Oak Grove School names former Lutheran Social Services leader as interim president

Bob Otterson will serve as Oak Grove's president beginning Monday.

Bob Otterson

FARGO — The Oak Grove Lutheran School Board of Regents has announced a new interim president who is taking the helm starting Monday, Jan. 24.

Bob Otterson, who oversaw the closure of Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota as president and chief executive officer in January 2021, stepped into his role Monday.

Otterson was previously the director of philanthropy and mission innovation with the Eastern North Dakota Synod and has worked more than 20 years in higher education, including as a university chief of staff, vice president and a director of marketing and communications, according to a release from Oak Grove Lutheran School.

"Mr. Otterson is a proven leader with relevant experience in education," said Sherri Thomsen, chair of Oak rove Board of Regents, in the release. "He is a collaborative, people-oriented, strategic and forthright leader who is described as always being a value-added person to any organization he serves."

Otterson stated in a press release that he looks forward to the work.


"This upcoming service with Oak Grove connects to my youth in a teaching household, my years in education, and my commitment to the greater Lutheran church," he said.

Michael Slette, Oak Grove Lutheran School's 11th president, announced his resignation in December 2021.

Oak Grove teaches pre-K-12 students on two campuses. The original campus with middle and high schools is at 124 North Terrace, and the south campus for early childhood learning and elementary school is at 2720 32nd Ave. S.

Otterson has a bachelor's degree in communications from Augustana University, a master's degree in mass communication and journalism from South Dakota State University, and a doctorate in higher education from the University of South Dakota.

He is also a CASE Laureate, a distinction recognizing volunteer leadership for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. He has received awards from six organizations including CASE, the Public Relations Society in America and the International Association for Business Communicators.

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