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Press Release

BISMARCK, N.D., Nov. 29, 2021 – State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler has been chosen as president-elect of the Council of Chief State School Officers, a national organization that represents state education interests and manages the national Teacher of the Year award.

Baesler’s peers picked her as president-elect of the council’s board of directors during the organization’s annual policy forum earlier this month. She was first elected as one of the CCSSO’s nine directors in January 2019. Baesler will become the board’s president in November 2022, succeeding the current president, Molly Spearman, who is the South Carolina superintendent of education.

“I am honored and humbled to be elected as the future president of an organization with a distinguished tradition of advocating for state education issues,” Baesler said. “I hope to bring a rural, heartland perspective to the debates about education in our nation, with students and families at the center of the discussions.”

The CCSSO is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that provides leadership, technical assistance, and advocacy on major educational issues. Its board is CCSSO’s governing body and manages its business affairs.

The CCSSO oversees the national Teacher of the Year program, the nation’s most prestigious teacher recognition program, and many other programs that lift up the importance of K-12 education.

Baesler was first elected as North Dakota’s superintendent of public instruction in 2012. She has been re-elected twice. Before she became state school superintendent, Baesler had a 24-year career in Bismarck’s public school system as a vice principal, library media specialist, classroom teacher and instructional assistant. She served on the Mandan school board for nine years, including seven years as its president.

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