GRAND FORKS -- Three finalists have been named to fill a spot on the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education.

Ian Grande, June Randall and Joseph Wetch were selected as the finalists to fill the spot being left by Don Morton, whose second four-year term expires at the end of the month.

Morton has been on the state board for eight years and served as the board’s chair.

Grande is from Bismarck and is the principal of Shiloh Christian School, a private school in the state’s capital city. He attended North Dakota State University, according to his application for the position.

Randall is from Grand Forks and is a television producer and founder/chief executive of Circle of Nations Publishing. Randall has a master's degree in education administration from UND, where she also received her bachelor's degree.

Wetch is an attorney from Fargo. He is vice president of the Serkland Law Firm in Fargo. Wetch also attended UND, where he graduated from the university’s law school.

The finalists were selected during a meeting of the five-member nominating committee on Thursday, June 18. Kirsten Baesler, superintendent of public instruction for the state, is the chairwoman of the committee. The panel’s other members are North Dakota Chief Justice Jon Jensen; Sen. Oley Larsen, R-Minot, the president pro tempore of the North Dakota Senate; Rep. Lawrence Klemin, R-Bismarck, the speaker of the North Dakota House; and Nick Archuleta, president of North Dakota United, which represents public employees and teachers.

The names will be forwarded to Gov. Doug Burgum, who will choose from the three.

Burgum’s choice will begin serving on July 1. The individual will be subject to confirmation by the North Dakota Senate during the 2021 Legislature to remain on the board. The person selected will be able to serve a full, four-year term and may be reappointed to the board for another four-year term.

Earlier this spring, Burgum appointed Danita Bye to an opening on the board. She replaced Dan Traynor, who left the state board earlier this year after being appointed to a federal judgeship. She began her term on the board in May.