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Rostad, Gessner, Berryman elected to school board

Mike Gessner and Bonny Berryman, both retired Minot Public Schools teachers, defeated incumbent board members Mark Lyman and Mitch Kraft to win four-year seats on the Minot Public School Board in Tuesday’s election. They join board president Jim Rostad, who was elected to another term.

Gessner, a retired Minot High School math teacher who had also previously served as a negotiator for the Minot Education

Association during teacher contract negotiations, told The Minot Daily News he ran for the board because he cares about the kids and wants them to get the best education they can. He had said safety of students and employees is a top concern and he also has concerns about how the schools will handle the challenge of operating during with the ongoing challenge of the coronavirus pandemic and a possible financial shortfall. He also said overcrowding at the middle schools and high school level are concerns. Gessner had 4,058 votes.

Bonny Berryman, a retired teacher has continued working as a substitute teacher after her retirement and occasionally fills in as a paraprofessional in special education. She had told The Minot Daily News that she ran for the board because she has concerns about declining student behavior and the need for more support for special education teachers as well as a need for a better evaluation system to identify strengths and weaknesses for staff. She received 4,446 votes.

Rostad, who brings years of experience to the board, said addressing the overcrowding at the middle and high school level is a major issue facing the district. He said the district is in a challenging situation with the coronavirus pandemic that caused the cancellation of face-to-face classes this spring but he is proud of how the district rose to the challenge with distance learning. He had 4,443 votes.

Rostad said Tuesday night that he is extremely honored that the people of Minot have re-elected him and is very happy to be back on the board for another four years.

Gessner said Tuesday he is happy to be part of the new team and wants to thank those who were defeated for their service on the board.

Challenger Justin Ahmann followed with 3,573 votes, with board incumbents Mark Lyman and Mitch Kraft trailed with 3,947 votes for Lyman and 2,624 votes for Kraft.

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