Posts Tagged ‘Duane Baumann’

Former CHS Principal Duane Baumann is returning to the school, this time as Special Services Director. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

He thought he was out, but they pulled him back in.

Mere months after stepping down as Coupeville High School Principal, ending a decade-long run at the school, Duane Baumann has returned to his former stomping grounds.

This time he will be the interim Special Services Director for the school system, replacing Andrea Downs, who resigned after two years in the position.

Baumann will also assist the district in launching its virtual learning program as most students open the 2020-2021 school year online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hire will be official once approved by the school board at its August 24 meeting, said Superintendent Steve King.

During his previous stint as a Coupeville administrator, Baumann held several positions including Assistant Principal and Athletic Director.

The father of five was CHS Principal from 2016-2020.

When Baumann stepped down, the original plan was for he and his family to leave Whidbey, with a possible move to Port Orchard planned.

However, the pandemic “threw us some curveballs,” said wife Barbi, and plans changed. At least for awhile.

“The Baumann family is here for another year!,” Barbi said. “We are happy to be staying!”

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Your CHS Class of 2020. (Photo property Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association)

Graduation is different, but not erased.

As Coupeville High School deals with the COVID-19 pandemic, it will honor the 79 members of the Class of 2020 next week, but with some restrictions in place.

Graduation, set to go down in the CHS gym Saturday, June 13, will be limited to family members who live in the graduate’s house.

All who enter the gym for the 5 PM event are required to wear a mask, and the school is providing seniors with commemorative decorated masks.

The school district also asks anyone in a high-risk health category, including those over age 60, to stay home.

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Geoff Kappes

Coupeville High School does not plan to hire a replacement for Principal Duane Baumann when he departs at the end of the 2019-2020 school year.

Instead, the plan is to promote Geoff Kappes, the Coupeville Middle School Principal, and have him cover both jobs, being responsible for grades 6-12.

That move was announced Monday night by Coupeville Schools Superintendent Steve King during an online school board meeting.

King said he will seek official school board approval at the board’s May 25 meeting.

As the district considers staffing cuts across the board, the decision to have Kappes inherit Baumann’s duties allows Coupeville to “reduce (administration) by attrition.”

“Mr. Kappes is an outstanding principal and he’s done a fantastic job at the middle school,” King said during the meeting. “He has a real heart for helping students as they transition from middle school all the way to graduation.”

While there will be one principal for two schools (which share a campus), the plan is to maintain each school’s distinct identities, while the two staffs work together.

“I want to thank Mr. Kappes for him being willing to take on that challenge,” King said.

This is the second go-round for Kappes in the Coupeville school district.

He was a teacher and girls basketball coach at CHS from 2004-2007, then returned in 2017 to become the CMS Principal.

Baumann, who had a 10-year run as an administrator in Coupeville, was an Assistant Principal and Athletic Director before becoming CHS Principal in 2016.

He announced his resignation in November, with plans for a family move to Port Orchard.

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Coupeville High School Principal Duane Baumann is exiting the job at the end of the school year. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The man walks away.

Coupeville High School Principal Duane Baumann is leaving his job at the end of the current school year.

The move will put a cap on a 10-year run as an administrator in Coupeville, during which time he worked, at various points, as a Principal, Assistant Principal, and Athletic Director.

Baumann has been CHS Principal since 2016.

During my time working with him — otherwise known as harassing him with emails or peppering him with constant questions, while he flashed a quiet smile and waited for me to wind down — I found him to be a rock-solid guy.

Baumann was deeply committed to his job, his students, and his co-workers, and he has made our schools and community better for his presence.

He and wife Barbi, and their five children, will be missed, but we wish them all the best.

Saturday night he released the following statement:

Yes, I will be retiring from principaling at the end of this school year. 

I plan on spending more time with my family. We are most likely moving to Port Orchard to be around extended family.

I do not have a new job yet; I am looking at working at the university level, maybe teaching at a school again (I was a pretty good math teacher back in the day) or maybe a new adventure altogether. 

