MIDDLETON — Middleton School District Superintendent Richard Bauscher, who has been with the district for 15 years and a superintendent for 30, will retire in June.
Before becoming superintendent in Middleton, he was the superintendent for Kimberly School District. At age 31, Bauscher was Idaho’s youngest superintendent.
Bauscher said after spending time in Kimberly, he felt burned out and took a 10-year leave from superintendent work to be a consultant. He then joined the Middleton school district in 2001.
According to a press release from the school district, during Bauscher’s time as superintendent, the district’s enrollment increased by 85 percent, 88 percent of levies passed successfully, three new schools were built in Middleton, improvements were made on older school buildings and staff grew by 153 percent.
Bauscher said he is willing to help the school district with any new projects until his contract is up in June, but he feels he’s leaving Middleton on a positive note.
“We’re in good shape,” Bauscher said. “Our facilities are probably the best in the state for a 4A school. We’ve got great people here, we’re growing, our enrollment is up, our revenue is up and our amount of donations are up.”
Bauscher’s last project will be helping the school district pass a bond for a proposed fourth elementary school.
“The fourth elementary school won’t be able to run until 2017,” he said. “That’s really the only thing left to be done in my mind.”
Bauscher believes his biggest accomplishment and his biggest challenge during his career in Middleton was helping build the new high school.
“I consider my biggest success was helping pass that bond for the new high school,” he said. “When we first proposed that, people said, ‘You don’t have a prayer, Rich.’ The economy was looking down, and the high school had burned down two years prior, so we had to rebuild that. The forecast was not looking good. But we got 86 percent approval on that bond, so that was an accomplishment, in my mind.”
Retirement plans came together after Bauscher realized he fell under the rule of 90. The rule of 90 states an employee can retire early without losing pension if the sum of his age and months of service totals at least 90. He informed the board last year of his plans to retire.
Bauscher told the district Monday he is grateful for the support of the Middleton community. He plans to spend his retirement with his family, including his grandchildren. Bauscher will also teach some college classes at Northwest Nazarene University and at the University of Idaho Boise Extension.