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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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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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