Coupeville has been tremendous for me and my family. I have never seen a community so wonderful as Coupeville.

I thought I would share a few (there are many) of my most memorable sports moments I have seen here at Coupeville.  

Sean Toomey-Stout scoring a touchdown with the deer leading the way was definitely memorable.

I love watching the boys and girls relay teams in track. They are exciting to watch.

The football game when the fog rolled in and nobody could see anything was hilarious.

Randy King was trying to announce and pretty much could not see anything that was happening.  

The top moment though had to be in 2011 when our boys basketball team beat South Whidbey at South Whidbey with the running three-pointer from Ian Smith at the end of the game. 

I think there is still a YouTube video out there with it.  

There are a ton of moments from band, drama, activities, assemblies, etc., that I have not touched on. 

Coupeville, thank you for all the memories.


PS — The video still lives. Bathe in the sweet, sweet tears of South Whidbey:

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Wolf cheerleaders will not travel to Lake Washington Saturday with the football team. (John Fisken photo)

   Wolf cheerleaders will not travel to Lake Washington Saturday with the football team. (John Fisken photo)

There is turmoil on the sidelines.

That much we know for sure. If not a whole lot else.

Coupeville High School cheer coach Cheridan Eck hasn’t been at her post during the past two varsity football games, and multiple sources confirm she isn’t running practices.

The Wolf cheer squad, after originally being scheduled to perform Saturday, when the CHS football team travels to Lake Washington High School to play Bellevue Christian, has been scratched.

Coupeville Principal Duane Baumann replied “Scheduling conflict. Cheer will be at the next games.” when asked for comment.

Whether that means a conflict with available transportation (soccer is also traveling to the same location) or school employees available to monitor the cheerleaders in their coach’s absence, was unclear.

It is the only statement school officials have had, as they have not responded to questions about Eck’s absence or her current status.

The cheer coach has declined comment, saying the school instructed her not to speak.

Wolf cheerleaders are now repeating the same company line, referring any questions to Baumann or Assistant Principal Melissa Rohr, who, as I mentioned, have no comment.

Which is their right.

They don’t have to talk to us if they don’t want to, and they certainly don’t have to address persistent chatter that the reason for Eck’s absence allegedly stems from a letter written by parents detailing their differences with the coach.

There are those who have said “The school will tell you when they want to,” followed by the expectation that I should go quietly sit in the corner until the adults make up their minds.

If that’s your opinion, fine.

It’s not something I 100% agree with, though.

Coupeville High School is a public, taxpayer-funded institution. A certain transparency has to come into play at some point.

Also, people gossip, non-stop, part of the boon and bane of small town life, and that’s spurred by all the advances in online nattering.

Part of what I’m trying to do is weed through the rumors and innuendo. The truth will set us free and all that jazz.

And, at the core of the gossip is something bigger.

If a CHS coach is removed, and if it happens because of parent complaints, that has a potentially chilling effect on all our coaches.

With remarkably few exceptions, the coaches I have worked with at CHS and CMS over the years have been devoted, hard-working, easy to deal with, helpful and in the job because they want to impact the next generation.

Regardless of the sport, they have to deal with balancing egos, playing time, parental expectations, winning and teaching.

It is not an easy job, and frankly, it is one which has become harder in recent years, as everyone has become way more sensitive to criticism.

I’m not advocating for a whole-sale return to the “good old days,” back when grizzled football coaches use to bounce clipboards off of kid’s faces (or far worse), but there’s also a point where we go too far in coddling people.

At the same time, every parent’s responsibility is to protect their children, and it’s certainly not my place to tell anyone how to raise their son or daughter.

I can’t speak to the contents of an alleged letter I haven’t read, and I have a great deal of respect for our current CHS administrators.

Their job is often difficult and hard to navigate, especially in situations like this.

As we move forward in Cheergate 2016, I hope for a positive resolution, whatever that may be.

I, like a lot of others, will be intently watching to see what develops.


Thoughts or comments? I can be easily reached at davidsvien@hotmail.com.

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