I’m Debbie Pease from Centerville and I’m running for the House of Representatives in District 17 which includes all of Clay and Turner Counties and has been my home since I began attending the University of South Dakota in 1984. I believe my experiences as a wife, mother, and long-time advocate for South Dakota families, will make me an excellent Representative for the citizens of District 17.
I was blessed to grow up in rural South Dakota, where my parents taught me the value of hard work and perseverance. I graduated from the University of South Dakota, got married and started a teaching career in Centerville within a few months in 1989. After 4 years, I took a break from classroom teaching to focus on raising our growing family.
Raising a large family taught me how to stretch every penny, and I coordinated a local food co-op in Centerville for many years to help other local families do the same. I have been active in our religious education program at church as well as serving on the leadership team of the Vermillion Christian Home Educators Cooperative.
I became the chair of a state-wide non-profit in 2007 which led to me serving as their lobbyist since 2008. Four years ago, I accepted the challenge to advocate for another non-profit organization as well. My time spent advocating for South Dakota families in the South Dakota State Legislature gives me confidence that I can be an effective voice for the citizens of Clay and Turner Counties.
While I am not an expert on every issue, I am a hard worker and an expert listener. I am eager to hear from those in my District about the problems they face and how state government can best address their concerns.
As well as being a teacher myself, my husband, both parents and both grandmothers also served as teachers in South Dakota. Education is critical to our future. We must find a way to recruit and retain the best teachers while maintaining the local control that gives parents a voice in their child’s education.
We have skilled and caring healthcare providers, but they are working in a broken system. If we really care about helping our citizens maintain their health, we need to revamp our system to reward healthy outcomes. While we need to care for the sick and injured, we need to spend more on preventive care that promotes healthy lifestyles.