A high-ranking staffer in North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum's office has been hired as the business manager for West Fargo Public Schools, the district announced Monday, Aug. 26.

West Fargo native Levi Bachmeier will replace Business Manager Mark Lemer, who will retire in October.

Bachmeier worked for Burgum's successful 2016 campaign for governor and later served in his office as an adviser. He was promoted to Burgum's policy director in 2018 and his portfolio included the Fargo-Moorhead flood diversion project, education, public safety and tribal relations.

Bachmeier previously worked as a social studies teacher and acting high school principal on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. He earned a bachelor's degree from Concordia College in Moorhead.

West Fargo Public Schools said Bachmeier will begin his new job on a part-time basis in early September before transitioning to full-time prior to the retirement Lemer.

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Lemer said he chose a late October retirement date to make it easier for his replacement to transition into the position.

“I purposely avoided a June 30 end date,” Lemer told the Pioneer earlier this year. “[By fall] the old fiscal year has been closed, your new budget has been adopted, and you can come into the system at a point where there aren’t these big transition projects going on, such as closing out the budget year or developing the new budget.”

Lemer, a Drake, N.D., native and Minot State University graduate, came to West Fargo Schools as business manager in September 1995. Between 2008 and 2010, Lemer left to work as a software consultant helping school districts such as Fargo's use an automated financial system. Lemer crunched the numbers behind successful bond referendums passed in 2002, 2005 and 2011, 2015, 2018, which has helped pay for more than a dozen elementary schools, the new hockey and aquatic centers, Cheney Middle School, Liberty Middle School and what eventually became Sheyenne High School.