Meet Kirsten Baesler
Kirsten Baesler was elected North Dakota state superintendent of schools in November 2012. Baesler and her 100- member staff manage the school funding formula, approve administrator and education specialist credentials, and monitor the state’s K-12 school programs in its 473 school buildings educating our 110,000 students. She serves on 15 state boards, chairing two of them. Her 22 year career at Bismarck Public Schools placed her in roles as vice principal, library media specialist, classroom teacher, and instructional assistant to students with intellectual disabilities. She also spent nine years serving on the Mandan School Board serving as President seven of those nine years.
A native of Flasher, ND, Superintendent Baesler has earned two Associate degrees, a bachelor’s degree in Education and her master’s degree in Education and Library Information Technology. As Superintendent of Public Instruction, Baesler is committed to providing the best possible learning environment and educational experience to every child to be successful beyond high school. Superintendent Baesler makes her home in Mandan, where she raised her three sons and continues to serve her community as a board member for several local public and non-profit organizations.
Baesler ran for election to the State Superintendent Office of the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction in 2012. She won the letter of support from the North Dakota GOP in March of that year. Baesler defeated Democratic candidate Max Laird in the June Primary. She went on to defeat Independent Candidate Tracy Potter with 55% of the vote on November 6th, 2012.
Baesler holds two Associate’s Degrees from Bismarck State College, a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Minot State University, and Master’s Degrees in Education and Library Information Technology from Valley City State University. She also completed the Harvard Graduate School Educational Leadership Program.
Baesler’s twenty-three -year career at Bismarck Public Schools – North Dakota’s largest school district – placed her in roles as vice principal, library media specialist, technology integration specialist, and classroom teacher. She spent nine years serving on the Mandan School Board, seven of those years as President of the Board. She chaired the Mandan Economic Development Committee and the Public Library Board of Trustees.
She is a member of the board of directors for the National Dropout Prevention Center at Clemson University, and a member of the Joe Foss Institute’s Civics Education Initiative advisory board. Baesler participates on the Council of Chief State School Officers, International Society of Technology Educators, American Library Association, North Dakota Council of Education Leaders, and North Dakota United.
Kirsten is leading the charge to return local control to our schools and has made preparing students for life after graduation a top priority. She is running for office to ensure all students graduate choice ready: with the knowledge, the skills, and the disposition to do whatever they choose to do after high school, whether it be higher education, vocational programs, the workforce, or enlistment in the military.
Kirsten is endorsed by her peers and colleagues of the North Dakota Teacher and State Employees’ Association, North Dakota Right to Life, North Dakota Realtors’ Association, AFL-CIO, United Transportation Union, the Fargo Forum, the Bismarck Tribune, and the Grand Forks Herald.