Hill City School District

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Welcome to the 2024-2025 school year!  I am Blake Gardner, the Superintendent in Hill City.  This is my 19th year in Hill City and 6th 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.  It is a blessing to serve as your superintendent as 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 2006-2010.  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)

Educational 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 (2006-2019)
    • 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, Honors & Committees:

  • 2008-2009 SDBBCA Region 8 Coach of the Year
  • 2009 Winner Athletic Banquet Keynote Speaker; Winner, SD
  • 2009-2022 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
  • 2020-2021 – SDHSAA Return to Play Task Force (COVID-19) - Superintendent Representative
  • 2020-2021 – SDHSAA Football Classification Subcommittee
  • 2021-2022 - SASD Delegate Assembly Representative
  • 2021-2022 - Chairmen of Joint Ventures Superintendent's Group
  • 2022-2023 - South Dakota Superintendent's Association Community Leader of the Year
  • 2023-2024 - SDSSA Executive Board Member
  • 2023-2024 - Region IV Superintendent Representative