Published November 20, 2021

Superintendent of Williston Public Schools Resigns after Weeks of Turmoil

Written by
Nicole Skabo
| The Dakotan
Williston High School - Erickson Campus [Photo: Nicole Skabo]
Williston High School - Erickson Campus [Photo: Nicole Skabo]

On Monday, Nov. 15, the Williston Public School Board accepted the resignation of Superintendent Dr. Jeff Thake. A press release issued by the board stated both the board and Thake have come to an amicable resolution and will be parting ways. 

Dr. Thake’s resignation comes after questions were raised about possibly $2.5 million being unaccounted for following the merger of Districts 1 and 8 to form District 7. At a previous public school board meeting on Oct. 7, Business Manager Sherri Heser noted there were discrepancies and said she was unable to reconcile the books. 

Williston School Board President Chris Jundt issued a statement saying, “The June 30, 2021 audit is in process.  I am expecting it to be completed on or before March 31, 2022.” 

On October 27, the Williston Education Association released the statement: “In a unanimous vote by members who were present, they supported a vote of no confidence in board president Jundt. WEA is demanding his immediate resignation as a member of the school board.” 

However, Jundt indicated he would not be resigning, “Leaders do not run the other way in the face of adversity. Leaders face those challenges head on with a focus and conviction to what is right. The Williston community expects financial accountability and academic accountability, both of which have been severely lacking in the school system for decades.” 

"I don’t think anyone has a feel for what’s going on.” Wayne Wiedrich, Williston District 7 parent

What exactly happened seems to be unclear. Williston District 7 parent Wayne Wiedrich said, “I don’t have a feel for what’s going on. We don’t have enough information to make a decision. I think the board is trying to do what’s right.” Wiedrich continued, “I don’t think Jundt has an agenda. Dr. Thake seems like an upstanding person…I’ve only had positive interactions with him. I don’t think anyone has a feel for what’s going on.” 

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