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A longtime teacher, coach and administrator for South Washington County Schools has been picked as the school district’s next leader.

Julie Nielsen, who will take over as superintendent Sept. 2, was appointed by the school board this week. She will succeed Keith Jacobus, who announced his plans to retire earlier this summer.

She worked for the district for 24 years, beginning as a student teacher before taking a series of other jobs, including varsity basketball coach and physical education specialist. She served as assistant principal of Middleton Elementary before she left the district for four years to serve as a principal in the Northfield school district.

Nielsen returned to South Washington County to take the principal job at Middleton Elementary. Most recently, she spent six years as assistant superintendent, a role in which she has helped lead long-range facility plans for the district and managed the campaign for a 2015 bond referendum.

Nielsen has a bachelor’s degree in K-12 physical education and developmentally adapted physical education from Winona State University, and a master’s degree in education from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota.

In a news release from the school district, Nielsen said she’s “excited to begin my next journey with a district that feels like home. I am looking forward to building and strengthening relationships and hearing directly from our students to better meet their needs.”

Erin Golden • 612-673-4790