CK superintendent is glad to stay one more year

Hazel Bauman of Central Kitsap School District. - Contributed photo
Hazel Bauman of Central Kitsap School District.
— image credit: Contributed photo

Central Kitsap School District Superintendent Hazel Bauman is looking forward to the 2014-2015 school year.

That’s when the levy campaigning will be in the past, and she’ll have gotten through all the formalities of settling into a new district.

Even with current setbacks, like the United States Department of Education’s decision to appeal $8 million in heavy impact aid funding, she’s enjoying this year, too.

Most of all, she’s happy to have extended her contract to keep the district going in a progressive direction.

“I kinda fell in love with the district and the people and the activities going on,” she said. “I realized while I can be a support in a year, it really takes longer than a year to get the momentum built so hopefully we’ll sustain after I’m gone.”

The search for a new superintendent will likely start in about eight months or so, but until then, Bauman will focus her attention on teaching and learning, her two passions, she said.

“Because it’s been a new system and levy year and all the issues surrounding impact aid, I’ve had to spend a fair amount of time dealing with the business side of the house,” she said. “But I’m really looking forward to next year and actually I’m really looking forward to Feb. 12, where I can turn more of my attention to trying to support and help improve in curriculum and instruction and learning.”

In improving the learning environments, Bauman is looking toward the future of magnet schools.

Those would allow parents and students the opportunity to take part in a school focused on the fine arts, STEM or even language immersion. Common Core Standards will still be taught in those types of schools, Bauman said.

Some of those special programs are already being implemented, like the upcoming space simulator project aimed to help students in math and science.

As early as next September, Bauman anticipates some more of the elements of magnet schools to be in progress.

But all those programs cost money, and that’s money the levy could bring if it’s passed.

It’s programs like the arts and drama, elective courses and music that could be cut if the renewal levy isn’t passed on Feb. 11. The levy supplements state funding which doesn’t cover all the costs that it takes for day-to-day operations in the school district.

It’s Bauman’s hope that the community will show up to vote. She isn’t worried about residents saying no as there’s been strong support for levies in the past.

Even in meeting with her staff she’s made it a priority to discuss the importance of renewal.

“I’m cautiously optimistic,” she said of possibility of the levy passing. “I think a majority of those in the community understand that you can’t have a strong community if you don’t have a strong school district, and that this levy is absolutely the lifeblood of the school district.

“I think the biggest challenge is not convincing people it’s the right thing is just making sure they vote. I think that’s our biggest challenge.”

Even with the possibility of not receiving the heavy impact aid, Bauman said she doesn’t think the board regrets not collecting the second half of the supplemental levy for this year.

It’s possible that the money could come through, but it will be months if not years later. There’s also a chance the heavy impact aid money may never come.

But there’s still no regrets.

“When we made the decision to not collect on that, we did not actually know that the judge was gonna rule in our favor,” she said. “So that decision was made completely separately from the issue of heavy impact aid and restoration. It was the right decision to make because it was the promise the school board made to the community.”

Heavy impact aid is connected to the support of school levies because the federal government does not pay toward property taxes that support local school levies.

The current renewable levy on the February ballot is what will keep the CK School District eligible for heavy impact aid in the future.


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