Want to run for the Grand Forks School Board? Here’s how – and who’s already looking for a seat – Grand Forks Herald


Want to run for the Grand Forks School Board?

Grand Forks Public Schools is set to hold elections for five seats on its nine-member school board in June. As of Thursday, March 10, three people have filed the necessary documents to appear on the district ballots. They are, in alphabetical order by surname:

  • Ron Barta, master logistician with the Department of Homeland Security, who said he handles land ports of entry and airports in Idaho, Montana, North Dakota and Minnesota.
  • Jacqueline Hassett, a licensed social worker who is currently a public health specialist and health equity coordinator at Grand Forks Public Health. She was first elected to the board in 2018. A win this summer would re-install her for a second term there.
  • Marie Stewart, who listed her occupation as a freelance “supplier” on her application form. The phone number she listed on that form had no voicemail set up and did not respond to a pair of text messages the Herald sent her.
  • And Brad Sturlaugson, funeral director at Norman Funeral Home and president of the South Forks Lions Club.

Here’s how to apply: File an “Application Form” and “Declaration of Interests” with the Grand Forks Public Schools Business Manager by 4 p.m. on Monday, April 11. Both forms are available at the District Business Office at the Mark Sanford Education Center. , 2400 47th Ave S., Grand Forks.

Each council seat is “at-large”, meaning that its occupant represents the entire district, rather than a single ward or another segment of it.

Each board member serves a four-year term. The council election is scheduled for Tuesday, June 14, and will coincide with a statewide primary.

Board seats for election this summer are currently held by Doug Carpenter, Chris Douthit, Shannon Mikula, Bill Palmiscno and Hassett. Hassett is the only one of the group so far to have filed the necessary paperwork to run again.

Douthit, a longtime teacher and school administrator in the district, said in January that he does not plan to run for another term.

Palmiscno, who retired from the Grand Forks Park district last spring after 47 years, said he is still weighing his options but plans to decide whether he will run again by the end of March. An important factor, he told the Herald, is time and whether he can dedicate enough of it to the position while he helps with his grandchildren.

“But they will be the main reason I would run too,” Palmiscno said with a chuckle.

Carpenter also said he hasn’t decided whether to run for another term. He said he will assess the district’s finance and facility plans when making that decision, along with the other candidates in the field.

“And if I feel like I can still contribute something for the benefit of the council and the district,” Carpenter added.

Mikula did not return Herald requests for comment on Thursday or Friday morning.

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