About this episode
Educational leaders often have to juggle multiple roles such as serving as an educator, parent, leader, and politician. Easier said than done. How do you find balance? Kirsten Baesler, State Superintendent of North Dakota, teaches us that striking ‘balance’ may not be the right goal. Her extensive experience as a 24-year educator including being a vice-principal, library media specialist, classroom teacher, instructional assistant and nine years as a school board member make her extremely qualified to provide perspective. After five minutes of listening to Superintendent Baesler, you will be a fan.
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Kirsten Baesler is the state school superintendent and administrator of the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction. The superintendent and her 86-person team oversee the education of almost 122,000 students in more than 450 buildings across the state. She was first elected in November 2012. She was re-elected to her third four-year term in November 2020, receiving 59 percent of the vote.
Superintendent Baesler serves on more than a dozen boards, including the Education Standards and Practices Board, the North Dakota Children’s Cabinet, the K-12 Education Coordination Council, the Board for Career and Technical Education, and the Board of University and School Lands, which manages state landholdings and oversees a $5.35 billion trust fund (as of March 31, 2021) that benefits North Dakota’s public schools. She is chair of a state committee that screens candidates for the North Dakota Board of Higher Education.
Superintendent Baesler’s administrative responsibilities include oversight of the North Dakota School for the Deaf/Resource Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Devils Lake, North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind in Grand Forks, and the North Dakota State Library, Bismarck.