Lemke enjoys challenges of Extension

Lemke enjoys challenges of Extension Marta Lemke is Clay County's new Extension educator and youth development specialist. After two days of orientation in Brookings, she began her new job in Vermillion July 15. by David Lias As Marta Lemke takes on the challenges of her new role as Clay County Extension educator and youth development specialist, she will always keep a special person in mind.

�One of the things that really drew me to education is my third through sixth grade teacher,� she said, settled in her office at the Extension building in Vermillion.

Lemke grew up on a farm near Lantry, approximately 10 miles west of Eagle Butte in Dewey County. Up until she reached junior high age, she attended class in a one-room country school in Lantry.

Her teacher, Judy Longbrake, �was one of the most unbelievable women who has ever taught,� Lemke said. �Having a strong mentor in that country school setting has really driven me.

�I think I will be able to take some of her theories in teaching to work with youth development,� she said.

After two days of orientation in Brookings, Lemke began her new role in Vermillion on July 15. She�s had to learn quickly; the Clay County Fair begins next Thursday, Aug. 11.

Lemke is a graduate of Dupree High School, and received a bachelor�s degree in elementary education from Northern State University in Aberdeen.

She has taught in an elementary school in Chamberlain, and while working in student services at Si Tanka University in Huron, she enrolled in a graduate program at South Dakota State University in Brookings.

Last May, she received her master�s degree in curriculum and instruction. �My

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emphasis is on English as a second language,� she said.

Ralph Matz, the program coordinator for the South Dakota Extension Service headquartered at Brookings, �has been kind of nudging me to work for Extension,� Lemke said. �So when I saw there was an opening here, I was very interested.�

She has a hint of what to expect. Lemke�s uncle is an Extension educator in Ziebach County. An aunt holds a similar role in Hanson County.

�I know I�ve started right at the busy time of the year,� Lemke said, �but I think that�s helped me meet more people. The office has definitely been lively since I�ve come on board.�

She is eager to begin getting acquainted with Clay County�s young people.

�One of the things I really like about Extension and youth development is the out-of-the-box teaching methods you can use,� Lemke said. �You are able to reach a wide variety of age groups, and implement subject areas that you wouldn�t normally if you were a classroom teacher.�

Lemke is the daughter of John and Judy Lemke of Lantry. She has an older brother, Duane, and a younger brother, Brandon.

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