network Lead of South Dakota Afterschool Network since August 2018. Karla is the former Business Development Director of EmBe in Sioux Falls and CEO of Youth Enrichment Services. Karla is one of the pioneers of South Dakota’s School Age Care industry, creating programs in elementary schools as early as 1980. She established before and after school programs in numerous public and private elementary schools throughout southeast South Dakota and provided technical assistance to several school districts across the state as they created before and after school programs for their students. She is a past president of the South Dakota School Age Care Alliance board, a past Chair of the South Dakota Afterschool Network, and a past member of the National Afterschool Association Board of Directors. Karla is also a past President of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra League and former member of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors.

Red Dawn Foster

Tribal Liaison 

Red Dawn Foster is Oglala Lakota and Navajo born for the Kin Ya’áanii (Towering House People) and Tábąąhá (Water’s Edge) clan. Red Dawn is passionate about utilizing her education and experience to promote positive community development, STEAM and literacy education for the future growth and development of Tribal Nations. Red Dawn’s strength is the ability to actively engage in the community to encourage public participation and education through a community organizing approach. Utilizing this approach, Red Dawn is able to efficiently facilitate the development review and inspection process to meet the community’s goals for development, to protect health and safety, and to promote quality development and increase investment in the community.

Red Dawn is an alumna of the University of Colorado at Denver, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, and the University of Notre Dame, where she received her Master of Arts degree in Business Administration. Red Dawn has over ten years of experience working with Tribal communities in the community and economic development field.

Alazar Negash

Youth Voice Advocate 

Meet Alazar! He will be joining SDAN for the summer of 2022 as our Youth Voice Advocate. Alazar is currently attending the University of South Dakota with a major in education. His work will focus on building connections and helping to form an ongoing youth voice across the state for out-of-school programs.

Alazar Negash

Youth Voice Advocate 

Meet Alazar! He will be joining SDAN for the summer of 2022 as our Youth Voice Advocate. Alazar is currently attending the University of South Dakota with a major in education. His work will focus on building connections and helping to form an ongoing youth voice across the state for out-of-school programs.

Leadership Team

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Desmond Keller

President of Leadership Team

Black Hills Special Services

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Billy Mawhiney

Executive Director

South Dakota Afterschool Network

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Chad Ronish

Black Hills State University

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Glen Marshall

Boys & Girls Club of Rosebud

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John Hegg

Community Volunteer

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Dr. Sherry Johnson

Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux Tribe

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Louis Canfield

Boys & Girls Club of Watertown

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Michelle Hentschel

Fiscal Sponsor Representative, EmBe

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Christine Wood

SDSU Extension/4-H

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Sue Burgard

Community Volunteer

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Kathleen Slocum

South Dakota State Library

Our Partners

Your support is advancing afterschool and summer programs in South Dakota

The South Dakota Afterschool Network works to better our state and its communities by connecting providers, parents and policymakers with proven tools and resources to increase the quality of and access to out-of-school time programming for K-12 children and youth.

Afterschool is a lifeline that keeps youth safe, helps kids learn and grow, and provides parents the ability to work without worry. While South Dakota is home to more than 300 afterschool programs, the demand for programs exceeds available spaces. In fact, 1 in 3 South Dakota children (34 percent) who are not in an afterschool program would be enrolled if it were available. That’s more than 42,000 children who are missing out on opportunities to participate in programming that supports their development academically, socially and economically.

Afterschool can provide valuable opportunities for students to explore STEM, and we are here to help your program succeed in STEM Learning! From webinars and trainings to our signature TMC Trailers that bring turnkey STEM activities to your doorstep, our diverse collection of resources meets you and your students where you are and provides the support you need to deliver quality programming to your students at any age. 

The South Dakota Afterschool Network wanted to create a mapping tool to better understand the landscape of afterschool and summer programs available for children and families. From the initial launch of the new mapping tool, we have identified some startling findings.