ST. PAUL -- Drew Hildenbrand, principal at Bemidji Middle School, has been appointed by Gov. Tim Walz to represent secondary school principals on the Minnesota State Board of School Administrators.

The Board of School Administrators is a 10- member board appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate, responsible for the licensing of nearly 7,000 superintendents, principals, directors of special education and directors of community education across the state of Minnesota. The board is also charged with approving university preparation programs for school administrators, establishing and approving continuing education requirements, and enforcing the Code of Ethics, a release said.

Former Bemidji area state Sen. Tony Kinkel, now executive director of the Board of School Administrators, praised Walz' appointment of Hildenbrand.

“I’m ecstatic the governor would seek to diversify our board by ensuring that Greater Minnesota is given a seat at the table,” Kinkel said in the release. “Principal Hildenbrand is one of the top administrators in northern Minnesota. He has been a teacher and a coach, an assistant principal, a full K-12 principal, and currently leads one of the most diverse school districts in northern Minnesota with 19 percent of Bemidji’s students being Native American.”

Hildenbrand earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Bemidji State University. He completed his Administrative Licensure Program at St. Cloud University. Hildenbrand started his career as a sixth-grade teacher at Park Rapids. He started his administrative career serving as the K-12 principal for Northome. He has been at Bemidji since 2000 serving as an assistant principal, principal of the Bemidji Alternative Schools, and now the middle school principal charged with leading a school of 1,100 students with 72 certified and 50 non-certified staff members.

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“It is an honor to be chosen to represent all of the secondary principals in the state of Minnesota,” Hildenbrand said, in the release. “I am committed to the highest standards for our administrators and, at the same time, doing everything I can to advance professionalism and respect given to those administrators who work every day on behalf of our children. We are in a very competitive economic environment and Minnesota students are competing for jobs. Having the best educational leaders will give our state, and our children, the competitive edge they need no matter where they grew up.”