About Us

Meet the Principal

Welcome to Wilkinson Elementary! My name is Laura Benz and this is my third year as a principal. I previously taught third grade, before taking on this endeavor. I grew up on a farm with five siblings in Manning, N.D. This family has grown to sixteen grandchildren and one great grandchild, of which, only one is a boy. Let’s just say there have been many playdates at the farm with kittens, dogs, goats, horses, chickens, ducks and don’t forget playing school on the very same chalkboard I used.

In 2000, I graduated from Dickinson State University with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. To the surprise of my family, I packed up my car and moved to Lancaster, CA (the closest I could get to the ocean) to teach first grade. I welcomed the culture and diversity, unlike, anything I have experienced. There I also earned my Master’s Degree in Educational Administration, which allowed me to gain a lifetime of experiences professionally and personally that has brought me to where I am today.

After five years living in California, it became increasingly hard to leave my family, so I decided to move closer to home. I began a family and taught for seven years in Glendive, MT. I have a stepdaughter that is currently in high school and two little ladies ages six and five. In Glendive, I was a substitute teacher, paraprofessional, taught second, third and first grade. The different positions and grade level exposure has been invaluable to my growth as an educator.

In 2014, we moved here to Williston, ND. It is a privilege to be a part of a community that is inviting and diverse and to be working for a supportive school district. I am fortunate each and everyday to work with staff, parents and students in creating a culture of kindness that is infectious. As a principal, my passion is to lead by example and to guide students into becoming what they want to be when they grow up, just as I did all those years ago.


Wilkinson Elementary

1200 9th Ave West
P.O. Box 1407
Williston, ND 58801

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