The Board of Regents are selected by the Eastern North Dakota and Northwestern Minnesota synods of the ELCA to oversee all operations of the school.
* Executive Committee
Biographical Information: Roger Olson was born and raised in western North Dakota. He is a graduate of the University of North Dakota and the UND School of Law. Roger has worked in administration at Concordia College since 2001. Prior to Concordia, he practiced law in Dickinson, N.D. and operated a consulting business in Fargo. He has served his church congregation in various capacities including pastoral call committees, church council, youth ministry, service projects and stewardship drives. Roger and his wife, Ann, have three sons.
Oak Grove Association: Roger is a parent to three Oak Grove alumni.
Employer: Concordia College
“I believe strongly in the mission of Oak Grove Lutheran School. I am passionate about delivering high quality education to students, furthering their Christian walk, creating a strong sense of community for students and their families, and encouraging students to look beyond themselves to positively impact the lives of others.”
Jerilynn is a 1986 graduate of Oak Grove and is the daughter of June and Jerry Brantner.
She went on to graduate from the University Of North Dakota School Of Law and is a partner at Vogel Law Firm in Fargo. She is a member of the Cass, State and American Bar Associations.
Jerilynn currently serves on the board of trustees at Bethany Retirement Living and the YWCA Endowment Committee. She reflects on her time at Oak Grove as a time for learning not only how to become a productive member of society; but, through the talented and caring faculty, learning what it means to be a Christian and make a difference in the world.
Jerilynn is married to Jon Adams and they have two sons Christian '15, junior and Jackson, class of 2017.
Jerilynn also was also inducted in the Oak Grove Hall of Fame in October of 2013.
Oak Grove Association: Alumnus and parent of an Oak Grove grad and current student.
Oak Grove Association: Bishop Brandt is an ex-officio member of the Board, because he is the bishop of the Eastern North Dakota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America—one of Oak Grove’s two supporting synods.
Employer: Eastern North Dakota Synod, ELCA
Biographical Information: Brad is married to Jennifer in 1997 and they have spent the last 19 years raising their family and enjoying every minute. Their kids are active in sports and the arts at Oak Grove as well as youth groups at our church.
Brad DeJong grew up in Fessenden, ND enjoying the many attributes of a small rural class B community and working for local farmers. After graduating high school, Brad went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Minnesota State University of Moorhead. After college Brad started working for Charles Bailly & CO (now Eide Bailly) in the health care industry services division. Over the 24 years, he has worked with health care industry clients assisting them with financial reporting, strategic planning, capital financing, and regulation interpretation.
Brad and his family are members of Atonement Lutheran Church and Brad has served on the Atonement Lutheran Church Finance and Stewardship Committees 2014-2017; Chair or the Atonement Lutheran Church Capital Campaign 2017; Grover Athletic Club 2013-2016, 2017-; ND Long Term Care Association Legislative and Reimbursement Committee 2011-.
Employer: Eide Bailly – Health Care Industry Services Division
Brad says that he wants to help ensure that the enjoyment his family has found in being part of the Oak Grove family can be enjoyed by others in the future.
Biographical Information: Dan represents clients in commercial real estate projects and transactions. His real estate practice includes development, land use, purchase/sale transactions, leasing, mortgage-based financing and eminent domain.
Dan received his B.B.A. in accounting (summa cum laude) from the University of North Dakota in 1987 and is a Certified Public Accountant. Dan graduated with Distinction from the University of North Dakota School of Law in 1990, where he earned Order of the Coif. He is licensed to practice law in North Dakota and Minnesota.
Dan is named as one of North Dakota’s leading real estate lawyers by Chamber’s USA, Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers and U.S. News and World Report. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Mortgage Attorneys.
Oak Grove Association: Dan is a 1983 graduate of Oak Grove and he and his wife, Michelle, have two sons; Peter, Oak Grove class of 2015 and Jacob. Dan’s family enjoys outdoor activities, including hunting, fishing, cycling and water and snow sports and spending time at their lake cabin. Dan currently serves as Vice President of the Foundation Board.
