District 1, District 8 tell state they need help to build schools

Williston Public School District No. 1 board president Joanna Baltes speaks at a meeting of the state Board of Public Education meeting Friday, April 12, in Bismarck.

Joanna Baltes, president of the Williston Public School District No. 1 school board, has announced that she plans to resign from the board later this year.

Baltes’ husband has accepted a new job and she and their children will move to join him over the summer, Baltes told the Williston Herald.

“It was a pretty tough decision,” she said.

Baltes has been in Williston about five years. She was elected to the District 1 school board in June 2018. At the time, she was one of 14 candidates for three open seats.

Baltes, Dr. Theresa Hegge and Thomas Kalil were elected in June 2018. Hegge resigned last summer when she and her husband accepted jobs in Bismarck. Baltes hasn’t offered a formal resignation yet, but plans to leave the board in July.

“Hopefully I can just focus on what we have in front of us for the next few months,” she said.

Baltes told the Herald she doesn’t plan to resign in time for her seat to be on the ballot in June. There will already be three seats up for election then.

Cory Swint, who the board appointed to replace Hegge, will run to fill the remainder of that position. The seats held by Heather Wheeler and Sara Kasmer will be up for election, as well.

Another reason to wait is the study being done by Williams County. The county commission OK’d a study of all the public schools in the county, including looking at what each district has and opportunities for collaboration.

Finally, Baltes said, she hopes remaining in her position through July will give the district a chance to prepare another bond proposal for the public.

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