Julie Nielsen Appointed as the Next Superintendent

Julie Nielsen Appointed as the Next Superintendent for South Washington County Schools
Posted on 08/13/2020

Julie Nielsen

Assistant Superintendent Julie Nielsen has been named as the next superintendent for South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo) beginning Sept. 2. She will succeed Dr. Keith Jacobus following his July announcement to retire. 

During a school board meeting on Aug. 13, seven members of the board unanimously appointed Mrs. Nielsen to the top leadership position. She is the first female superintendent for South Washington County Schools.

“Julie has been instrumental in preparing the district for an uncertain school year,” said board chair, Tracy Brunnette. “Her deep knowledge of the complexities of the district and the challenges we are facing will allow for a smooth transition of leadership for our families and staff.”

“I am incredibly humbled and excited to begin my next journey with a district that feels like home,” said Nielsen. “I am looking forward to building and strengthening relationships and hearing directly from our students to better meet their needs.”

Mrs. Nielsen has served SoWashCo for 24 years, beginning as a student teacher at Grey Cloud Elementary and Oltman Junior High School before being hired as a varsity basketball coach and physical education specialist. Her leadership led to an assistant principal position at Middleton Elementary where she later returned as principal after four years in the same role with Northfield Public Schools.  

For the last six years, she has served as assistant superintendent where she supervised multiple schools across grade levels and several departments including Teaching and Learning, Technology and Student Information. Mrs. Nielsen is also directly involved in fall planning and served as project manager for long-range facility planning to address student growth, organized community feedback for school boundary changes and managed the 2015 referendum that built the new Oltman Middle School. 

Mrs. Nielsen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in K-12 physical education and developmentally adapted physical education from Winona State University, and a Master of Education degree from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.  

Mrs. Nielsen reached an agreement on a three-year contract which the board approved during the meeting. Superintendent Keith Jacobus and Mrs. Nielsen are working together to ensure a smooth transition for the start of the school year.