Coeur d’Alene School District Superintendent Hazel Bauman will leave at the end of June to take the job of interim superintendent of a school district in Western Washington.
Bauman announced Wednesday night she accepted an offer to lead the Central Kitsap School District for one year. With about 10,600 students, the Central Kitsap district is slightly larger than the Coeur d’Alene district.
Bauman, 60, has worked for the Coeur d’Alene district 29 years and has been superintendent for nearly five years.
Many in the community are speculating that her departure stems from friction with a conservative school board. But Bauman said 95 percent of her motivation to move on is personal, not professional. She said she has family members in the Seattle area.
Bauman described her relationship with the Coeur d’Alene board as solid. “I’ve not always agreed with things the school board has done, but we have had a professional and respectful relationship,” she said Wednesday night.
School Board Chairman Tom Hamilton said he is disappointed the district will lose Bauman, whom he described as a “courageous, innovative woman.”
The board will meet Friday at noon to talk about the transition, including a plan to appoint an interim superintendent. Hamilton said he believes the search for a permanent replacement “needs to be a measured and careful process.”
The board recently renewed Bauman’s three-year contract. She said she was intrigued by the one-year deal with the Central Kitsap district because of the “opportunity for both parties to do a little test drive.”
Bauman began her career in Canada and spent five years as a teacher. The bulk of her experience is in curriculum development and training teachers.