Biographical Information: Paul Dovre served in the U.S. Army prior to receiving a bachelor’s of arts degree from Concordia College in Moorhead. He received his master’s and doctorate degrees from Northwestern University. He spent his career at Concordia College, serving as a faculty member, dean and president. He is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Moorhead.
Oak Grove Association: Dr. Dovre is a past staff member of Oak Grove Lutheran School and has many Grover alumni in his family.
Employer: Concordia College
“My professional life has involved Lutheran education. I have seen the impact of Oak Grove in many dimensions and am committed to her life and mission.”
Biographical Information: Tricia Erickson is retired from the Fargo Public Schools where she worked for her entire career (33 years). Tricia served the Fargo Public Schools as a classroom teacher and an elementary school principal during her tenure.
Tricia and her husband, Scot live in Fargo. They have two children; a daughter, Barrett, is a freshman at UND and a son, Jack, is a sophomore at Davies High School. They enjoy following their children in their activities, cheering on the UND hockey team and spending time at their lake place. Tricia enjoys time at their lake home in northern Minnesota where they spend time on the pontoon, riding the trails on the Ranger and hanging with friends.
Tricia is a member of Hope Lutheran and has served on the North Dakota Council of Educational Leaders as a Board Member/Past President and the North Dakota Association of Elementary Principals as a Board Member/Past President
Employer: Retired Fargo Public Schools
“We are all called to serve and when Oak Grove called, I felt it was a calling I could answer. Serving on the Board of Regents is a perfect fit for me. This opportunity offers me a role where I can combine my background in education, my faith and my passion for children to help Oak Grove fulfill its mission. I look forward to this opportunity!”
Biographical Information: Katherine grew up in Bloomington, Minnesota and attended Concordia College in Moorhead. Katherine is a proud Moorhead resident who is married to Joe, a Nurse Practitioner at Essentia. They have two children, Grace (a 9th grader at Moorhead High School) and Elise (a 5th grader at Oak Grove). Katherine enjoys helping at kids’ school events including Oak Grove Theatre. Katherine and her husband have hosted multiple exchange students and currently host a student from Brazil. Her family enjoys traveling and her family has a goal to hit all 50 states. Katherine says she loves the ways in which God moves in and through us to make a difference in the world.
Katherine has served on Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd Council, Thrivent Board (Clay County Chapter) and FMWF Chamber of Commerce Business Training Committee.
Oak Grove Association: Current Oak Grove Parent
Employer: Concordia College - Office of Advancement
“I love Oak Grove’s mission to encourage and equip children to grow in faith, learning, leadership and service. Since joining Oak Grove in the fall of 2016, my daughter has had wonderful opportunities that have shaped her life in rich and meaningful ways. We are grateful and I’m glad to help ensure these experiences are possible for future generations of Grovers. I have spent my entire professional career at Concordia College in Admissions, Student Success, and now Advancement. I know firsthand the transforming power of a small, faith-filled education. I am also aware of the ever present challenges for this type of institution. As a board member, I look forward to partnering with other Grover supporters to think strategically about both the opportunities and challenges and champion the mission, vision, and outcomes of this great school.”
Biographical Information: Karla grew up on a farm in Northwest Iowa and attended Lutheran Day School through Eighth Grade. She went onto attend Concordia College (now Concordia University) in St. Paul, MN. She met her husband Rob at Concordia and celebrated their 43rd anniversary this summer. Karla and her husband have two married children and four grandchildren.
Oak Grove Association: Karla's son-in-law Joshua Johnson taught at Oak Grove and two of her grandsons attend Oak Grove elementary.
Employer: Karla has worked as an elementary librarian, for the Artwork for ND Metric program in Bismarck and has played piano/keyboard with Celebration Worship Band at First Lutheran for the past 20 years. She has also been a mentor mom for MOPS/MomTalk at First Lutheran for the past 17 years.
