The members from interested Student Councils in South Dakota gathered on the campus of the University of South Dakota in August of 1988. The purpose of the gathering was to organize a state organization that would unite high school student councils and serve all the students of the State of South Dakota. The August 10-11 gathering became the first convention of the South Dakota Student Council Association. Beginning with the 1988 convention through the 1999 convention, the SDSCA State Conventions were held during the late summer. Beginning with the 2000 State Convention, the conventions were moved into the school year following the completion of the state athletics Winter seasons.
The SDSCA is co-sponsored by the South Dakota High School Activities Association (SDHSAA) and the South Dakota Association of Secondary School Principals (SDASSP). The SDSCA State Executive Board is composed of six statewide elected officers (President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Reporter, Parliamentarian/Sergeant at Arms), a Middle School Representative representing the middle school students in attendance at the State Convention, and a Region Representative from each of the seven SDSCA Regions. All of these offices are held by students. The SDSCA State Executive Board includes four adult advisors: a Representative from the SDASSP, a Representative from the Student Council Advisors, a Representative from the SDHSAA, and the SDSCA State Executive Director.
In addition to the SDSCA State Executive Board, the State of South Dakota is divided into seven regions: Big Sioux, Capitol, James River, Northern Lakes, Rushmore, Spirit Point, and Upper Missouri. Each region elects its own Region Board. The specific student offices comprising each Region Board varies from region to region. Each region has the option of electing as many of the following offices as the members of the region feel are warranted: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Reporter, Parliamentarian, Sergeant at Arms, and Region Representative to the State Board. All SDSCA member schools in a region are entitled to select a school representative to the Region Board.
Each Region Board works under the guidance of a Region Advisor who is chosen from the student council advisors in the region. The regional officers and School Representatives to the Region Board are encouraged to meet as a Region Board and to hold regional meetings during the year to share ideas and to organize for the state convention held in the spring of each year. A complete listing of Region Alignments can be found on the SDSCA page of the SDHSAA website.
Any public, private, or parochial school in South Dakota that belongs to the SDHSAA shall be eligible to be a member of the SDSCA. Any public, private, or parochial organized Junior High or Middle School shall be eligible to be a member of the SDSCA.
Each member school is entitled to one vote at the annual state convention. Any high school student is welcome to attend the state convention. The SDSCA considers all students in high school to be members of their respective student councils. Therefore, the student need not be an officer in their school’s student council to attend the convention or to hold a Regional or State Office. Also, a special invitation is extended to all students to attend the Executive Board meetings scheduled throughout the year.
|1st||1987-88||Aug. 10-11||USD, Vermillion||Active Student Councils Make a Difference||None|
|2nd||1988-89||Aug. 6-8||USD, Vermillion||None||Rex Giesler|
|3rd||1989-90||Aug. 5-7||USD, Vermillion||Tomorrow's Needs Today||Mr. Phil (Phil Gugliuzza)|
|4th||1990-91||Aug. 4-6||USD, Vermillion||Leadership For The New Century...Building Bridges To Understanding||Craig Hillier|
|5th||1991-92||Aug. 2-4||USD, Vermillion||Leadership, You Gotta Have It - - Uh-huh!!||Lori Kiblinger|
|6th||1992-93||Aug. 1-3||USD, Vermillion||Step Toward The Future||Dr. Earl Reum|
|7th||1993-94||Aug. 2-4||DWU, Mitchell||Living On The Edge & Taking You To New Heights||Dr. Earl Reum|
|8th||1994-95||July 31-Aug 2||DWU, Mitchell||A Candle Losses Nothing Of Its Light By Lighting Another Candle||Mr. Phil (Phil Gugliuzza)|
|9th||1995-96||Aug. 5-7||DWU, Mitchell||A Leader Sees The Invisible, Feels The Intangible And Achieves The Impossible||Mr. Phil (Phil Gugliuzza)|
|10th||1996-97||Aug. 4-6||DWU, Mitchell||Leadership Is Everybody‟s Business!||Dr. Earl Reum|
|11th||1997-98||Aug. 3-5||DWU, Mitchell||Go M.A.D. – Make A Difference!||Susie Vanderlip|
|12th||1998-99||Aug. 2-4||Crossroads Hotel, Huron||Take Me To Your Leaders!||Eric Chester|
|13th||1999-00||Mar. 26-28||Crossroads Hotel, Huron||Born To Lead||Mitch Anthony|
|14th||2000-01||Mar. 25-27||Ramkota RiverCentre, Pierre||M*A*S*H (Making All Students Heroes)||Jeff Yalden|
|15th||2001-02||Mar. 24-26||Ramkota RiverCentre, Pierre||Time To Unite With TLC (Today‟s Leaders Care)||Ed Gerety|
|16th||2002-03||Mar. 23-25||Ramkota RiverCentre, Pierre||Leadership – It‟s Cool In A Far Out Way||Mark Scharenbroich|
|17th||2003-04||Mar. 21-23||Ramkota RiverCentre, Pierre||Mission Impossible||Philly D (Phil Doucette)|
|18th||2004-05||Mar. 20-22||Ramkota RiverCentre, Pierre||Leadership Roundup||Bano (Dick Baniszewski), Terry Nebelsick|
|19th||2005-06||Mar. 21-23||Ramkota RiverCentre, Pierre||Leadership In Action||Eddie Slowikowski, Bill Zubke|
|20th||2006-07||Mar. 25-27||Ramkota RiverCentre, Pierre||Outstanding LeaderZ: Follow The Leadership Road||Deb Erickson, Ivan Dixon|
|21st||2007-08||Mar. 30-Apr. 1||Ramkota RiverCentre, Pierre||Discover The Treasure Of 'Leader' Ship||John Beede|
|22nd||2008-09||Mar. 29-31||Ramkota RiverCentre, Pierre||M.A.G.I.C. (Make A Greater Individual Commitment)||Stephen Bargatze, Josh Sundquist|
|23rd||2009-10||Mar. 28-30||Ramkota RiverCentre, Pierre||Putting On The Cape…Of Leadership||V.J. Smith, Patrick Maurer|
|24th||2010-11||Mar. 27-29||Ramkota RiverCentre, Pierre||Leadership Under Construction||Emily Firman-Pieper, Mark Scharenbroich|
|25th||2011-12||Mar. 25-27||Ramkota RiverCentre, Pierre||Lighting the Torch of Leadership||Former Gov. Mike Rounds, Ed Gerety|
|26th||2012-13||Mar. 24-26||Ramkota RiverCentre, Pierre||Tune Into Leadership||Rashaan Davis, Kyle Scheele|
|27th||2013-14||Mar. 30-Apr. 1||Ramkota RiverCentre, Pierre||E.S.P.N. - Fit for Life||Dusty Johnson, John Beede|
|28th||2014-15||Mar. 29-31||Ramkota RiverCentre, Pierre||Welcome to the Jungle||Jeremy Brech, Mike Schlappi|
|29th||2015-16||Apr. 3-5||Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, Sioux Falls||Unlimited Student Achievement||Mike Heuther, Amy Galimore|
|30th||2016-17||Apr. 9-11||Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City||Lead Us West||Billy Riggs|
|31st||2017-18||Mar. 25-26||Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City||Hometown Heroes||Mike Smith|
|32nd||2018-19||Apr. 7-8||Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, Sioux Falls||Lighting The Future||Matt Bellace|
|2019-20||Mar. 29-30||Canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic|
|33rd||2020-21||Apr. 12||Held virtually due to COVID-19 pandemic||None||Mike Smith|
|34th||2021-22||Apr. 3-4||The Monument, Rapid City|