Middle/High School Principal

Phone: 605-847-4455


Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Melissa Bothun

Greetings!  My name is Melissa (Jensen) Bothun, and I am the 6-12 Principal and Title I Director for the Lake Preston School District.  I was beyond excited to become a diver once more, as I am a graduate of Lake Preston High School, and am very excited to have returned to a school I love. My passion for lifelong learning, investment in school culture, commitment to student and stake holder engagement, and devotion to educational gains will serve me well as your new 6-12 administrator.

Prior to this exciting new chapter in my life, I taught for six years in the Brookings School District, at both the Brookings High School and the George S. Mickelson Middle School.  Prior to Brookings, I taught for five years in the Sioux Valley School District.

Although I enjoy teaching immensely, I have found my true passion is not solely contained within the classroom.  In order for meaningful learning to take place within each student and learning community, a strong and reliable support system must be in place to help guide and nurture both the learners and the teachers along their individual paths. While being mindful that every educational journey is not alike, nor is every student or teacher, I harbor an intense love for learning and continually seek to employ new techniques to ignite that same spark in others. My greatest wish is to inspire my staff to search diligently for those sparks within each student.

My educational mission is lived with one simple statement in mind: If they could, they would.  I firmly feel no one chooses the harder path through life if able to make the changes necessary to proceed down an easier one.  Providing the tools and knowledge to allow students to make those choices and proceed in a more productive direction is integral to their short term as well as long term success.  Support and genuine caring makes a world of difference school wide. 

I currently reside in Brookings with my family.  My husband Eric is a Key Account Manager for Bayer Crop Science, my daughter Hayley is a sophomore at Missouri Western University, and my daughter Brooklyn will be joining me in Lake Preston as a 6th grader this year.  I have lived in the Volga/Brookings community since graduating from Lake Preston High School with the class of 1996.  I attended South Dakota State University, where I have earned my Bachelors of Science in Education and my Masters in Educational with an emphasis in Administration.

I am passionate in my desire to provide support and guidance to my teaching staff as well as my student body to enhance engagement throughout the district and community. I am grateful for the opportunity to demonstrate my commitment to the growth of the Lake Preston School District and look forward to meeting you all in the future.



Melissa Bothun

6-12 Principal