"I loved my childhood Lutheran Day School experience and I am excited about the direction and leadership that Oak Grove has taken toward academic excellence and Christian commitment for the kids and families in our community. What a privilege it is for me to serve in some small way so that others can know and have a relationship with their Savior too...who wouldn't want that for everyone's kids and grandkids?"
Rev. Chuck Olmstead grew up enjoying life in a small Montana town and learned there was value in a hard day’s work. His family taught him that love is an action word. By the time he was a sophomore in high school he knew with utmost certainly that he was supposed to be a pastor. That journey of becoming a pastor took him all the way to Texas Lutheran College for his college degree and then to Luther Seminary for his pastoral education.
Following school, Pastor Chuck began ministry in 1984 at Hope Lutheran and has been there ever since. His family includes his wife, Cara, who also works at Hope Lutheran, a son, Luke; a daughter, Leah, who is married to Anthony Morrison. Anthony and Leah recently made Chuck and Cara grandparents!
Pastor Chuck is excited to join Oak Grove’s Board of Regents because education and vocation are linked to biblical truth that we were created to live a life with God and for God. Oak Grove’ s mission, “To express God’s love by nurturing students for academic achievement, lifelong Christian commitment and loving service throughout the world,” reflects biblical truth. Pastor Chuck wholeheartedly supports this mission and looks forward to the opportunity to serve on the Board of Regents.
Oak Grove Association:
Employer: Senior pastor at Hope Lutheran Church
Biographical Information: Jon has just completed his third term on the Oak Grove Foundation where he was co-chair of the Centennial Campaign. He retired after 26 years with the United Parcel Service and is currently self employed.
Jon is married to Joan Rustvang and all three of their children have graduated from Oak Grove. Erin (Rustvang) Sidwell ’05, Jeffrey Rustvang ’08 and Michael ’11. Jon holds a Bachelor of Science and Master degrees from North Dakota State University.
Oak Grove Association: Parent of three Oak Grove Alum.
Jon believes that Oak Grove has meant so much to his family and it is his responsibility to give back and help others so they may have the same experiences that his family has had.
Biographical Information: Mr. Sharpe graduated in 1988 from Norman County West High School in Halstad, MN and in 1990 graduated from East Grand Forks Tech with a degree in Farm Management and has been a self employed farmer since then. The Sharpe’s are members of Kirkebo Lutheran Church in Perley, MN. Mr. Sharpe believes the spiritual leadership and family atmosphere has had a profound effect on his family, not just his children. The opportunity to be a part of Oak Grove in this new capacity is invaluable and he is very thankful to be given another reason to stay actively involved with the school. It is Mr. Sharpe’s sincere hope that he can bring experiences to the table that will enhance the strength of Oak Grove Lutheran School.
Oak Grove Association: Shane is parent of two Grover Alumni. Mr. Sharpe and his wife Jennifer have been involved with Oak Grove since their son Matthew started sixth grade, in the fall of 2004. For his family, it was one of the best decisions they have ever made.
Mrs. Marlys Sunderland was born and raised in Glendive, Montana and grew up in the Lutheran faith. Marlys went to NDSU from 1965-1970 and graduated with a master’s degree in food and nutrition. She married David Sunderland in 1967 and they lived in North Fargo where they raised their two sons, Brad and Derek. They have been members of First Presbyterian Church in Fargo.
Marlys was the Bible Study Fellowship teacher leader for 17 years in Fargo.
In 2005, they began spending their winters in Fountain Hills, Arizona and return often to Fargo in the winter to watch their grandsons play hockey which they are all involved in with the Fargo Angels.
Currently David and Marlys are attending Scottsdale Bible Church in Arizona.
Oak Grove Association: Marlys is a grandparent to four Grovers.
"It is a great privilege to be able to have the option of a Christian education and I look forward to being a prayerful supporting member and helping Oak Grove continue to flourish."
Rev. Mary Suomala Folkerds is an associate pastor at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd and she engages in all areas of ministry and interacts with all ages. Her passions in ministry include preaching, memorizing Scripture, digging into tough questions, and finding ways to connect the practices of faith into our homes.
