Rich Mittelstedt graduated from the University of SD with a BA in History and French. He attended the first year of law school at USD before deciding his passion was in teaching. He taught secondary social studies (World History, Practical Law, and Government) and speech and debate for 16 years in Watertown. He was an innaugural fellow in the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Program and earned his M.Ed. from North Dakota State University in 2002. He began working for SDEA in 2005 as a UniServ Director in the northeast corner of the state. In 2014 SDEA began the process of re-establishing professional development as a role of the organization and Rich began to transition into a full-time position as Teaching and Learning Coordinator.
Rich served as a staff liaison to the SD Teaching and Learning Commissioin during their work on teacher and principal growth models, the creation of student learning objectives, and the revision of teacher certification requirements. He also serves on the SD Statewide Mentor Development Team under the SD Department of Education.