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Published June 17 2010

Fargo’s Oak Grove hires new principal

A west-central Minnesota teacher starts next month as Oak Grove Lutheran School’s next middle and high school principal.

Beverly Bjertness, who teaches in the New London-Spicer School District near Willmar, was hired this week by the north Fargo private school.

The 48-year-old starts on July 12.

“I’m very excited,” she said on Wednesday, adding that she has family in the Fargo-Moorhead area. “We’re really familiar with that area.”

Bjertness was one of four candidates interviewed. The list included Steven Lorentzen, principal of Central Cass High School in Casselton, N.D.

“All of our candidates had different gifts to share with us,” interim President Marilyn Guy said. “We’re very happy to have her.”

Guy said Bjertness has extensive teaching experience and an understanding of faith-based education. Bjertness’ husband, Corey, is a pastor and former member of Oak Grove’s Board of Regents.

Two teachers, a board member, a parent/board member and two administrators were on the search committee.

Bjertness replaces Middle School Principal David Ness and High School Principal Morgan Forness, who left Oak Grove after nearly 20 years. Forness started his position as the head administrator at Bismarck’s Shiloh Christian School on Wednesday.

Forness’ wife, Kim, is teaching fourth grade at Shiloh Christian. She was principal of Oak Grove Elementary School until she resigned last summer amid other staff resignations.

Beverly Bjertness

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