Augustana University Partners With Sioux Falls School District to Provide Imagine Solutions Pilot Program for Educators

By Keeley Meier '20 | May 24, 2023
Imagine Solutions

Augustana University is excited to announce that it has established a 2-year pilot program with the Sioux Falls School District (SFSD) to give teachers access to the Imagine Solutions Virtual Learning Program. Imagine Solutions and the Searching for Solutions Institute, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation, were founded in 2008 with the goal of bringing leading-edge speakers and thinkers to engaged audiences of change-makers.

Every year, Imagine Solutions Conference in Naples, Florida hosts experts in their fields to speak on ideas and topics that drive leadership, innovation and inspiration in key areas: science breakthroughs, education, exploration, biodiversity, the arts, tomorrow’s leaders, energy, etc. 

"At the core of Augustana's liberal arts education is the search for innovative solutions and the creation of new paths to address society's challenges,” said Dr. Pam Homan ‘81, Augustana chief strategy officer & executive vice president. “With our Imagine Solutions and Sioux Falls School District partnership, we are excited to bring the mindset of leading-edge entrepreneurs into the classroom to inspire the next generation of thinkers and leaders."

The Imagine Solutions Virtual Learning Program for teachers is designed to allow anytime access to 20-minute segments for five total hours of professional development. Augustana will provide continuing education unit certificates to participants, and all faculty in the Augustana Sharon Lust School of Education will have access to the program as well.

“The Sioux Falls School District and Augustana University partnership enhance both educational systems,” Sioux Falls School District Assistant Superintendent Dr. Teresa Boysen. “The collaborative partnership offers valuable professional learning opportunities for teachers.”

Speakers for the 2023 Virtual Learning Program include Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan, director of the National Science Foundation (NSF); Sherrie Westin, president of Sesame Workshop; Dr. Mike Gunton, executive producer of “The Green Planet” and senior executive at BBC Natural History; Benjamin Zander, founder and conductor of the Boston Philharmonic and Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestras; and Fabien Cousteau, aquanaut, documentary filmmaker and founder of Proteus — the first permanent underwater research habitat. This year’s host and moderator is Tyler Mathisen, an Emmy Award-winning journalist. 

“The 2-year Imagine Solutions Program will provide SFSD staff access to world-class visionaries with a deep understanding of current trends, emerging technologies and cutting-edge research,” Boysen said. “Their insights can inspire innovative approaches to education and encourage out-of-the-box and new methodologies. By learning from their experience and ideas, we can foster a forward-thinking culture and continually push the boundaries of what is possible in education.”

Imagine Solutions is supported by many dedicated and passionate individuals — committed to sharing cutting-edge knowledge and leading important conversations — including Tom and Barb Everist, who have been involved with Imagine Solutions since day one and are making the 2-year pilot program possible. Tom serves as chair of the Imagine Solutions Board of Directors.

To learn more about the Augustana Sharon Lust School of Education, visit

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