Okeson, Thomas and Rotter win seats on DL School Board

The vote counts were as follows as of 11:58 p.m. on Nov. 8: Michelle Okeson, 3,213 votes; April Thomas, 2,692 and Mary Rotter, 2,567.

Election Results 2022 graphic

DETROIT LAKES — The Detroit Lakes School Board election results are in and the three open seats will belong to Incumbent April Thomas and newcomers Michelle Okeson and Mary Rotter. While Thomas ran for re-election, current board members Jennifer Pedersen and Tom Seaworth did not run.

The vote counts were as follows as of 11:58 p.m. on Nov. 8: Okeson, 3,213 votes; Thomas, 2,692; Rotter, 2,567; Ethan Walz, 2,475; Susan Felt 2,320; Ashley Schoenberger, 2,109 votes; Del Jasken, 1,901 and Erica Marquis, 522. There were 31 write-in votes

According to the Minnesota Secretary of State's website, all 23 of the district’s precincts had reported when this article was published. However, the precincts tab did not have results for Eagle View Township, Detroit Township P-2 or Height of Land Township.

Thomas is a Detroit Lakes resident. She and her husband Dave have two children in the school district. She is a stay-at-home mom who is active in the community. She serves on several boards, including the school board for the last four years.

Okeson is a Detroit Lakes Resident and 1974 Detroit Lakes High School graduate. She and her husband Charlie own Okeson Offtrail Sales and have a crop farm. The two have five children and 13 grandchildren, with one more on the way.


Rotter lives in Detroit Lakes with her husband Eric. They have two school-aged children. The Rotters own three day cares in Detroit Lakes that have 85 students enrolled. Rotter also has a K-6 elementary degree and was a K-12 reading specialist, she taught for 10 years in the St. Paul School District.

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Voter turnout was down 4% in Minnesota and 6% nationwide in the Nov. 8 election when compared to the 2018 midterm.

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