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NDU Delegate Assembly

2022 Delegate Assembly

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Bismarck State College National Center for Excellence
Bavendick Stateroom

The NDU Delegate Assembly is an annual gathering of delegates representing the locals and chapters of our union. Together, our delegates will deliberate and vote on leaders, business items, policy matters, resolutions and amendments to our governing documents.

Additionally, Delegate Assembly is a great opportunity for members across the state to meet,
network and build relationships with their fellow public educators and employees.

Local presidents should have already received an email from President Nick Archuleta announcing the Delegate Assembly. Each local is guaranteed at least one representative. Larger locals are allowed one per 50 members or major fraction thereof.

Please complete and return the Delegate Report Form included with that email ASAP, but not later than April 13. 

Local presidents should make every effort to have their local represented at the Delegate Assembly.

Each local of ND United should have a process in place to determine who will serve as a delegate. If you are interested in being a delegate for your local or chapter, please contact your local president to find out how. If you don’t know who your local president is, contact the NDU office at 701-223-0450 or send an email to comments@ndunited.org.
Questions? Please contact Lisa Bennett at lisa.bennett@ndunited.org or call 701-223-0450.

North Dakota United will be holding elections at the Delegate Assembly for the offices of NDU president, vice president-education, vice president-public employees and NEA director, as well as delegates to the National Education Association’s Representative Assembly in Chicago this July. Exact dates and details were unavailable at press time.

Election procedures are defined within Article VI of the NDU Bylaws. All of the candidates for office are running unopposed, having submitted a nominating petition signed by 50 active members in good standing by Feb. 15, 2022, and therefore will be automatically elected.

Section 1: Nomination states that: “Nominations from the floor or write-in candidates may be accepted for all offices where no candidate has qualified.”

These candidate statements were prepared by candidates for the offices of NDU president, vice president-education, vice president-public employees and NEA director. Each statement has been taken from their candidate forms and edited only for formatting. NDU staff and equipment are not used on behalf of any candidate for association office.

officer candidate statements

Nick Archuleta

Candidate for North Dakota United President

NICK ARCHULETA proudly serves as the President of North Dakota United and has done so since the creation of North Dakota United in 2013. 

Prior to being elected ND United president, Archuleta worked as a Spanish teacher at Century High School in Bismarck, a summer school History teacher at Bismarck High School, and as a Spanish and Social Sciences teacher in LeRoy, MN. He graduated from Valley City State University, having earned a bachelor’s degree with a double major in History and Spanish. Archuleta also earned an Advanced Professional Education master’s degree from the University of North Dakota. 

In his capacity as NDU president, Archuleta oversees the overall governance of the organization. He works closely with both NEA and AFT regarding their relationships with our state affiliate. He serves as the organization’s spokesperson, as well as its chief lobbyist. 

Archuleta meets frequently with stakeholder groups such as NDU locals, school boards, the governor’s office, state legislators and a variety of organizations whose goals and missions intersect those of North Dakota United. 

He also serves on various boards and commissions within the state and nationally. For example, Archuleta serves on the ND Indian Education Advisory Council, the K-12 Coordination Council, and the Prairie Public Broadcasting Board of Directors, among others. 

Nationally, Archuleta has served, or is serving, on several NEA and AFT committees, think tanks and taskforces, including the NEA Human and Civil Rights Committee, the AFT Teacher and Staff Shortage Task Force, the National Council of State Education Associations, and is the current Vice-Chairman of the NEA Foundation.

Nick Archuleta was born in San Francisco, and has lived in New Mexico, Colorado and Minnesota. After high school, Archuleta worked several jobs including for Cominco American, a company that produced and marketed anhydrous ammonia. After turning down an offer to accept a position with the company in Beatrice, NE, Archuleta returned to college and earned his teaching degree.

He then accepted a position in LeRoy, MN where he taught for eight years. Upon accepting an offer to teach in Bismarck, Archuleta began teaching at Century HS, where he met and married his best friend, Mary Pat, who served as the Director of Choral Activities at Century High School for many years. They have three grown daughters and one son and make their home in Mandan.

Alicia Bata

Candidate for Vice President-Education

ALICIA D. BATA teaches on interactive television from Cavalier and Park River to four other high schools in northeastern N.D. 

She was elected and served as the National Education Association (NEA) Director for N.D. for two terms. She was appointed by NEA’s president to serve on the Human and Civil Rights Committee in Washington, D.C., also for two terms. She was selected to participate in the Magna Carta Human Rights Project by NEA, in conjunction with the National Union of Teachers (NUT) in England. She was voted by her peers on the NEA Board to be a delegate representing the U.S. at the World Congress of Education in South Africa. 

Bata is a National Trainer on the ELL Cadre and on the NEA Cultural Competence team. She is also a N.D. presenter of
the “I Can Do It” classroom management workshop. 

Bata was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her first university degree was as a Literary English/Spanish Translator (Universidad
del Salvador, Buenos Aires). She received her Bachelor of Arts degree, teaching certificate, ESL/Bilingual endorsement, and Master of Science degree in Education with a cognate in Bilingual Education from the University of North Dakota. She is married to a
N.D. farmer, Bill, and has four children and three grandchildren.

