The Nine Mile Falls School District hired a Wyoming school administrator as its new superintendent.
Don Baumberger takes the helm of the 1,300-student north Spokane district on July 1. The 55-year-old is leaving his job as superintendent of a Wyoming district more than three times Nine Mile Falls’ size.
“I like the relatively small size of the Nine Mile Falls district and the opportunity to work closely with students, teachers and staff,” Baumberger said.
The Nine Mile Falls School Board, which announced its choice Monday, liked Baumberger’s wide range of experience.
During a 24-year career as a superintendent, Baumberger once served at a district of 650 students and currently serves at a district of 6,000 students.
“He has experience facing things that larger districts face,” Nine Mile Falls vice chairwoman Janet Johnston said. “With growth comes discontinuity in community. We felt he had experience in things that a growing district like ours is facing.”
The district encompasses the Nine Mile Falls community in northwest Spokane County and Suncrest, in southwest Stevens County.
For the last several years it has experienced close to 10 percent growth a year, like other north Spokane suburban districts. The population growth has filled existing school buildings.
Baumberger is experienced in school construction. In 13 years at the Sweetwater County School District in Rock Springs, Wyo., he has been involved in 21 school building projects totaling $31 million.
Baumberger first became a school superintendent at age 28 in Wall, S.D. He went on to become superintendent in Hot Springs, S.D., and in Worland, Wyo. Before those posts, he spent seven years teaching and coaching athletics.
Nine Mile Falls’ search for a permanent superintendent began 1 years ago when popular superintendent Shirley Holloway left. The board hired Cynthia Clauson as interim superintendent.
“We think our district had a hard time because Shirley lit a fire and everyone fell in love with her,” Johnston said. “Cindy did a great job.”
Clauson asked to leave the district so she can complete her doctoral studies at Gonzaga University, Johnston said.