School board accepting applications for interim member

A special election, required by state statute, will follow to fill the vacated board seat.

Detroit Lakes School Board members John Steffl and Jennifer Pedersen listen to the district superintendent, Mark Jensen, explain the process of filling the board seat vacated by Courtney Henderson. An interim school board member will be appointed and a special election will follow. The special election is required by state statute due to the length remaining on Henderson's term.
Barbie Porter / Detroit Lakes Tribune
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DETROIT LAKES — The Detroit Lakes School Board is accepting applications for an interim board member. A special election will follow to fill the vacancy left by board member Courtney Henderson. Henderson is moving to the Twin Cities and resigned from the board as of Oct. 28.

During the school board's regular monthly meeting on Monday, Nov. 28, district residents who are interested in filling the interim board position were encouraged to apply by Monday, Dec. 12. Applications can be found on the school district website or at the district office, 702 Lake Ave. The school board set a special meeting to appoint the interim school board member at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 13 at MState (Room C101). The interim school board member would take their seat on Monday, Jan. 9 for the school board’s annual organizational meeting.

The interim school board member would hold their seat until the board held a special election. After the meeting, Superintendent Mark Jensen clarified a special election for the vacated seat is required due to the duration of time left on Henderson’s term. Henderson began her term in 2021 and the term expires on Dec. 31, 2024. Minnesota State Statute (123B.09 Subd. 5b.) requires a special election to be held unless the departing board member is in the third year of their term. Jensen explained the special election will be held in 2023 and that the cost to the district can range between $3,000 and $10,000. The elected board member will then be up for reelection if the incumbent chooses to run in the 2024 election.

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