Seelhammer, Bushinger, Kern excited to serve on Wadena-Deer Creek School board

Three were elected out of a field of five.

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WADENA — Three have been chosen among five candidates for Wadena-Deer Creek School board.

Those receiving the top votes include incumbent Melissa Seelhammer, and newcomers Julie Bushinger and Brandon Kern.

Incumbent Seelhammer said she was pleased to be able to serve another term as she has already learned a great deal about the school district and wants to continue to use her knowledge to keep moving forward.

Missy Seelhammer head shot.jpg
Melissa Seelhammer
Contributed photo

One major first step for this new board will be staying involved in the process of facility upgrades.

“I’m just really looking forward to improving our facilities for our kids and trying to find the best way to use any funds that we do receive,” Seelhammer said. Her hopes are that any improvements would benefit the entire student body.


Seelhammer enjoys her part in the community education and budget side of the school board. Seelhammer also has hopes of getting involved further in marketing of the school, while getting students involved in the process. She said getting students involved will help the school and teach youth how to budget, plan, create and become young entrepreneurs.

Julie Bushinger.jpg
Julie Bushinger
Contributed photo

Oncoming board member Julie Bushinger commented that considering the strong field of candidates, she was very honored to be elected.

She said she looks forward to the process of upgrading school facilities too, saying it was a big project and one that required great feedback from the community.

“There definitely is some much needed upgrades for our outdoor facilities,” Bushinger said.

Bushinger wants to see the school continue to head in a positive direction. She hopes to keep curriculum up-to-date and wants to see more incorporation of technology and the trades.

For Wadena native Brandon Kern it's a great honor to serve on the school board district.

"I am thankful and honored that the school district put their support in me to represent them on the WDC School Board," Kern said. "Having grown up in Wadena, I am proud to be raising my family and working in this community. I am excited for the opportunity to play a part in making WDC School a place that parents want to send their kids, and that teachers and staff want to come to work."

Brandon Kern.jpg
Brandon Kern
Contributed photo

Kern shared that he's already heard from some members of the community asking him questions about his new role. He is looking forward to making sure that kids, teachers and staff have a safe and hospitable place to learn, teach and work together.


"I look forward to the challenges ahead and am excited to work with our school leadership to make WDC a place that people can be proud to say they are a part of, for years to come," Kern said.

Current board member Ryan Damlo will not make a return to the board in 2023.

Vote tallies:
Melissa Seelhammer: 27.4%
Julie Bushinger: 23.2%
Brandon Kern: 19.5%
Ryan Damlo: 16.5%
Kyle Lehmkuhl: 13.2%

Michael Johnson is the news editor for Agweek. He lives in the city of Verndale, Minn., but is bent on making it as country as he can until he returns once more to the farm living he enjoys. Also living the dream are his two children and wife.
You can reach Michael at or 218-640-2312.
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