New administrators appointed for Grand Forks school district

Appointments will fill upcoming retirements of two administrators

Sanford Center.jpg
The Mark Sanford Education Center, headquarters of Grand Forks Public Schools. (Grand Forks Herald photo)

Two new administrators have been appointed for the 2021-22 school year in Grand Forks Public Schools, the district has announced.

The appointments, approved by the Grand Forks School Board on Monday, April 26, have been made as a result of retirements effective in June.

Brenda Lewis, who is employed as director of Pre-K-12 curriculum for Montgomery County Public Schools in Rockville, Md., has been named as assistant superintendent of elementary education for the school district.

She will take over in the role of Jody Thompson, associate superintendent of elementary education, who is retiring.

Kelli Tannahill, principal of Lewis and Clark Elementary School, is taking over as principal of J. Nelson Kelly Elementary School. She succeeds Mike LaMoine, who is retiring.


Lewis has experience in leading a community-wide task force on diversity and equity, a new element in the portfolio of the position she’s assuming and part of Grand Forks Public Schools strategic plan.

Lewis earned a bachelors degree in elementary education from St. Catherine University in St. Paul, a masters degree in education from St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minn., and a doctorate degree in leadership and administration from Capella University in Minneapolis.

She will begin in her new position, at an annual salary of $159,000, on July 1.

Tannahill has served as principal at Lewis and Clark Elementary School for the past six years. Prior to that position, she was a building resource coordinator at J. Nelson Kelly Elementary School.

Tannahill earned a bachelors degree in elementary education and a masters degree in educational leadership from UND.

She begins in her new role, at a salary of $117,004, on July 1. Her salary may be adjusted based on the results of contract negotiations that are in progress between the School Board and the Grand Forks Principals Association, said Superintendent Terry Brenner.

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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