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Ozark school board extends superintendent’s contract

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The Ozark R-6 School District Board of Education unanimously voted to extend the contract of Superintendent Chris Bauman, who’s been on the job for less than a year.

Bauman started as superintendent on July 1, 2018, and got the nod to keep his position through the 2021-22 academic year. Under Missouri law, a school board may only extend a superintendent’s contract by three years at most, according to a news release.

“When Dr. Bauman was hired, he had a vision for what he wanted to do for Ozark schools, which included some restructuring. I applaud him for getting all that in place seamlessly in his first year,” school board President Shane Nelson said in the release.

As superintendent, Bauman has helped oversee an ongoing long-term planning process for the district. In September, the district called on volunteers to serve on a task force to guide the process.

“As you know, the Ozark School District has been growing steadily, and we anticipate this growth rate to continue,” Bauman said in a news release issued Sept. 19, 2018. “It is our goal to plan for and manage this growth in a timely and fiscally responsible manner.”

Reached via email, Nelson said a salary increase was not part of the contract extension. He said the board would review potential salary increases for employes at the end of the school year along with budget discussions. Bauman currently makes $160,000 annually, he said.

Bauman last year succeeded Kevin Patterson, who became director of graduate education at Southwest Baptist University.

Selected from 25 applicants, Bauman previously was the district’s executive director of operations. He joined the district in 1999, first as a math teacher, volleyball coach and wrestling coach. He returned to the district after a 2005-06 stint serving in Iraq, according to Springfield Business Journal archives.

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