SIOUX FALLS (AP) – South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem announced Thursday that her Secretary of Education will be stepping down from that role to serve as State Historian and director of the state's historical society.
Ben Jones was appointed by Noem to oversee the Department of Education in January of 2019. He will make the move to the South Dakota State Historical Society in December, replacing Jay Vogt, who is retiring since overseeing the society since 2003.
Jones had worked as the dean of arts and sciences at Dakota State University and a faculty member at the US Air Force Academy before taking the position in Noem’s Cabinet.
“I look forward to being South Dakota’s Historian and working with the Society’s Trustees and members, universities, researchers, authors, archeologists, preservationists, and the public in preserving, promoting, and explaining our state’s history,” Jones said in a statement.
Jones' move will create the fourth vacancy on Noem's Cabinet this year. Secretary of Game, Fish and Parks Kelly Hepler, Secretary of Transportation Darin Bergquist and Secretary of Agriculture Kim Vanneman have all announced retirements.