South Dakota PLTW Team

Liz McMillan: Affiliate Director, Sanford Research
Liz McMillan is responsible for the direction and execution of programs associated with K-12 students and their teachers. In addition to PLTW, she works closely with teachers in the region and Sanford scientists to create and deliver exceptional content and activities that allow the community to understand the value of research and ignite an interest in students to pursue careers in research. Additionally, her efforts are focused on enhancing and increasing collaborations with other industry and academic partners to join together in a focused effort towards advancing science literacy in our communities. She joined Sanford Health in 2011 after serving as a middle school science teacher in Flandreau, South Dakota. Liz holds bachelor’s degrees in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from the University of Denver and a master’s degree in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Colorado Denver.

Tamara Ledeboer: Education Program Coordinator, Sanford Research
As the Education Program Coordinator, Tamara has administrative responsibilities covering all science outreach and education activities as part of The Sanford PROMISE (PROgram for the Midwest Initiative in Science Exploration). This includes curricular support programs for K-12 students, teachers and schools, experiential summer research learning for high school and undergraduate students, and graduate student coordination.

Sonja McNamara: Director, School Engagement South Dakota and Minnesota, PLTW
Sonja works with school districts, employers and higher education in the west central region to implement a world class STEM curriculum and prepare students for a global economy.

Kara Schweitzer: State Leader for Biomedical Science, SD Department of Education
Kara is the East Central Region Career Development Specialist with the Division of Career and Technical Education for the South Dakota Department of Education.  In addition to her duties as state leader for the Biomedical Science side of PLTW, she is charged with the Health Science and Information Technology Career Clusters for the Division of Career and Technical Education as well as CTE for Core Content Credit.  Kara has been with the Department of Education since 2013 and previously worked in the public school system for eight years.

Jane Gubrud: State Leader for Engineering, SD Department of Education
Jane is the East Central Region Career Development Specialist with the Division of Career and Technical Education for the South Dakota Department of Education.