Gov. Doug Burgum today announced the members of the Task Force for Teacher Retention and Recruitment created through executive order in September to address the state’s chronic teacher shortage.
The 15-member Task Force consists of Burgum and State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler, or their designees, and 13 members appointed by the governor and representing stakeholders across the education community:
- Patti Stedman, West Fargo, a West Fargo School Board member and member of the Education Standards and Practices Board
- Bret Dockter, Harvey, a Harvey Public Schools teacher
- Ashley Seykora, Rugby, Rugby Public Schools instructional coach
- Abby DuBord, Bismarck, a Bismarck Public Schools teacher
- Luke Schaefer, Minot, CEO of the Central Regional Education Association
- Robert Lech, Jamestown, Jamestown Public Schools superintendent
- John Porter, Fargo, director of the South Valley and Rural Cass Special Education Units
- James Green, Watford City, high school principal at McKenzie County Public Schools
- Sherry Tandeski, St. John, elementary school principal at St. John Public Schools
- Jenny Bladow, Northwood, director of teacher education, College of Education & Human Development, University of North Dakota, and member of the Education Standards and Practices Board
- Erin Jacobson, Bismarck, coordinator of the Teacher Support System
- State Sen. Dean Rummel, Dickinson
- State Rep. Steve Swiontek, Fargo.
“We’re deeply grateful to these members and all the candidates for their passion and willingness to dedicate their time to this critically important effort to address our state’s teacher shortage,” Burgum said. “Working together, we can identify best practices and policies for retaining and recruiting teachers and ensure they have the resources and support they need to deliver a world-class education to students across North Dakota.”
The Task Force will conduct stakeholder meetings and roundtable discussions to gather feedback from pertinent stakeholder groups across the state. Members will make recommendations in several areas, including increasing recruitment to the teaching profession, improving teacher preparation programs, teacher licensure, teacher evaluation, working conditions and supports, as well as reviewing compensation and contracts.
The Task Force must provide a final report with recommendations to the governor and superintendent by Sept. 30, 2024, and identify partners to sponsor legislation during the 2025 legislative session.