She is married to Aaron Suomala Folkerds who is a pastor at The Lutheran Church of Christ the King also in Moorhead. They have a son named Paul who is a ball of energy, and a daughter, Helena, who passed away in 2008. Pastor Mary graduated from Minnesota State University-Moorhead in 2001 with a degree in Russian Studies and Economics and with a Masters of Divinity degree from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago in 2007.
Pastor Mary loves to travel and has lived in Finland and Brazil.
Oak Grove Association: Mary serves as Oak Grove's clergy representative from northwest Minnesota.
Employer: Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd
Biographical Information: Sher Thomsen has served as Regional Executive Director of the American Red Cross and most recently President of the United Way of Cass Clay. While President of the United Way, Sher helped to determine organizational vision and provide strategic and operational leadership for the United Way team and Board of Trustees. She helped evolve the United Way brand experience, expand engagement opportunities and grow business and resource development.
Sher has received such awards and recognitions as; Chamber Choice - Small Non-Profit of the Year Award, 2015 Prairie Business Magazine Top 25 Women in Business, YWCA Woman of the Year Nominee and in 2014 was a featured community leader in Feature Magazine. Sher and her husband, Joel have two children at Oak Grove; Heath is a sixth grader and Pierce is a second grader.
Oak Grove association: Parent to two Oak Grove students. Health, sixth grade and Pierce, second grade.
“I see my life experiences dovetailing seamlessly with the mission and values of Oak Grove Lutheran. I was raised with our faith as a quiet daily practice of humbly helping others, to enrich and enhance well-being. My career to date serves as an extension of my faith, as I have focused on working with others, to improve the communities in which I live for the enrichment of individuals and families. Service, leadership, faith, courage and relationships have been a foundation for my family and my career to date and continues to motivate me to make a difference. Simply said, I believe God intends for each of us to leave the world, and all its inhabitants, better than we found it. A belief I strive to put into action each day.”
Biographical Information: The Honorable Wade Webb has served as a District Judge, State of North Dakota for 10 years. Judge Webb wishes to serve on the Oak Grove Board of Regents because it was and continues to be such a special place in his life as well as the lives of others.
Oak Grove Association: Wade Webb is a 1988 graduate of Oak Grove and has maintained many connections with Oak Grove over the years. After graduating from Oak Grove, he received his BA from Concordia College, summa cum laude, in Business and International Relations in 1992; and thereafter received a JD from UND School of Law in 1995. Judge Webb is a member of Hope Lutheran church in Fargo and presently serves on the church council.
Employer: District Court of the State of North Dakota
Biographical Information: Lawrence Robert Wohlrabe was born in Mankato, MN. He graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and Luther Seminary, St. Paul. Luther Seminary awarded him a Doctor of Ministry degree with distinction. Ordained in 1981, he served parishes in Willmar, MN; St. James, MN; and Moorhead, MN He was also on the staff of Luther Seminary, St. Paul, and the SW MN Synod ELCA, Redwood Falls, MN Larry was elected bishop of the Northwestern Minnesota Synod on June 10, 2007. Larry's wife, Joy, is hospice and homecare social worker for St. Francis Healthcare Campus in Breckenridge, MN They have two young adult children, Erik and Kristen, both of whom live in the Twin Cities.
Oak Grove Association: Bishop Wohlrabe is an ex-officio member of the Board, because he is the bishop of the Northwestern Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America—one of Oak Grove’s two supporting synods.
Employer: Northwestern Minnesota Synod, ELCA. Previously, he was senior pastor of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Moorhead, MN, which is the home congregation of several Oak Grove students and staff members.
“I am delighted to serve on the Board of Regents for Oak Grove, because I believe it is a vital way our church helps young people grow as Christian disciples and as students of God’s wondrous creation. I also believe that schools like Oak Grove do so much to shape the leaders of the church—both today’s church and the church of the future.”