Linda Daugaard grew up in Dell Rapids, South Dakota. She earned a bachelor’s degree from South Dakota State University in Brookings.
After graduation Mrs. Daugaard taught at St. Mary’s High School in her hometown, where she coached the girls’ first basketball team. She went on to work for the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, and the University of California-Davis. After staying home to raise her family, she resumed her career as a school librarian, serving on rural, city and state library boards. The first lady’s personal and professional background as a mother, educator and librarian influenced her decision to work in support of several initiatives, including promoting literacy by visiting all 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders in South Dakota schools, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, reducing infant mortality, soliciting foster parents and showcasing the governor’s mansion.
The first lady and Governor Dennis Daugaard have three children: Laura, married to Jay Mitchell and granddaughter Stella; Sara, married to Tony Venhuizen, and grandson, Henry; and Christopher, married to Emily.