— Official News Release, Governor Dalrymple’s Office —
Gov. Jack Dalrymple announced today the appointment of Michael Ness to the State Board of Higher Education. Ness has served 42 years in North Dakota public education and is retiring as superintendent of the Hazen Public School District at the end of this school year.
“Mike’s knowledge of our public education system and his proven leadership will be a tremendous asset on the Board of Higher Education,” Dalrymple said. “The transition from high school to college is critical to students’ success, and Mike has a great deal to offer in developing a bridge between K-12 and higher education to ensure that our high school students are prepared for college and careers. While serving on several state boards and holding numerous leadership positions, Mike has shown that he is a consensus builder and that he is committed to educational excellence in North Dakota.”
Superintendent of Hazen Public Schools since 2003, Ness will fill the unexpired term of former Higher Education Board member Kirsten Diederich.
The North Dakota Association of School Administrators nominated Ness North Dakota Superintendent of the Year, southwest region in 2011 and 2008, and Superintendent of the Year for the northwest region in 2002. In 2009, Ness was named Citizen of the Year by the Hazen Chamber of Commerce.
Ness has served as a North Dakota school superintendent for nearly 30 years, leading school districts in Stanton, Center, Bottineau and Hazen. Prior to 1988, he was a secondary principal and teacher. He has served in many educational leadership roles including: past president of the North Dakota High School Activities Association, chairman of the Coal Conversion Counties Executive Board, chairman of the Oliver-Mercer Special Education Board, past president of Northwest School Leaders as well as service on the North Dakota Council of Educational Leaders Executive Board and the Missouri River Education Consortium Executive Board.
The State Board of Higher Education is made up of seven citizen members appointed by the governor to serve four-year terms and one student appointed by the governor to serve a one-year term. The Council of College Faculties selects the board’s non-voting faculty advisor, and the North Dakota University System Staff Senate selects the board’s non-voting staff advisor.