One day when Joanna was asked what her job
was, she replied, “I’m an academic
enhancer with internal motivation.”
Throughout her 37 years of teaching, she
has challenged learners to think. She
enjoys watching the sparkle in the eyes of
her students as they understand new
Joanna is an author, educator, poet, and
consultant. She has encouraged children
and teachers to write. Now, she is taking
more time to do her own writing.
Joanna grew up in Redfield, South Dakota.
The Carnegie Library just a half mile from
her home was a wonderful place to explore
the children’s collection. The love of
reading was enhanced when at bedtime, her
mother read books aloud to her brother and
her. Today, she walks her dog in the
morning, wishes on stars at night, and
reads whenever she can.
In college, Joanna studied to be a teacher
and a librarian. Her family life and
career took her across Texas, New Mexico,
and Arizona before she returned to the
Black Hills of South Dakota. At Arizona
State University, Joanna completed her
doctorate that documented the value of the
teacher-librarian partnership in the
educational setting. She has presented on
a variety of literacy
topics at state, regional, and
national conferences. Internationally,
Joanna has presented in Portugal,
Scotland, New Zealand, and China.
Teaching children’s literature, young
adult literature, reading methods, and
language arts methods at college, allowed
Joanna to share authors and illustrators
in multiple reading and writing
settings. She has also taught in
elementary school and middle school as
well as teaching in a gifted program.
Joanna served on the South Dakota Prairie
Pasque, Prairie Bud committee that reviews
about 200 books per year to select the
yearly state recommended list of books for
Joanna Jones loves to read and talk about
born in Ipswich, SD in December1946. I
lived on our family farm until I was 9
years old. My father started working at
the Homestake Mine in Lead, SD in 1954.
Our family moved to Lead a year later.
My father continued to farm on the
weekends. My father published a book
about his family from 1794 to 1965.
Through his example, I learned my love
of history; he was always reading about
1965, I started working at the Franklin
Hotel as a waitress for Dorothy and Mel
Hoherz. Dorothy was the daughter of Al
Treber, a Deadwood pioneer. I was
introduced to the culture and history of
Deadwood at this time. I worked at the
restaurant as I put myself through
college and continued to work there
during my first teaching jobs. In 1976,
I moved to Arizona and was a
stay-at-home Mom with my three
1984, as a single parent, I moved with
my three boys back to Lead where I
started working at the Franklin Hotel
again. In the dining room, I worked for
French and Taffy Bryan. From there, I
became a front desk manager. During my
employment at the Franklin Hotel, I
visited with many pioneers of the
Deadwood area and soaked up all the
I am an elementary librarian for the
Lead-Deadwood Elementary School and work
with Black Hills Central Reservations.
Using my love of history at the Black
Hills Central Reservations I have
planned many excursions in the area for
vacationers. I specialize in writing
itineraries for my guests. I share my
knowledge of the area by suggesting
scenic drives and historic sites.
I consider myself a traditional
watercolorist. I enjoy the
challenge of painting and drawing.
Rustic images are my favorite subject
matter. Old automobiles,
abandoned buildings or a broken down fence
seem to grab my interest.
I have good memories as a child. The
art trends of the 1950's have influenced
me. Illustrator Norman Rockwell is a
favorite of mine. Like Mr. Rockwell,
I hope my paintings will warm the hearts
of viewers and take them back to a
pleasant time in their lives.
If I can bring a smile to the face of a
viewer, I have done my job as an artist.
Designing and composing a piece of artwork
is the first challenge all artists face
when beginning a painting or any piece of
work. With good design and technique
I attempt to keep a viewer's interest.
Bill is a South Dakota native, living most
of his life in the Lead-Deadwood
area. As a student at Black Hills
State University in Spearfish, SD, he
began studying watercolor painting.
His education consists of a B.S. in Fine
Arts with a double major in
Communication Art. Bill is a
signature member of Artists of the Black
Hills and Northern Plains Watercolor
Along with watercolor painting, Bill has
illustrated several safety manuals and
accident prevention drawings for mining
companies. The illustrations were
done with pen and ink.
Producing daily pencil sketches or doodles
help maintain his drawing skills.
Painting and drawing have and always will
hold his attention.
Also, Bill has illustrated several coin
designs. The designs reflected the
labor force of our nation. He is
familiar with producing artwork per a
customer's request. He has painted
several commissions including the
illustrations for the children's book Henry's
Adventures at the Franklin Hotel.
Meg English earned a masters in
history at the University of
Wisconsin-River Falls, and a doctorate
in education at the University
taught in public schools and
universities for twenty-five years.Her
writing has been published in
newspapers, books, magazines and
online.Dr. English’s greatest pleasure
is reading with her grandchildren.
Dr. Liz Fayer has
a B.S. and M.S. in Biology and an Ed.S.
and Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction.She
stated about the Circle
Boy book, “I was struck when
reading Black Elk Speaks by the
depth of his understanding of natural
Elk clearly describes the power of
scientific observation that came from
his true and deep connectedness to
nature.Black Elk, when working with John
Neihardt on the book, clearly expresses
the desire to share his knowledge and
understandings when he says, ‘There is
so much to teach you.What
I know was given to me for men and it is
true and it is beautiful.’I
hope we have honored his wishes by
creating a book that will teach young
children and old alike about his gift.”
Danika Gordon is a student at
Sturgis Brown High School in Sturgis,
South Dakota. She enjoys being
involved in activities in her school,
community and 4-H, and she hopes to
inspire others to spread kindness.
Williams-Hayes holds a Bachelor
of Science in Elementary Education with
a major in both Elementary Education and
English Composition, and a Minor in Art.
She taught for 25 years in South Dakota,
Wyoming and Oregon in the areas of
elementary, middle school English, Art
(Kindergarten through High School), and
Title 1. She has displayed and sold
artwork in numerous art shows,
coordinated and taught in Art After
School programs, been program
coordinator and member of the Spearfish
Area Historical Society for 10 years.
She also taught art and created sets for
the Peanut Butter and Jelly Children's
Theater for 6 years. She has published
written works in the magazines,
“Beautiful Fork” and “Backroads.” She is
an artist in ArtMeetSD.
Born in 1893, Henry is the
ten-year-old son of the manager for the
Franklin Hotel in Deadwood, SD. He is the
main character in Henry's
Adventure at the Franklin Hotel.
His prize possession is the wooden horse
his grandfather carved for him.