Tornberg has been a District 16 resident since she moved to Beresford when she was 15 years old. She is a graduate of Beresford High School in 1974, Augustana College in 1977, and completed her Masters Degree in Secondary Education and Speech Communication at USD in 1984. She is currently a retired teacher after 31 years in the field.
Ann Tornberg spent 23 years at Beresford High School from 1977-2000 teaching English, speech and debate and then taught at Lincoln H.S. until 2005. During these years, Mrs. Tornberg coached over 400 students in speech and debate and won numerous coaching and professional awards. From 2005-2008, she left the classroom on full-time release when she was elected President of the Sioux Falls Education Association, the largest local teachers association in South Dakota. As President of SFEA, she worked with many state legislators from both parties on education issues.
Ann's husband of 35 years, Mike Tornberg, is a third generation dairy and grain farmer south of Beresford. She describes herself as a farm girl who married into a farm family and is a strong advocate promoting agriculture through groups like the SD Farmers Union, AgUnited, and the SD Dairy Association. She served as a Lincoln County 4-H Leader for over 15 years. Tornberg states, "Knowing that only actions get things done, I've gone to Pierre to speak up for agriculture! When I became aware of the SD Dept. of Revenue's sales tax audits of dairy farms and their intention to tax bedding for all livestock producers, I helped work on legislation to stop this practice. I testified in front of the House and Senate Taxation Committees. Our efforts paid off, and the attempt to extend this tax was stopped, benefiting livestock producers throughout SD." Tornberg notes that she will be the only candidate for District 16 House actively engaged in agriculture.
Tornberg has also been an advocate on education issues. "As a retired teacher, I know that education is the key to economic opportunity in the state of South Dakota. I've been active on school issues, especially after the drastic cuts to education passed by the 2011 Legislature. This cut of $319 per student from the funding formula has resulted in close to 500 South Dakota educators losing their jobs. The result in District 16 schools, and all across the state, was loss of electives and programs, larger class sizes, and fewer key support staff like Teacher Aids who worked with struggling students. To add insult to injury, in the 2012 Legislative session, the entire conversation shifted from the need to restore these needed funds to attempts to implement merit pay and statewide teacher evaluation systems tied to student test scores."
Mike and Ann have two daughters, both married, and four grandchildren. Their oldest daughter, Dr. Marie Moeller, is a family physician in northwest Iowa and their youngest daughter, Michelle Andrews, is a 4th grade teacher at Beresford Elementary. Since retiring from teaching Grandma Ann provides "M-F grandma daycare". She is actively involved at Emmanuel Lutheran of Beresford where she serves as Treasurer and sits on the Church Council. Tornberg believes her faith strongly influences her political beliefs. She explains, "I am pro-life and pro-child. To me that means, not just fighting to help children enter the world, but standing up for education, health care, and the programs which help children and families in need."
District 16 is comprised of all voters in Union County and those in the southern half of Lincoln County.
For further information, and/or to find out how you may assist with the campaign please call Ann Tornberg (605) 957-4411; visit her Facebook page "Ann Tornberg for District 16 South Dakota State House" or her campaign website anntornbergfordistrict16house.wikispaces.com; or send email to email@example.com.
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