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New superintendent takes over at CKSD
Hazel Bauman knows that running a school district comes down to two simple things — students and teachers.
“My role is to improve teaching and learning,” said Bauman, who began her work with the Central Kitsap School District this week. “Children come to school each day to learn and there is so much to learn. We have to make sure that we present that in an engaging and exciting way so that they are turned on to learning.”
Likewise, the district has to work toward having and maintaining the best possible teachers.
“I want to be able to walk into any classroom in this district and feel confident that I would want my child or my grandchild to be in that classroom.”
Bauman was hired in May for a one-year interim position as superintendent at a salary of $160,000. She comes to the Central Kitsap district with nearly 40 years in education, the last 29 in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, where she was superin
tendent for the past five years.
She was born in Manchester, England, and moved to Canada in 1966 where she attended high school in Toronto. She began her career in education at age 17 after getting a two-year degree.
“It was the dark ages,” she said. “Back then, in Canada, you could teach with a two-year college degree.”
In 1974 she moved to Coeur d’Alene where she got her bachelor’s degree from Eastern Washington State College (now university) in Cheney. She taught blind and deaf children in a residential school setting and then began teaching special education classes for the Coeur d’Alene School District in 1979. She’d been going to school part time and received her master’s degree in education from Eastern Washington.
She worked as a consulting teacher and spent time in a number of classrooms until 1984 when, after having two children, she decided to stay home and work part time for the University of Idaho at its Coeur d’Alene campus. She taught undergraduate students and was an advisor and supervised student teachers.
After her youngest was in school, Bauman went back to teaching full time in 1989 as the Coeur d’Alene’s interim curriculum specialist and stayed in that district until she came to Central Kitsap.
Part of her role as superintendent is to be the keeper of taxpayers’ dollars, she said.
“When you’re working in the public sector, you’re the beneficiary of tax dollars,” she said. “We have to be vigilant and diligent in how we spend those dollars because the public is watching and rightfully so.”
And being in public education these days means being competitive.
“Public education isn’t the only show in town,” she said. “With virtual schools and charter schools, it means we have to compete.”
Keeping public schools strong is one way to keep communities strong, she added.
“A strong public school system is the foundation of a community,” she said. “It really does support the fabric of the community. When schools unravel, you will see communities unravel, too.”
She looks forward to taking her skills and applying them to her new setting and learning about a different place.
“It’s good to get out of your comfort zone,” she said. “I’ve got a blend of anticipation and anxiousness.”
Bauman is married and has a blended family of two adult children of her own and two of her husband’s. She has four grandchildren.
She’s an avid hiker and kayaks, and water and snow skis. She likes to cook and entertain and enjoys reading, classical music and the opera.
She plans to “wait and see how it goes” in the district before making a decision about whether she wants to be considered for the permanent superintendent position.
“It has to fit both ways,” she said. “If they (the board) see I’m moving the district in the direction it should be going, and if I’m making a difference then we’ll see.”
On Monday, the Central Kitsap School Board met for a brief 30 minute session with its new superintendent.
This was the first official school board meeting for Bauman since she became the district’s interim school district superintendent.
Board president Mark Gaines welcomed Bauman at Monday’s meeting.
“We just went through the oath of office prior to this meeting,” he said. “So it’s official and we are really excited about you being here.”
Bauman told the board that she started her first day by meeting with staff members.
“I just want to thank you again for the faith you have put in me by selecting me,” she said. “As I’ve said in the press, I will be in listening mode to begin with.”
The board’s July meeting is traditionally a day-time meeting and the board took only one action, to approve the consent agenda which included 24 items, some contracts and a number of resolutions, all thought to be routine.
Included was an amendment to a contract with CenturyLink for phone service to the district at a cost of $1.085 million per year for seven years. The original contract approved by the board on April 10 was for $999,999, but failed to include the $86,000 of Washington state sales tax.
Another matter handled under the consent agenda was approval of an agreement with the Olympic Educational Service District 114 for data processing at a cost of $30.23 per student.
The total cost of the agreement is $323,097 for the 2013-2014 school year. The contract covers training and support to the district for use of Skyward software that is used for accounting and student records.
The board also heard a report from David McVicker, assistant superintendent for business and operations, who said now that Gov. Inslee signed the state budget on Sunday, the district was in a better place to know what state funding it will have.
“There’s lots of good news, and some unknowns,” McVicker said. “We don’t have enough (information) today to approve a (budget) document.”
He said the district can expect to be missing some revenue because there will be 440 fewer students next year, compared to enrollment figures from last school year.
The board decided to meet again on July 15 at noon to discuss a draft budget that will go to the Olympic ESD for review and then be formally approved by the board in August.
In another matter, the board decided that it will have a one-day retreat with the new superintendent in late August or early September, after a date is selected when all board members can attend.