Our Mission...
The mission of the South Dakota chapter of CSTA is to promote the discipline of computer science in K-16 classrooms, advocate for statewide standards and inclusion of computer science in all SD schools, provide professional development to enhance the quality of computer science education, and create community partnerships that support the extension and growth of computer science.

Chapter President - Tara Johanneson


My name is Tara Johanneson. I am the Director of Online Education at USF. Prior to beginning my USF career, I worked in the Bishop O'Gorman Catholic Schools (previously Sioux Falls Catholic Schools) as a 7-12 Technology/Computer Science teacher, 9-12 Chromebook Coordinator, and K-12 Technology Integrationist. I have taught numerous classes including, but not limited to, Computer Applications, Multimedia, Graphic Design, Computer Programming, Web Design, Introduction to Computer Science, and AP Computer Science. Outside of the classroom, I also advised the Gaming Club, O'Gorman FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) chapter and coached the eSports team.

I earned my Masters of Science in Technology for Education and Training from the University of South Dakota, Bachelor of Science in Business Education and Associate's Degree in Business Management from Dakota State University. I also have endorsements in K-12 Technology Education, Technology Integration, and Technology Coordination. I am a Google for Education Certified Trainer and a Google Certified Administrator.

I am currently serving as a school board member for Tea Area School District, a university representative for the South Dakota Middle-Level Educators Association, a member of the Helpline Center's Survivor of Suicide Loss Advisory Committee, and the Girl Scout Dakota Horizons Outer Limits Service Unit Manager.  I am a gymnastics official for the South Dakota High School Activities Association and the Girl Scout Dakota Horizons 10th grade troop leader.

I live in Tea, SD, with my husband, Jason (co-owner of R&R Mobility in Sioux Falls), and our three children, Taylor, Jaxon, and Jadon. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, baking, playing board games, and reading.

Chapter Vice President & Membership Coordinator - Rise Jongeling

I am a Special Education Science Teacher for an Alternative Program in the Sioux Falls School District at Axtell Park. In this role, I teach Science and electives that include Computer and Art. I teach Middle and High School students that have high academic abilities but may have attention or emotional situation that cause them to have challenges in the regular education classroom. I have been a Lifelong learner for many years and continue to see the importance of "teaching a student how to fish" wherever they are. Teaching analytical thinking opportunities over several curriculums like science, math, and computer science, I see students excel and develop a love for learning, which makes me feel like I have my dream job.

Chapter Treasurer - Charnelle Wooledge

My name is Charnelle Wooledge. I have been teaching Computer Science at Lincoln High School in Sioux Falls, SD for the past 24 years.  In addition to computer science, I recently took on teaching a couple of Physical Science sections.  The courses I teach include Graphic Design, Programming with Java I, AP Computer Science A, AP Computer Science Principles, Exploring Computer Science, Cybersecurity, and Web Design.  I am also the Livestream Coordinator for Lincoln which includes teaching Sports Communication, Marketing, and Video Production course.  This course is taught as a class and a club.  The students and club members call themselves the “Game Day Production” crew.  Responsibilities of this class include the livestreaming and play-by-play announcing of home activities and events.  
I earned my Master of Business Administration from Colorado Technical University of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. My undergraduate degrees are in Business Education, Secondary Education, and Business Administration. In addition to many different endorsements, I am also a CodeHS Teacher Trainer.  
I live in Sioux Falls, SD, with my husband, Rick(First Dakota National Bank), and our two labs, Ryder and Gunner.  My family is a big hunting and fishing family. We have two children, Makayla (25) she is a registered nurse on the labor and delivery/med surg floors at Huron Regional Medical Center in Huron, SD and Hunter (21) works with Rick at First Dakota. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, taking walks with Ryder, crocheting, and working my Mary Kay business.
Chapter Secretary - Julie Erickson
Julie Erickson is a Learning Specialist at TIE. She has over twenty years of library experience. She spent nine years as an Electronic Services Coordinator for the South Dakota State Library working with school, public and academic librarians statewide. She currently spends her time working with South Dakota school districts to implement new technology and other initiatives. Her current projects include technology integration, customized learning, OER textbook creation, coding, makerspaces, GIS and TIE membership activities. In addition to being the Regional Partner Coordinator for Code.org, she is also a Computer Science Fundamentals facilitator. She's passionate about technology and is a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, a  Microsoft Certified Trainer and a Google Certified trainer. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and a Master of Information Resources and Library Science from the University of Arizona.

Chapter Social Media Chair - Rachel Pierson

Rachel J. Pierson is a technology nerd with a teaching and learning habit. She currently serves as a middle school Computer Technology teacher in South Dakota. Rachel loves finding new ways to add to her instructional technology toolbox, and has a passion for teaching other teachers how to use these tools to their advantage. Follow Rachel on Twitter: @RPiersonEdu.

Board Member - Ben Benson

My name is Benjamin Benson I am a Senior Research Education Programs Specialist at Sanford Research. This role allows me to learn about the science that is happening at our facility and translate into pieces that can be used in classrooms in the region.  I have been in this role long enough to have a strong grasp on the physical science and the biological sciences that are required to make sense of our work. I am looking to try to understand how our work can translate into the computer science classroom. 

I earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science in Biology from South Dakota State University, I am currently certified to teach Biology and Physical Science in the state of South Dakota. Also I have attained the rank of Yondan in the art of Bujin Ki Ryu Jujitsu.

I live in Sioux Falls, SD, with my wife Cassandra, and our two children Ragnar and EchoRue.  In my free time I like to play board games, and exercise with my martial arts community. 

Board Member - Andrew Griffin

My name is Andrew Griffin. I am entering my 9th year as the computer science teacher at Tea Area High School. I am also the event streamer for school activities. During the spring I am an assistant HS track coach - I coach long and triple jumps. I am the advisor of the CyberTeam, E-Sports, and Event Streaming clubs.
I received my masters degree in Technology for Education and Training from the University of South Dakota in 2014. I received my bachelors degree in Education from the University of South Dakota in 2011. I have also had several great experiences in Cybersecurity professional development at the GenCyber teachers camp held at Dakota State University in 2017, 2021, and 2022.
I live in Sioux Falls with my wife and 2 kids. We enjoy gardening, playing board games, being outside, playing Legos, playing videogames and traveling.

Board Member - Samra Trask

My name is Samra Trask. I am the Technology Coordinator for the Wall School District in Wall, SD. In addition to my tech responsibilities, I also teach elementary computer classes, middle school computer applications, and monitor online Spanish courses.

I am a lifelong learner and a collector of teaching credentials. I have worked in nearly every teaching level in our district over the past 35+ years. Teaching at every grade level gives me a perspective which, I believe, has made me a more effective educator through the years.

I live on a cattle ranch with my husband. My greatest joy has been watching my four kids grow up and become amazing people. At present, I have 5 grandchildren but check with me again this summer.

Board Member - Koreen Hammel

Koreen Hammel is the 2021 SD Region 5 Teacher of the Year and the 2021 Hot Springs Teacher of the Year. She has been teaching for 19 years at various levels. She is a leader in the Hot Springs School District. She proposed and started the after school STEM club for Hot Springs.Koreen teaches grade 5 and after school STEM club for grades 3-5. She integrates technology in her classroom daily. She works to give each student an equal opportunity at learning.
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