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Published April 07 2010

Eight now running for five openings on Fargo School Board

Two Fargo businessmen have added their names to the candidate pool for the Fargo School Board.

West Acres mall General Manager Rusty Papachek and business owner Jon Offutt recently filed for election, bringing the total number to eight candidates vying for five open spots.

Friday is the deadline to apply to be on the June 8 ballot.

“Fargo Public Schools – they’ve done a great job educating my kids, and I just want to make sure that continues,” said Papachek, who has an eighth-grader and a junior in Fargo schools.

The 47-year-old said that, if elected, fiscal responsibility will be important to him.

“I know their budget is much more than a shopping center’s,” he said. “But … I think I have a lot of experience and expertise I can offer.”

Offutt, who owns House of Mulciber Glass Studio in Fargo, did not return messages for comment on Tuesday.

Offutt and Papachek join Baptist pastor Youssef Soufiane and Kristen Wallman in vying for a spot on the nine-member board.

Board President Dan Fremling also filed, joining incumbents Rick Steen, Dinah Goldenberg and Don Faulkner in running for re-election. Board member Laura Carley said she remains undecided.

An orientation session to brief Fargo candidates on board operations is scheduled later this month.

In West Fargo, four spots are open on the seven-member school board.

West Fargo resident Mark Akers, 49, is the lone challenger. He has filed to run against incumbents Karen Nitzkorski and Angela Korsmo.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kelly Smith at (701) 241-5515