Weather Forecast


Eighth candidate files for Bemidji Area Schools board; filing period ends Tuesday

BEMIDJI -- A Bemidji Area Schools substitute teacher and football coach is the eighth person in the running for a seat on the school board here.

Jack Aakhus filed an affidavit of candidacy Monday afternoon. He’s been a substitute teacher in the district for one year and began his second year coaching the Lumberjacks’ outside linebackers. Aakhus said he hasn’t held or sought public office before.

Want to run for the Bemidji School Board? You’ve got about a day left to get your name on ballots this November.

The deadline to file to run for Bemidji Area Schools’ school board is 5 p.m. Tuesday. To file, submit an affidavit of candidacy at the superintendent’s office at 502 Minnesota Ave. NW.

Candidates must be eligible to vote, 21 or older on the day they’d assume office, a resident of the school district for at least 30 days, and must not have filed to run for any other offices.

School board members are elected to four-year terms.

There are three at-large seats up-for-grabs this year. They’re occupied by Board Chair Carol L. Johnson, Shawn Whiting, and Melissa Bahr. Johnson and Whiting both filed for re-election, but, as of Monday afternoon, Bahr had not.

Beyond Aakhus, Johnson, and Whiting, at least five other Bemidji-area residents will be on ballots this November, making it the first election since 2012 with more candidates than available board spots. Those candidates are:

  • Gary Rozman
  • Jeffrey Lind
  • Wenona Kingbird
  • Sarah Young
  • Bonnie Solomon
Joe Bowen

Joe Bowen covers education (mostly K-12) and American Indian affairs for the Bemidji Pioneer.

He's from Minneapolis, earned a degree from the College of St. Benedict - St. John's University in 2009, and worked at the Perham Focus near Detroit Lakes and Sun Newspapers in suburban Minneapolis before heading to the Pioneer.

(218) 333-9798