Baskin to be principal at Southgate Elementary; Harder takes gifted and talented position

Published 10:21 am Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Austin High School Principal Katie Baskin will assume principal duties at Southgate Elementary School next fall, according to a news release from the Superintendent of Schools Dave Krenz on Wednesday.

Baskin will replace Edwina Harder, who will become the district coordinator for mentorship, and gifted and talented programming in the 2016-17 school year. Harder has served as Southgate principal since 2009.

Baskin, who was named high school principal in 2014, first began her duties in the Austin district in 2002, when she was hired as a math teacher at Ellis Middle School. In 2005, she was named dean of students for the high school; in 2007, she was named assistant principal at AHS and served in that post until 2012, when she moved with her husband to the metro area, where he had been transferred. At that time, she served as assistant principal at White Bear Lake High School, north campus, until being named principal at AHS in March 2014.

Katie Baskin

Katie Baskin

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She holds an undergraduate degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in educational leadership. She is also a facilitator for the Minnesota Principals’ Academy at the University of Minnesota.

“Mrs. Baskin brings a solid background in elementary education and diverse understanding of child development, K-12,” according to the release.

“During time as principal … Mrs. Baskin successfully moved AHS forward in curriculum, instruction, and technology integration,” including the 1:1 laptop initiative, the release said, and “implemented personalized professional development system for the staff, and worked to increase the cultural competency of all staff to best meet the evolving needs of students.”

She is active in the community, serving on the board for the United Way and Rotary organizations.

“Mrs. Baskin has a true passion for student success and community partnerships. She has a firm understanding of systems reform in K-12 as well as a strong grasp of curriculum and instruction,” according to the release.

Edwina Harder

Edwina Harder

Harder in her new role will implement a new teacher development and mentorship program and will oversee the talented and gifted programs in the district.

“Edwina brings a passion and focus to help lead the district in these extremely important areas,” according to the news release.

Harder began her teaching career in St. Cloud Public Schools in 1988 and taught for 16 years before being hired as principal at Sumner Elementary School in Austin in 2004. In 2009, she became principal of Southgate Elementary School in Austin. She holds a bachelor of science degree in elementary education with an emphasis in language arts, and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. She completed the Minnesota Principals’ Academy.

During her time in Austin, she has served on a number of committees, including those for curriculum and report cards. While at Southgate, she has overseen the addition of the Pi Academy, an ungraded learning environment for the highly gifted and highly able students, and the updating of the school’s playground.

She is active in the community, serving on boards of the Austin Public Education Foundation as well as the Austin High Alumni and Friends committee.