New Iola Middle School assistant principal Matt Baumwart not only relocated to USD 257, but this is also his first year as an administrator.
Baumwart, a Neodesha native, earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Emporia State University. He spent a combined 18 years as a teacher with the high school, elementary and middle school level in Emporia.
With a background in athletics, Baumwart has coached football baseball, track and field, and wrestling in addition to teaching physical education.
In looking to advance his career, Baumwart saw an opportunity with USD 257. His familiarity with southeast Kansas didn’t hurt either.
“I enjoyed the school and the climate during the interview as well as the support of the staff in town,” Baumwart said of his first impressions of the Iola school district.
It was common for Baumwart to visit Iola for an invitational basketball tournament or baseball when growing up.
Baumwart said the transition to school administration has gone smoothly. He credited IMS principal Brad Crusinberry for helping him through the first few weeks.
“I didn’t know what to expect getting right into it, but it’s been a very nice first start to the transition.”
Baumwart is also enjoying the smaller number of students compared to Emporia’s schools.
“I like the difference, which went from about 1,000 to 400 students,” he said.
When he taught at Emporia, Baumwart said he didn’t know the entire staff. However, as assistant principal he is making the effort to know all staff at IMS as well as its students as time goes on.
Baumwart has a wife and is a father of two sons. His oldest son plays baseball at Fort Hays State University. The family as a whole is devoted to baseball, he said.
Having a sports background, Baumwart said he would love to be involved in athletics if the opportunity comes.
He hopes to see growth throughout the school as an assistant principal.
“The goal is to see those kids achieve not just in the classroom, but on the field or court and develop that relationship,” Baumwart said. “I didn’t know what to expect getting right into it, but it’s been a very nice first start to the transition.”
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