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Nisswa Elementary School principal hired

A second-year elementary school principal from Madelia will be the next principal of Nisswa Elementary School.

Molly Raske, principal at Madelia Elementary School in south central Minnesota, will join the Brainerd School District on July 1.

“We had three wonderful candidates and we think we made a great choice,” said Brainerd Superintendent Steve Razidlo.

He said the district received a large number of applications for the position — more than 40 — and a committee conducted six interviews and then brought three people back for a second round of interviews. Those finalists were Raske; Laurie Wig, director of curriculum, assessment and technology for the Pequot Lakes School District and former Brainerd middle school science teacher; and Jason Kuehn, elementary dean of students with the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted School District 

“We are very proud to have these people. It’s always so hard to make a decision,” Razidlo said.

He said the hope is for Raske to be able to meet the Nisswa School staff and community before the school year ends.

Before serving as principal in Madelia, Raske taught first and seventh grades. She is married and has three children.

Raske will succeed current principal Erin Herman, who has been principal in Nisswa for a total of 14 years. Herman and her husband, Steve, will leave in July for Paraguay, where they will work at the same American-sponsored school in the capital of Paraguay, Asuncion, for two years. Erin, who has been in education for 34 years, including as principal at Pequot Lakes Elementary School, will be the elementary school principal; Steve will teach high school math.

The Brainerd School District also chose a new superintendent last week. Klint Willert, Marshall Public Schools superintendent, was selected Wednesday, April 9, to succeed Steve Razidlo. The school board agreed to enter contract negotiations with Willert.

Razidlo also is headed overseas. He accepted a three-year contract as superintendent at The American International School in Vienna, Austria, effective at the end of this school year.

Nancy Vogt can be reached at Follow her at and on Twitter @PEJ_Nancy.

Becca Clemens
After graduating high school in 2004, I attended Central Lakes College in Staples, MN for 2 years where I got a diploma in Communication Art and Design. I then transfered up to Bemidji State University in, you guessed it, Bemidji, MN. In the spring of 2009, I graduated from BSU. Then in the fall of 2009 I got a job at Echo Publishing, a sister company to the Brainerd Dispatch.