Arc of Dreams: Maher's mission to make students' dreams come true

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The 'Arc of Dreams' will soon be part of the downtown Sioux Falls scene.
Designed by famed artist Dale Lamphere, the Arc will stretch over the Big Sioux River between 6th and 8th streets.

The Arc will celebrate those who came to Sioux Falls to make a dream come true.
One of those people is not only living his dream but he works daily to other people's dreams come true.

Sioux Falls has a lot to offer.
A strong economy. A booming construction industry; both commercial and residential.
And a quality of life that consistently ranks among the tops in the country.
So who would say "no" to an opportunity to come here?

"I got multiple calls because i said no for the first several." A little more than two years ago, Dr. Brian Maher was the superintendent of schools in Kearney, Nebraska.....his home state.
Sioux Falls wasn't on his radar at all.
But the phone calls kept coming asking him if he was interested in becoming superintendent here. "People I trust and even admire said you need to look at that job."

So the superintendent became a student himself: doing homework on Sioux Falls and finding survey after survey showing our city was the one to start a career in......raise kids in....start a business in.....retire in...."Pretty soon its like jeez, I'm going to feel kind of stupid if i don't say yes to this opportunity."

So Maher took the job.
And he let me in on this idea: his job is about more than just the idea of school work. Maher says his job is really about dreams. "It's Reading. It's Writing. It's Arithmetic. It's all of those things we think school is. But what we really have to be are architects for hope and opportunity."

Maher has gone from being a Sioux Falls skeptic to being a believer; one who sees the city's growth as a welcome challenge.
He says many who move here are from smaller surrounding towns and that they bring with them an attitude that makes our city better. "Some of that small town work ethic and caring for you neighbor permeates Sioux Falls because i think we're a city that's filled with folks that grew up in those small towns and brings those small town values to this city."

And all the new students who move here bring their own dreams with them.
Dr. Brian Maher is reading to help make them a reality.

KSFY is proud to be the official media partner of the 'Arc of Dreams' project.
Stay with us both on air and online as we follow the project's progress from design through completion.

You can be a part of the Arc of Dreams project. Recognize a dreamer with a permanent plaque or make a donation. All the money raised will support maintenance on the project. For more information, got to Sioux Falls Arc of Dreams -dot-com.