Dr. Terry Brenner, Superintendent

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Dr. Terry Brenner, Superintendent

Dr. Terry Brenner is the 19th superintendent to lead Grand Forks Public Schools in its 138-year history. A native of Devils Lake, N.D., Brenner has worked in the Grand Forks and Grand Forks Air Force Base School Districts for the past 23 years in the roles of Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment and Professional Development (CIAPD) Director, and as an elementary and middle school principal. During a one year leave of absence from the district, Brenner served as the Director for School Leadership in the United Arab Emirates where he oversaw the development of K-12 principals in a 50 school project. Further, Brenner has served as an adjunct assistant professor at the University of North Dakota in the Department of Educational Leadership and in the Department of Communication Science Disorders.

Prior to his arrival in Grand Forks, Brenner served as an elementary school principal and teacher in the Devils Lake Public School District and also worked for a special education cooperative in Deaf Education.

He holds bachelor’s degrees in speech/communication and elementary education, a master’s degree in educational administration, and a doctorate in educational leadership, all from the University of North Dakota.

Brenner’s family includes his wife, Babs, and their son, Tate, both members of the Grand Forks Public Schools family.

Mr. Jody Thompson, Associate Superintendent of Elementary Education

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Mr. Jody Thompson, Associate Superintendent of Elementary Education

Jody Thompson is the Associate Superintendent of Elementary Education at Grand Forks Public Schools. Thompson began his career in the Grand Forks Public Schools in 1988 as a fourth grade teacher at Carl Ben Eielson on the Grand Forks Air Force Base. He served as an administrative intern at Nathan F. Twining Elementary/Middle School, also on the Grand Forks Air Force Base, during the 1993-1994 school year. In 1994, Thompson was named principal at Eielson, where he served in that capacity until being named principal at Valley Middle School in 1998. Thompson has served as an assistant superintendent since 2002.

He is a native of Grand Forks and a product of Grand Forks Public Schools. He earned his bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and his master's degree from the University of North Dakota. Jody is married to Machell and they have two sons, Travis and Taylor.

Ms. Catherine Gillach, Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education

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Ms. Catherine Gillach, Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education

Catherine Gillach is the Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education at Grand Forks Public Schools. A native of Aurora, Minn., Gillach began her career teaching middle school English in Monticello, Minn. after earning a bachelor’s degree in English education from the College of St. Scholastica. Gillach then served as Assistant Principal at Milaca (Minn.) Secondary School, Principal at Hutchinson (Minn.) Middle School, and Principal at Century Middle School in Lakeville, Minn. before moving to Grand Forks to serve as Principal at Elroy Schroeder Middle School.

Gillach holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from Hamline University, a master’s degree in athletic administration from the University of St. Thomas, and 6th-year administration degree from St. Cloud State University.

She lives in Grand Forks with her wife, Rachel, and two daughters, Marin and Mya.

Mr. Ed Gerhardt, Business Manager

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Mr. Ed Gerhardt, Business Manager

Ed Gerhardt has been the Business Manager at Grand Forks Public Schools since July 2014. Mr. Gerhardt is responsible for the accounting, payroll, accounts payable, building and grounds, and child nutrition programs.

Prior to working at Grand Forks Public Schools, Mr. Gerhardt was the Business Manager at Bismarck Public Schools for 23 years.

Growing up in Mandan, N.D., he graduated from Mandan High School. He attended the University of North Dakota and earned a bachelor's degree in accounting.

Mr. Gerhardt and his wife, Pat, have three children and two grandchildren.