PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Gov. Dennis Daugaard says that he will appoint a western South Dakota school district superintendent to serve as secretary of education.

Daugaard said Monday that the new Education Department head will be Sturgis resident Don Kirkegaard, who also currently serves as president of the South Dakota Board of Education Standards.

Kirkegaard will resign from the board and as superintendent of Meade County School District to assume the new administration role.

Kirkegaard succeeds Melody Schopp, who is to retire Dec. 15. He will start on Jan. 1, 2018.

Daugaard says Kirkegaard's experience as a school administrator and service on the Board of Education Standards make him an able leader for the department.

Kirkegaard has been Meade County superintendent since 2011 and has served on the education board since 2006.