Gary Feist

Candidate for Vice President-Public Employees

GARY FEIST has been a tax auditor for the Office of State Tax Commissioner for the last 30 years, and currently works in the corporate income tax section.

He served as president of the North Dakota Public Employees Association for 12 years and is the current president of the North Dakota Public Employees statewide local. He has held the office of NDU Vice President for Public Employees since 2013, and also serves as Vice Chair of AFT Public Employee Program and Policy Council.

He is married, with three daughters, and lives in Bismarck.

Brenda Seehafer

Candidate for NEA Director

BRENDA SEEHAFER is a Title I teacher from Rolla, where she has been teaching the last 19 years. She previously taught at Wolford and also worked at the UND Lake
Region College library. Seehafer has a degree in Elementary Education from Minot State
University.

She is currently the NEA Director from North Dakota and serves on the NDU Board of Directors. She is also currently a co-facilitator for the NEA Enterprise-wide Vision for Leadership Development System Think Tank. She serves NDU on the UPAC Committee, the Resolutions Committee, the Foundation Board, and is a member of the GROW Team. She is also a facilitator for online book studies for NDU’s Professional Development department. She was co-captain of the Political Action Committee representing ND during the virtual RA in 2021. Brenda is also active at the local level. She is the Rolla Education Association president and is also a local bargainer.

Brenda is the current State President for the North Dakota Literacy Association (NDLA). She is serving in this position for a second year, as well as covering the roles of President-Elect and Past President. She will continue to serve in this position for one more year. She has served in this role previously, as well as in other state level and committee positions for
NDLA. She has also helped with planning and putting on statewide NDLA Literacy Conferences and Summer Institutes, which she is doing again for an October, 2022, State Conference. She has chaired the Silent Auction for these events as well. Her local reading chapter is the Chautauqua Literacy Chapter. She is currently the President of the Chautauqua Literacy Chapter and has held this position for several years. She has also served in other officer roles for the Chautauqua Literacy Chapter. She helps promote Literacy projects in her school and in her community.

Brenda is First Vice-President of the North Dakota Delta Kappa Gamma (DKG) organization; she is sharing some of the state responsibilities with the State President. She is also currently one of the planners for their State Conference that will happen in June of 2022. She also has held state officer positions for DKG in the past. She is also currently her local Lambda chapter president. She has held other officer jobs at the local level, too.

Brenda serves on the local Leadership Team at her school. She is also one of the 7th grade class advisors at her school. Brenda formerly served on an ESPB committee called the Program Approval Advisory Committee for several years.

“I was raised on a farm near Drake and attended grades K-12 at Drake School. I received a degree in Elementary Education from Minot State University. Minot State is where I started my involvement in what was then the student program of NDEA and was even the president on that campus for one year. I have several credentials in education, as well.”

nea representative assembly candidates

Emily Dissette

EMILY DISSETTE is an Early Childhood Special Education Teacher (ECSE) at Roosevelt Elementary School in Minot. She has served as local building representative for the Minot Education Association since 2018, NEA RA state delegate in 2019, and Student NDU (SNDU) local and state positions from 2014-17. 

She received a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Elementary from University of Mary. 

“I was born in Rugby and graduated from Rugby High School. I attended the University of Mary where I double majored in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. I am married to Jordan, who is a diesel mechanic. We have 2 boys (5 and 2 years old.) I am involved locally in the Minot Education Association as a Building Representative. I am also a representative from my school to our Superintendent’s Advisory Committee.”

Tim Thueson

TIM THUESON is currently a grade 5 and 6 math and reading strategist at the Bakken Elementary in Williston and a member of the Bakken data committee. He has been a member of NEA-NDU since 1977 and a pre-retired life member since 2000. At the state level, he served on the PR Commission (6 years), Advocacy Commission (6 years) and named an NDU Ambassador in 2009. At the local level, he has been president of 3 different locals, GRC and membership contact (16 years), a negotiating team member, and the building and membership representative in 2 schools. He has been an NDU state delegate to several NDU and NEA representative assemblies. He currently is vice chairperson on the NDU Resolutions committee. He is actively involved in school improvement process in each district that he has worked and has been on several AdvancEd team visitations.

Thueson has received many recognitions over his tenure in teaching, including: Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers (three times); listed in Who’s Who Among America’s Professionals (two times); a Melvin Jones Fellowship awardee; a lifetime member of the North Dakota Firefighters’ Association; four Lions Club International President’s Certificates, and the 2011 Inductee into the North Dakota Lions Clubs Hall of Fame.

Thueson is a member of the Communications, Speech and Theater Arts Association of North Dakota. He helped develop the North Dakota Theater Arts Curriculum Frameworks and wrote curriculum for NASA at the Goddard. He is involved in a local Lions club serving as the treasurer. He has been director and president for the North Dakota Lions Foundation and the North Dakota Lions Eye Bank. Tim graduated Cum Laude from Mayville State University with bachelor’s degree in elementary education. He received his Master of Science Degree in Education from Minot State University. He is married to Lynell, and they have one son, Mark.