Hill City Elementary School

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Welcome to the 2018-19 school year!  I am Blake  Gardner, the elementary school principal in Hill City.  I have worked in the HIll City School District for 12 years and been an administrator for 8 years.  I love this school and this community!  Our tag line is 'Instilling Excellence and Pride!'  
I am originally from Winner, SD.  I obtained my Social Studies Composite Degree from Black Hills State University in Spearfish.  I taught social studies at Hill City High School from 2006-2011.  While teaching, I earned my master's degree in k-12 administration education from the University of South Dakota.  I spent one year as the elementary principal and the rest of my time as the middle school principal/AD.  I have also been the varsity boys basketball coach for the past 10 season.
I am married to my wife Kati and we have 4 kids, and a dog.


Winner High School: Winner, SD (Class of 2001)


Black Hills State University: Spearfish, SD (2001-2005)

Major: 7-12 Social Science Composite Degree

Endorsement: 5-8 Social Sciences


University of South Dakota: Vermillion, SD (2008-2010)

Masters in Educational Administration; PK-12


University of South Dakota: Vermillion, SD (2016-2018)

Specialist Degree: Superintendent Endorsement


Professional Experience:

Hill City Administration (2010-Present)

  • Middle School Principal 2011-present
  • Middle School Athletic Director 2011-Present
  • Elementary Principal 2010-2011


Hill City High School (2006-2010)

  • Government, World History, US History, Geography, Psychology and Sociology
  • Head Boy’s Basketball Coach (2006-Present)
    • Region 8 Coach of the Year 2008-2009; 2017-18
    • Region 8 Director for SDBBCA


  • Football Offensive Coordinator (2007-2009)
  • Assistant Track Coach (2007-2010)
  • Senior Class Advisor (2008-2009)
  • Coaches Association Role (See below)         



Awards and Honors:

  • 2008-2009 SDBBCA Region 8 Coach of the Year
  • 2009 Winner Athletic Banquet Keynote Speaker; Winner, SD
  • 2009-2018 SDBBCA “AA” All-State Selection Chairman
  • 2009, 2010, 2014 “A” All Tournament Team Selection Committee
  • 2009,2010, 2014 SD Activities Association Spirit of Sioux Ann Big Crow Committee
  • 2010, 2011 Clinician at Vance Peterson Memorial Coaches Clinic; Deadwood, SD
  • 2010-2012 Head Coach South Dakota Heat, U16 AAU Rushmore Team
  • 2010-2018 South Dakota Coaches Association- West River Basketball Representative
  • 2016-17 Founder of Black Hills Gold AAU Team- U17, U16, and U15
  • 2017-18 SDBBCA Region 8 Coach of the Year
  • 2017-18 SDASSP Regional Principal of the Year