Internet Explorer 11 is not supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

'I Never Ever Make Decisions About K-12 Education Based on What’s Best for Adults'

Superintendent of Public Instruction, N.D.

1806_Kirsten Baesler 22a
Kirsten Baesler’s love of education is clear from the moment she starts talking about how she wants to inspire “every young kiddo” in her home state of North Dakota. Baesler grew up in rural Flasher as the youngest of seven children. She describes education as “her greatest love.” After getting a bachelor’s degree in education, she began teaching in the Bismarck Public Schools.

During her 22 years with the school district, she worked as an instructional assistant, classroom teacher, library media specialist and assistant vice principal. She also served as president of the Mandan School Board for nine years. 

Baesler was first elected state superintendent of the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction in 2012. Now in her second term, Baesler says the role is “the best of both worlds,” using her background as a teacher as well as school board president. “What’s best for students is at the heart of every decision and every direction and every position that I take,” she says. “I never ever make decisions about K-12 education based on what’s best for adults.”

Read about the Women in Government program and the rest of the honorees.

Caroline Cournoyer is GOVERNING's senior web editor.
Special Projects
Sponsored Stories
In recent years, local governments have been forced to adapt to a wildly changing world, especially as it pertains to sending bills and collecting payments.
Workplace safety is in the spotlight as government leaders adapt to a prolonged pandemic.
While government employees, students and the general public had to wait in line for hours in the beginning of the pandemic, at-home test kits make it easy to diagnose for the novel coronavirus in less than 30 minutes.
Governments around the nation are working to design the best vaccine policies that keep both their employees and their residents safe. Although the latest data shows a variety of polarizing perspectives, there are clear emerging best practices that leading governments are following to put trust first: creating policies that are flexible and provide a range of options, and being in tune with the needs and sentiments of their employees so that they are able to be dynamic and accommodate the rapidly changing situation.
Service delivery and the individual experience within health and human services (HHS) is often very siloed and fragmented.
In this episode, Marianne Steger explains why health care for Pre-Medicare retirees and active employees just got easier.
Government organizations around the world are experiencing the consequences of plagiarism firsthand. A simple mistake can lead to loss of reputation, loss of trust and even lawsuits. It’s important to avoid plagiarism at all costs, and government organizations are held to a particularly high standard. Fortunately, technological solutions such as iThenticate allow government organizations to avoid instances of text plagiarism in an efficient manner.
Creating meaningful citizen experiences in a post-COVID world requires embracing digital initiatives like secure and ethical data sharing, artificial intelligence and more.
GHD identified four themes critical for municipalities to address to reach net-zero by 2050. Will you be ready?