Burgum appoints Traynor, Louters, Thornton to North Dakota Board of Higher Education

Tuesday, June 5, 2018 - 10:30am

BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum today appointed Devils Lake attorney Daniel Traynor, New Rockford-Sheyenne Superintendent Jill Louters and Williston State College student Ashley Thornton to the North Dakota Board of Higher Education.

“We’re deeply grateful to these and all of the other qualified candidates who expressed their intense passion for higher education in North Dakota,” Burgum said. “Dan’s professionalism, legal background and deep understanding of our higher education system will serve our students and citizens well, while Jill’s leadership and willingness to try new and innovative learning concepts will help to advance higher education and better prepare students for 21st century challenges. Ashley brings strong experience in student government and community involvement and will be an excellent voice for students on the board.”

The governor selected Traynor and Louters from two pools, each with three candidates selected by a five-person nominating committee.

Traynor is a shareholder in Traynor Law Firm in Devils Lake, engaged in general litigation practice. He is a former chair of the disciplinary board of the North Dakota Supreme Court and past chair of the North Dakota Economic Development Foundation. Traynor earned a bachelor’s degree in advertising from the University of North Dakota and a law degree from the UND School of Law.

Louters has served as superintendent of the New Rockford-Sheyenne School District since 2012. She earned a bachelor’s degree in social studies teacher education from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., and a master’s degree in education administration from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and has completed coursework and is finishing her dissertation for a doctorate in educational leadership from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

Traynor and Louters will each begin serving a four-year term on the Board of Higher Education on July 1. The North Dakota Senate still must approve their appointment to the Board. Current board member Mike Ness of Bismarck did not seek reappointment, and current member Kevin Melicher of Fargo was not among the candidates forwarded by the nominating committee.

Thornton was appointed as the board’s student member. She anticipates graduating in spring 2019 from Williston State College, where she has served in student government and as WSC’s head delegate for the North Dakota Student Association for the 2017-18 academic year. She currently works as a lab assistant and medical billing clerk at Medscan Laboratory Inc. in Williston.

The Board of Higher Education has eight voting members appointed by the governor, including a student member, and two non-voting members who represent the North Dakota University System’s faculty and staff. The board oversees the system’s 11 public colleges and universities.