Burgum, Baesler announce members of newly established K-12 Education Coordinating Council

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BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum and State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler today announced the members of the newly formed K-12 Education Coordinating Council, which will promote collaboration across all K-12 education entities in North Dakota as recommended by the Governor’s Innovative Education Task Force.

“By encouraging collaboration and alignment, this diverse group of experienced educators, administrators and legislators will ensure that innovative best practices are shared and supported by all educational stakeholders,” Burgum said. “We are grateful to the Task Force for its recommendation to create this K-12 Education Coordinating Council, to the Legislature for supporting it and to all of the Council members for their leadership and dedication to ensuring the best outcome students.”

The Coordinating Council was established through Senate Bill 2215 and consists of 18 members including legislators, executive branch leaders and educators. Seven of the members are appointed by the governor.

Among other duties, the council is tasked with identifying opportunities for greater collaboration among state education entities and stakeholders; reviewing the effectiveness and efficiency of access and delivery of education services; and evaluating education trends and recommending policy changes.

“In North Dakota, we have many education stakeholder groups with different areas of expertise, but we all share the same goal – they want what is best for students,” Baesler said. “The K-12 Education Coordinating Council will help us all keep focused on doing what is best for students, and to make sure we are sharing the best methods and strategies for doing that.”

The council’s 18 members are:

  • Nick Archuleta, president of ND United
  • State Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler
  • Gov. Burgum
  • Aimee Copas, president of the North Dakota Council of Educational Leaders
  • State Sen. Kyle Davison, Fargo
  • Brandt Dick, a director for North Dakota Small Organized Schools
  • Brian Duchscherer, president of the State Board for Career and Technical Education
  • Wayne Fox, tribal school representative and superintendent at White Shield School
  • Rupak Gandhi, superintendent of Fargo Public Schools
  • State Rep. Pat Heinert, Bismarck
  • Kevin Hoherz, principal at Dickinson High School
  • Philip Leitner, president of the North Dakota School Counselor Association
  • State Sen. Erin Oban, Bismarck
  • Luke Schaefer, executive director of the Mid-Dakota Education Cooperative and Missouri River Education Cooperative
  • Michelle Strand, teacher representative
  • Holly Stromsodt, president of the North Dakota School Boards Association
  • Melissa Vollmer, Peace Garden Special Education Unit
  • Jennifer Weber, Statewide Longitudinal Data System Committee

The Council plans to hold its first meeting Sept. 30.

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