West Fargo Public Schools: The District of Choice
Many in the West Fargo Public Schools community may know me from past roles in the district,
but for those who do not, allow me to share a bit about my journey in education. First, it must be
said that it is an exciting time to be serving West Fargo Public Schools as Superintendent! While
the majority of my career has been with WFPS, I did begin my teaching career in the
Mahnomen Public School District as a teacher at Naytahwaush Elementary School. In 1993, I
took a position at Harwood Elementary School, which began my tenure with North Dakota's
district of choice. In 2003, I served as a transition coordinator, planning for the transition of sixth
graders out of the elementary schools and into the new middle school (Cheney). When Cheney
Middle School opened the following year, I accepted an assistant principal position there. Three
years later, I was named principal at Westside Elementary. After serving four years at Westside,
I moved to the district office, first to serve as director of assessment and federal programs, and
then as assistant superintendent.
I have seen many changes in the district the past 25 years, but the biggest change has been the
growth! When I began teaching in the district in 1993, there were 4,755 students. Today, our
enrollment is more than 10,550. Our district sees the majority of our growth occurring at the
elementary level, but those students obviously move through the system, increasing our
enrollment at both the middle and high school levels, as well. Thanks to the passage of the
November 2015 bond referendum with 79.67 percent voter support, and the School Board's excellent
management of the building fund and other revenue sources, we have been able to just barely
keep up with this remarkable growth.
This past fall, we registered 974 kindergarteners, which exceeded our projections and prompted
the School Board to commission a task force to study district facility needs. The Long-Range
Facility Planning Committee quickly realized that the problem in need of resolution was going to
be secondary space. This fall, 100 eighth grade students will attend Sheyenne High School
because Liberty Middle School is already full, and as our 974 kindergarten students move
through the system, the problem only worsens for both the north and south side of the district.
The work of the committee resulted in scheduling a special election for Tuesday, September 25
for a bond referendum package that will address the projects listed below:
-High school and middle school
A new high school and middle school would be built on the south side of the district,
within the city limits of Horace located along 76th Avenue South and east of Sheyenne
-Elementary classroom equity
Independence Elementary, Aurora Elementary, Eastwood Elementary, and Freedom
Elementary would all receive designated learning spaces for music, art, gifted and
talented, and health classes.
-Horace Elementary School addition
Horace Elementary School would receive an addition of 10 classrooms to allow for it to
become a four-section school.
-Harwood Elementary School addition and renovation
Harwood Elementary School would receive a regulation-size gymnasium, office space,
and a secured building entrance.
Westside Elementary, South Elementary, Eastwood Elementary, L.E. Berger
Elementary, and the Early Childhood Center would all receive a redesigned main
entrance with this project. There will also be funds available for upgrades to our camera
systems, and the potential for other security initiatives like visual emergency indicators to
complement our existing audio indicators, and bullet-resistant film for entrances and
-High school synthetic turf
The three high schools would each receive turf for additional physical education classes
and for use by the football and soccer teams.
The future of West Fargo is bright, and I am humbled and honored to serve as the
superintendent. I take this role very seriously and will work tirelessly to uphold the high
expectations of the people I serve. I am thankful for the community support, dedicated staff,
caring families, and most of all, the students. They are our future and deserve the very best
education possible. West Fargo Public Schools truly is the district of choice.