SIOUX FALLS, SD (AP) – South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem announced Thursday that her education secretary will step down from this role to serve as state historian and director of the state’s historic community.
Ben Jones was appointed by Noem to oversee the Department of Education in January 2019. He will move to the South Dakota State Historical Society in December and replace Jay Vogt, who has been retiring since overseeing the community since 2003.
Jones had served as dean of arts and sciences at Dakota State University and a faculty member at the U.S. Air Force Academy before taking the position in Noam’s cabinet.
“I look forward to being a South Dakota historian and working with community trustees and members, universities, researchers, authors, archaeologists, conservationists and the general public to preserve, promote and explain the history of our state,” Jones said in a statement.
Jones’ move creates the fourth vacancy in Noem’s cabinet this year. Game Secretary, Fish and Parks Kelly Hepler, Transport Minister Darin Bergquist and Agriculture Minister Kim Vanneman have all announced retirement.