Palmiscno to retain seat on Grand Forks School Board; Berger leads all vote-getters

Twenty-three candidates were running to fill five open seats on the board.

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Voters cast their ballots in the June Primary Election at the ICON Arena/Park District Office in south Grand Forks, Tuesday, June 14,2022.
<a href="">Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald</a>

GRAND FORKS – Bill Palmisco will retain his seat and four new members will join the nine-member Grand Forks School Board.

In Tuesday’s citywide School Board election, Dave Berger was the top vote-getter with 2,637 votes, or 10.29%; Monte Gaukler, was a close second with 2,521 votes, or 9.84%; followed by Joel Larson, with 2,055, or 8.02%; and Josh Anderson, 1,978, or 7.72%.

Palmiscno garnered 1,803 votes, or 7%.

Altogether, 25,622 votes were tallied in the board election.

Berger attributed his leading support for the School Board to his long-held stance in the community.


“I’ve been a community connector for our schools and our students for my whole adult life,” he said.

Berger ran for the board because “it’s important,” he said. “The work isn’t easy, but it’s important. Schools impact everyone. Great schools attract great people, so when we’re looking to retain our workforce to develop new employment opportunities, to recruit and retain our excellent teachers and our education support professionals, we need great schools.”

Twenty-three candidates were running to fill the five open seats on the board. Palmiscno, a longtime member and former president of the board, and Jacqueline Hassett ran as incumbents. Hassett received 755 votes, or 2.95% of all votes tallied.

Other candidates whose vote totals placed them in the sixth to 10th positions in the race are: Kelly Schempp, 1,677, or 6.55%; Ron Barta, 1,324, or 5.17%; Elizabeth Delgado, 1,264, or 4.93%; Mark D. Peterson, 1,246, or 4.86%; and David Waterman, 1,213, or 4.75%.

Other candidates are Sona Lesmeister (1,119); Bonnie McMullin (982); Dee Decimus (852); Cameron Murphy (765); Jennifer Kolodka (691); Marie Stewart (648); Senta Grzadzielewski (607); Bradley Sturlaugson (571); Emily Wros (344); Aaron Waterman (221); Courtney Kniert (220) and Roland Riemers (113).

There were 11 write-in votes.

These vote totals are unofficial results.

School Board members receive $5,000 per fiscal year in compensation. The board president receives $6,000 per fiscal year.


Board members oversee the school district’s operations and its roughly $114 million annual budget, determine policy, engage in contract bargaining negotiation with the district’s teachers, principals and directors, and make decisions on other governance issues.

Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at or (701) 780-1107.
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