School Board

Matthew Lemke, Chair

Committees: MN State HS League & Co-Curricular; Activities Committee; Finance Committee; Lakes Country Service Cooperative

Negotiations: Certified staff; Principals; District-wide individual contracts

Term ends: 2020

Email: mlemke@fergusotters.org

Phone: 218-731-1385

Melanie Cole, Vice Chair

Committees: Spec Ed. Coop & Region I board; Activities Committee; Bldg/Grounds

Negotiations: Certified staff; Special Education Paraprofessionals & Para-educators

Term ends: 2022

Email: mcole@fergusotters.org

Phone: 218-205-4854


Kirby Anderson, Treasurer

Committees: Finance Committee; 544 Education Foundation

Negotiations: Principals

Term ends: 2022

Email: kirbyanderson@fergusotters.org

Phone: 218-770-7161

Melissa Hermes, Clerk

Committees: Curriculum Review Committee; Staff Development

Negotiations: Certified staff; Cafeteria

Term ends: 2022

Email: mhermes@fergusotters.org


Natalie Knutson

Committees: Finance Committee; Bldg/Grounds; Policy Committee; Wellness Committee; Meet & Confer

Negotiations: Special Education Paraprofessionals & Para-educators

Term ends: 2020

Email: nknutson@fergusotters.org


Stephen Vigesaa

Committees: Activities Committee; Policy Committee; Meet & Confer; Legislative Liaison

Negotiations: Principals; Secretaries & custodians

Term ends: 2020

Email: svigesaa@fergusotters.org

Phone: 507-993-5941

Superintendent Announcement

March 1, 2019

At this morning's special school board meeting, the Fergus Falls Board of Education voted unanimously to offer the superintendent position to Jeff Drake, pending completion of mutually agreed contract and board review of a completed background check. Mr. Drake has accepted the offer and will now enter into contract negotiations with the School Board. It is anticipated that a formal contract agreement will be approved at the March 11 School Board meeting. Mr. Drake will begin his new role as superintendent of the Fergus Falls Public Schools on July 1, following Superintendent Jerry Ness’ retirement on June 30th.

Mr. Drake has been the superintendent and elementary principal for the Battle Lake Public School District #542 since 2010. He also held the role as a high school principal and curriculum director in that same district starting in 2003. Early in Mr. Drake’s educational career, he was high school principal in Milaca High School and a guidance counselor in Hastings High School. Mr. Drake completed the coursework for his administrative licensure through University of Minnesota St. Mary’s; his master’s degree through University of Minnesota Duluth; and his bachelor degree through Gustavus Adolphus ­– where he graduated cum laude.

The School Board wishes to thank the staff, administration, and community members who assisted with the superintendent search. We were pleased with the quality of the candidate pool and the choices that were available. As board chair, I'm excited about the vision Mr. Drake presented, and like Superintendent Jerry Ness, I believe he will prove to be a great leader of the Fergus Falls Public Schools.

Matthew Lemke, Board Chair