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A Special Visit

By Staff | Mar 18, 2016

North Dakota State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler reads “Never Smile At A Monkey” to the Wolford first and second graders. (Ashley Burkhartsmeier/PCT)

Kirsten Baesler, the North Dakota state superintendent of public instruction, stopped and visited Wolford School on Tuesday. Baesler visited with students across the state to understand the needs of students and explore where opportunities exist.

“I’ve worked a lot with Wolford,” Baesler said. “As a small town rural school, they’ve had some struggles. I wanted to meet the students and staff at Wolford.”

Baesler’s department oversees the education of more than 110,00 public and private school students from K-12. While visiting Wolford, she took the time to read to the first and second graders. Each of the students introduced themselves to Baesler before she read them the book, “Never Smile at A Monkey.”

Baesler stopped into the technology classroom, where high school students are able to take online courses that are geared to each student individually-an area that Baesler is a contributor and supporter of in the rural school systems. Baesler spoke to Senior Timothy Yoder about his future after graduation. She was enthusiastic about Yoder contemplating going into elementary education.

Previous to taking the state superintendent office, Baesler worked for 23 years in the Bismarck public school system as vice principal, library media specialist and classroom teacher.

Baesler serves on 15 boards, including the Education Standards and Practices Board, which licenses teachers; the Educational Technology Council; the board of the Teachers’ Fund for Retirement; and the Board of University and School Lands, which manages state land holdings and oversees a $3 billion trust fund that benefits North Dakota’s public schools.

Baesler took office in January 2013. She resides in Mandan, and has three adult sons. She is a native of Flasher, in southwestern North Dakota.

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