A Madison High School teacher is being honored by the South Dakota State Historical Society. Robert Cordts of Madison is being recognized with a 2020 Governor’s Award for History for his efforts in preserving state history. Cordts is one of four individuals and two organizations receiving the awards this year.
Cordts is the 2020 History Teacher of the Year. He is the history teacher at Madison High School, where he has spent 18 of his 26 years in the field. The state Historical Society said that Cordts’ excitement for history is said to be palpable and tangible in his every lecture and activity. A prime example of this is his Native American Studies course, where he familiarizes students with the rich culture and traditions of the various tribes in the state. Cordts said he can’t think of anything that he would rather be doing with his life than teaching. In addition to teaching his students history, Cordts said it’s also important to teach them citizenship and leadership skills.
Other state award winners are Michael Runge of Deadwood, Pat Roseland of Rapid City, and Steven Bucklin of Vermillion, along with Reliabank of Watertown and the Fall River County Historical Society of Hot Springs.
Jay Vogt, director of the State Historical Society at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre, said that these are just a few of the “shining examples of how people across the state are helping us in our efforts to promote, nurture, and sustain South Dakota history.”