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Skramstad named newest school board member

The West Fargo School Board has a new voice at the table.

During Monday’s meeting, Allan Skramstad was sworn in as the board’s newest member. He replaces Angela Korsmo, who resigned last month after 16 years on the board.

“This is something I have thought about for a while,” Skramstad said. “The underlying reason is that I went through the public school system myself. Even though that was a couple of years ago, someone else paid for my education. Right now, with the growth of West Fargo and the school system, I think it is time for me to give back to the community.”Allan Skramstad

Skramstad has lived in West Fargo for 17 years, and has been in the Red River Valley for “the better part” of 40 years.

He enters with knowledge of the goings-on within the district, having been involved in the district’s $82 million bond referendum of 2011, as well as having served on the district’s Long Range Facility Planning Committee.

“Allan is very invested in education and interested in seeing kids receive a good education,” board president Kay Kiefer said. “He has a great understanding of what the district is facing and is aware of the district’s strategic plan. All of those things come together to make a person that will hit the ground running.”

Skramstad is semi-retired, having spent most of his adult life working in aviation, including 17 years as an associate professor of aviation at the University of North Dakota. Following his retirement from teaching, he opened Aviation Instructor and Management Seminars (AIMS), which provides classes for aspiring pilots and refresher courses for flight instructors.

He went into his interview with the board with roughly five pages of notes on things he wanted to discuss about the district.

“I think part of the reason I was selected was the preparation I did, showing my desire to be a board member,” Skramstad said. “I took the time to become aware of the facts, particularly the development of housing on the south side.”

Skramstad will join the district’s Community Relations and Advocacy Committee, and hopes to have regular town hall-style meetings with students, parents and community members.

“You develop more relationships with honey than you do with vinegar,” Skramstad said. “If community relationships can be one of those points that will help the school system achieve some of their goals, then I want to be a part of that.”

He also hopes to have his input heard on upcoming facility needs for the district, including a new pool and additional ice rinks.

“I want to be remembered as someone who looked at the big picture,” Skramstad said. “I have had kids go through the school system, so I know some of the trials and tribulations (the district) is going through.”

What excites him the most, however, is the chance to formally work with members of the board.

“It is an exciting and dynamic group that is leading the West Fargo Public Schools,” Skramstad said. “They are fantastic people with the same common interest: what is best for the children of our community?”