Meet Our Administrators

Andrea Rusk, Principal

Andrea Rusk is the principal at Brainerd High School.  She started as principal in 2005 and previously served as a Dean of Students and Assistant Principal at BHS.  She proudly touts Brainerd as the best place in the world to live with it's beautiful geographic area and community people who are hard working, genuine, and committed to quality education for all students.    

Ms. Rusk has educational degrees from the University of St. Thomas and Saint Mary’s University.  Prior to moving to Brainerd she taught high school social studies and coached in her hometown of Milaca, Minnesota. 

She loves serving students in our community and feels her greatest responsibility is to prepare all students to be college or career ready after graduation.  Student success fuels her enthusiasm for education with relationships at the core of her leadership

Email: [email protected]



Craig Kotsmith, Assistant Principal

Craig Kotsmith has been with Brainerd High School as an Assistant Principal since 2018. He began his career as a high school business and technology teacher before serving four years as the Carlton High School Principal.

When asked about Brainerd Schools, Mr. Kotsmith said, "There is no other place I would choose for my kids. This community is top-notch and provides excellent opportunities for all students." He feels fortunate to live in a place that has a great school system as well as countless outdoor recreation opportunities.

With degrees from University of Wisconsin-Stout, Saint Mary’s University and UMD, Mr. Kotsmith has a love for learning and building relationships. He understands the scope of his role and is committed to supporting the growth and success of Brainerd students.

Email: [email protected]


Craig Kotsmith


Nate Merseth, Assistant Principal

Nate Merseth is beginning his 10th year as an assistant principal at Brainerd High School. Nate began his career in education as a teacher in the Pine River-Backus school district. After teaching for seven years in Pine River, Nate was hired by the Pillager School District as dean of students where he served in that capacity for one year before coming to Brainerd in 2008.

Nate is proud to be a part of the Brainerd High School 'Team' and appreciates working with such a talented and caring staff. He feels the greatest strength of Brainerd High School is the learning environment that focuses on the individual need of each student, as well as the positive school culture that provides opportunities and success for ALL students.

Nate earned his bachelor's degree from Concordia College, Moorhead Minnesota, then earned degrees from Southwest State University and St. Cloud State University. Away from school, Nate enjoys spending time with his wife and two boys. His family has a love of the outdoors and many days are spent on water in the Brainerd lakes area. .

Email: [email protected]


 Nate Merseth

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