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North Dakota Educatino Association announces 2009 candidates

Several local educators are running for leadership positions within the North Dakota Education Association this spring.

Dakota Draper, of Fargo, will be seeking his second term as NDEA President, while Mark Berntson, West Fargo, will be running for re-election for his second term as Vice President.

In the Southeast Region, there are two openings for directors. David Paulson, West Fargo, is running for re-election for a second term as Southeast Region Director on the NDEA Board. Gale Haug, West Fargo, and Sherry Warner-Seefeld, Fargo, are running against him for the position. Janet Midthun, Enderlin, and Karen Askerooth, Valley City, are running against each other to fill a one-year term for Southeast Region, as well.

Joan Baltezore and Gale Haug, both West Fargo, are campaigning to serve as delegates for the National Education Association's Representative Assembly scheduled to be held in San Diego, Calif., this summer. Others running for delegate positions include Bob Stefonowicz, McClusky; Cory Davidson, Bismarck; and Jacqueline Prellwitz, Garrison.

Nancy Peterson, a former special education instructor at West Fargo High School, is running unopposed for NDEA Retired Vice President. Gloria Lokken, Minot, is running for Retired President, and Konnie Wightman, Bismarck, is running for Secretary.

In the Northwest Region, Rob Anderson, Minot, is running unopposed for his second term as director. Linda Maize, Beulah, is running for a second term as Southwest Director. Duane Ell, Mandan, is running for At-Large Educational Support Representative on the NDEA Board.

Berntson, Band Director at West Fargo High School, has served as past president of the West Fargo Education Association and the Beulah Education Association. He has also served as past president of the North Dakota National Band Association, and served on the NDEA Instruction and Professional Development Commission. Berntson has been instrumental in organizing the NDEA Ready Child Initiative, and received funding from America's Promise Alliance to hold a Dropout Prevention Summit this summer in Bismarck.

David Paulson teaches earth science at Cheney Middle School. He has served as past president for the West Fargo Education Association, a building representative, membership chairperson, and has been on the local negotiating team. He has served as a former NDEA Director of Advocacy and Southwest UniServ Director.

Gale Haug is a special education teacher at Cheney Middle School, and has serve as past president, secretary, and treasurer of the West Fargo Education Association and is currently serving as president of the organization. She served on the local executive board for 26 years, served as Teacher Rights Chairperson, and on the negotiations team.

Joan Baltezore is a biology teacher at West Fargo High School, and is currently serving as President of the West Fargo Education Association. On the local level, Baltezore has also served as past secretary and vice president of WFEA, and as a building representative. She has served as an NDEA Ambassador for four years.

Nancy Peterson retired from West Fargo High School in 2007, but has remained involved in promoting improvements in education. Throughout her teaching career, Peterson was very active as a lobbyist for the West Fargo Education Association, and served as the organization's president for several years.

Ballots will be distributed at NDEA's Representative Assembly held at the Doublewood Inn in Bismarck on Saturday April 18. Ballots will be mailed out to members who are not planning to attend the conference. Members will have until May 1 to return their ballots.