Nufein Central School has seen some changes in the last eight years. One of the most obvious phenomena is the “changing landscape,” as outgoing Superintendent Michael Bauman describes it.
Since his enrollment at the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year, the district has made several significant changes, including increased use of technology in the classroom and improved facilities throughout the campus.
“When I came here eight years ago, there was no Wi-Fi in the building,” Baumann said.
More changes are happening in Panther Country as the school district prepares to hire a new superintendent. Baumann announced his retirement in November 2022 and has been searching for his successor ever since.
The school board is working with Tony Day of the Western New York State Board of Educational Services to assist in the search. Last year, Mr. Day assisted in the search process for the superintendent of the Royalton Heartland area.
Santo-Thomasin said the board has relied on the expertise of Day and its only board vice-president, James Schmidt, who acted as trustee during the search that found Baumann eight years ago.
Thomasin said the district’s 2023 call for applicants received “a tremendous response” and was narrowed down after a series of executive interviews with each candidate that began late last year. . By late April, he had four finalists selected, all interviewed by a stakeholder group representing the district and community at large.
During these interviews, Thomasin said, finalists were asked questions about their personal qualities, skills and what it meant to them to be a leader in a rural school district.
Last week, the board identified the top candidate and extended the offer. Thomasin said he hopes to announce the hiring of the person by the end of this month.
Baumann said he believed his successor did his best to ensure a smooth transition.
“This district is in a really good, solid place where it’s okay for anyone to take my place,” he said.
Baumann gave the person the following advice: “Listen to people and always maintain a sense of humor or you’ll burn out quickly.”
Baumann added that he plans to take it easy in retirement, but plans to visit the Neuveen campus to see the final results of a renovation project for the secondary school, which is still active and expected to be completed by the end of the year.
“It’s been 34 years and I can’t take it out of my blood,” he said.