Photos of DeVoss, Rawerts, Konda

ABERDEEN, S.D. – The Aberdeen Public Schools Foundation Golden Apple Award winners were announced Tuesday at the school district’s all-staff in-service event.  

The Golden Apple Award winners are:  

  • Mike DeVoss, Building Maintenance Technician at Buzz Potter  

  • Kerry Konda, Central High School Teacher  

  • Cheryl Rawerts, Administrative Assistant at Simmons Middle School 

Sponsored by the Aberdeen Public Schools Foundation, Golden Apple Awards are given annually to employees who have made an outstanding contribution to the district and demonstrated a dedication to excellence in education.  

Winners are nominated by a co-worker at the school district. DeVoss, who has worked for the district over 27 years, was nominated by fellow maintenance employee Nels Olson.  

“With his many years of serviceto the district, he is invaluable with his knowledge and is a wealth of information that can't be found in any instruction manual,” Olson wrote in his nomination letter. “He is always offering new helpful information, innovative ideas, and techniques for the benefit of all in our school district.” 

Konda, who is in his 16th year with the school district, was nominated by co-workers including fellow Speech and Debate Coach Abiah George.  

George, who is also a former student, wrote in her nomination letter that Konda has created aninclusive and supportive environment that advances growth, learning and mutual respect. 

“His belief in his students has transformed us into strongdebaters, and even better humans,” George wrote. “Mr. Konda amplified the spark in me that led me to create tangible changes in our small community. In a world where people are quick to judge and look for personal gain, he is invested in his students not for his own benefit, but to see us succeed. He is persistent in pushing us to pursue our dreams and works tirelessly to help us make it happen.”  

Rawerts, who has been with the district for 25 years, received multiple nominations from coworkers.  

“They say it takes a village… but Cheryl IS the village,” wrote SMS PE/Health Teacher Cassidy Neer. 

Simmons Middle School Principal Dr. Colleen Murley and Vice Principal Kelsey Scarborough submitted a joint nomination letter praising Rawerts. 

 “Cheryl is the rock of our school, the linchpin of our success, and a beacon of positivity and support,” they wrote. “Her willingness to step up in any situation, her readiness to help, and her consistent demonstration of kindness and competence make her the ideal candidate for the Golden Apple Award.”  

About the Aberdeen Public School District 

The Aberdeen Public School District provides a comprehensive educational program to approximately 4,200 students in grades K-12, with a mission of empowering all students to succeed in a changing world. Our students receive the knowledge and skills necessary to reach their potential in a global community through high expectations of academic achievement; diverse educational opportunities; and community involvement in a safe, supportive environment. Learn more at