Hill City School District

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Welcome to the 2021-2022 school year!  I am Blake  Gardner, the Superintendent in Hill City.  This is my 16th year in Hill City and 3rd as superintendent.  I love this school and this community!  Like many small schools, I have worn many hats during my tenure including: high school teacher, middle school principal, athletic director, elementary principal, varsity basketball coach, junior class adviser, assistant football/track, and even helped remove snow and serve food when needed.  Our tag line is 'Instilling Excellence and Pride!'  and I believe the great people in our district live out our tag line every day.  We have an awesome community, supportive parents, smart kids, and amazing staff members.  We are all on the same team with the same goal: THE BEST EDUCATION FOR OUR KIDS!
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 9 years as a principal between the elementary principal and  middle school principal/AD.  I was also the varsity boys basketball coach for 13 seasons.
I am married to my wife Kati and we have 5 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)

  • Superintendent 2019-Present
  • Middle School Principal 2011-2018
  • Middle School Athletic Director 2011-2018
  • Elementary Principal 2010-2011, 2018-2019


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)          



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
  • 2019-2020 South Dakota Superintendent's Association Rookie of the Year