Compare the Candidates – Biographical Profiles and Positions on the Issues

November 6, 2012 North Dakota General Election

Candidates for Superintendent Of Education, North Dakota

Kirsten Baesler
PO Box 474Mandan ND 58554
(701) 527-4664
Tracy Potter
1320 N 2nd StreetBismarck, ND 58501
General (political statement of goals, objectives, views, philosophies)
Kirsten Baesler

Public education has been my passion my entire adult life. Every activity or event I have been involved with has been dedicated to helping children grow emotionally, physically and intellectually. I am passionate about teaching and learning and view myself as a public servant advocating for the needs of children of all ages.

I was raised knowing that each of us has a great responsibility to be involved and to give back to our communities, our state and our country. There was never a question of if I will serve; the question has always been 'How can I best serve?' In the past, I have been asked to run for other public offices. I always declined because most of the positions would have taken me further away from my passion for public education. I believe that public education is the greatest American institution this country ever created. Our children deserve the opportunity to succeed and prosper regardless of cultural or economic backgrounds. Public education levels that playing field for them.

It is essential that the next Superintendent of Public Instruction remember - the children must come first. They must remember that the sole reason for the existence of, and the primary focus of motivation for the Department of Public Instruction is to ensure our children prosper and flourish. Every decision, policy and practice of the Department must work toward that end--our children must come first! This is what has motivated me throughout my 21-years in public education and why I am running for this office of the North Dakota Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Tracy Potter

No response

Personal (gender, age, marital status, spouse's name and age, children's name and ages, home town, current residence)
Kirsten Baesler

I was raised in Flasher ND, and have lived in Mandan, ND, for more than 25 years. I am the mother of three grown sons; one a recent graduate of UNC and twin sons who are students at Bismarck State College.

Tracy Potter

Wife: Laura Anhalt; 2 Children: Vaughn, Jenny

Education (times and places of schools, colleges, major, degrees, activities, sports)
Kirsten Baesler

Master's Degree, Education and Library Information Technology, Valley City State University

Bachelor's Degree, Education, Minot State University

Tracy Potter

MA, History, University of North Dakota

BA, History, University of North Dakota

Profession (professional and work experience outside politics)
Kirsten Baesler

21 years work experience in public education Assistant Principal and Media Specialist Bismarck Public Schools

Tracy Potter

President/Executive Director, Fort Abraham Lincoln Foundation, present


Civic (past and present organizations, charities involvement)
Kirsten Baesler

Governor Appointed Member, North Dakota Educational Technology Council, 2011-Present

42 year member of American Legion Auxiliary

Morton Mandan Public Library Board of Trustees

Mandan Progress Organization Executive Board

Chairman of Mandan Tomorrow Strategic Planning Committee

Former Sunday School Teacher

Youth Park and Rec Coach

Cub Scout Leader

Tracy Potter

President, Northern Plains Heritage Foundation


Political (dates and titles of previously held political offices)
Kirsten Baesler

My work as Southwest Director for the North Dakota School Board Association, and as President of the Mandan Public School Board requires constant monitoring not only of education-related regulatory issues that affect our schools but also research, innovations, technology and best teaching practices.

Tracy Potter

Candidate, North Dakota State Superintendent of Public Instruction, 2012

Candidate, United States Senate, 2010

Senator, North Dakota State Senate, 2007-present

Religion (current and past religious affiliations, beliefs)
Kirsten Baesler

Member Spirit of Life Church

Tracy Potter

No response

Accomplishments (significant accomplishments, awards, achievements)
Kirsten Baesler

2010 North Dakota Library Association President's Award for Meritorious Service to NDLA

North Dakota Educators Association Librarian of the Year Finalist 2008

North Dakota School Boards Association Veteran Board Member with Distinction

City of Mandan Market Street Strategic Planning Steering Committee Co-Chair

National Affiliate Advocacy representative for Mandan Schools

Mandan Progress Organization Board of Directors

ND Library Association Executive Board Constitution, Bylaws and Policies Chairperson

Valley City State University Library Program Mentor

Bismarck Public Schools New Teacher Mentor

Mandan Public Library Board of Trustees President

Tracy Potter

No response

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