Skip to main content

Life Stories Take Shape at LSS

Celebrating Who We Are

There is one characteristic that all LSS employees share—they want to make a difference in the lives of others. LSS employees are dedicated to helping the people who utilize our vital services and those who they work alongside. Thank you for making a difference.

I am Shawna

Please join us in congratulating Shawna Vander Plaats on four years with LSS. As a JJRI Clinical Therapist with LSS Behavioral Health Services in Sioux Falls, Shawna provides therapeutic services to teens and families. “Often parents are struggling to know how to communicate and meet the emotional needs of the family as their children get older. Teenagers often are developing independence, and they need a way to express this appropriately and feel as though they are being heard and that their voice matters. I use compassion, respect, and appreciation to show the family they have other ways to express themselves and hear each other.” #IamLSS #IamAppreciative


I am Shannon

Today we celebrate Shannon Truax on her ninth anniversary with LSS! As Direct Support at LSS New Alternatives Intensive Independent Living in Rapid City, Shannon provides guidance and support to help young adults transition to adulthood and advocate for themselves. “We use compassion and respect to build relationships in order to help young adults grow into their potential.” #IamLSS #IamRespectful


I am Laura

Please join us in celebrating Laura Smith-Hill on 22 years with LSS! As the Education Program Coordinator in the LSS Center for New Americans, Laura administers grant projects, supervises and trains instructors and collaborates in the community to best serve multilingual learners. “My work requires discovering and celebrating the differences of others. The unique gifts and passions of each instructor, volunteer, colleague and student are among our most valuable resources as leaders. Our program is culturally-responsive and student-centered. We strive to listen to and respect the needs of English learners in the community.” #IamLSS #IamRespectful

I am Renae

Today we celebrate Renae Kinowski on her first anniversary with LSS! As a Resource Family Service Specialist, Renae helps families get licensed and trained to be foster parents. “I am appreciative of every family that goes through this process and is willing to be a safe and loving home for children who need one. The RFS program is respectful of the families we work with and compassionate for their unique situations.” #IamLSS #IamAppreciative LSS Resource Family Services

I am Kristin

Today we celebrate Kristin Anderson on her seventh anniversary with LSS. As a Kinship Home Study Specialist, Kristin helps to keep children with their families or the people they are most familiar with while they navigate an uncertain future. “We understand that the family unit is unique to each family. Our program truly cares about the outcome of each family and assesses the family knowing that every family has strengths and struggles.” LSS Kindship Services #IamLSS #IamRespectful

I am Rihoko

Today we celebrate Rihoko Colwill on a milestone anniversary – 10 years with LSS! As an ESL Instructor at the LSS Center for New Americans, Rihoko plans and delivers lessons to a diverse immigrant population. “The whole team is committed to providing the best quality service to empower people to navigate their new life in America and acclimate to the community.” #IamLSS #IamEthical