Phone: 320-848-2233 ext 1359


Degrees and Certifications:

Joel Baumgarten

Hello Community Members of BLHS,

I am honored to introduce myself as the new interim superintendent of BLHS schools. My name is Joel Baumgarten, and I'm eager to work with the wonderful people from the towns of Buffalo Lake, Hector and Stewart. With 36 years of experience in education, I have had the privilege of serving as a coach, classroom teacher, summer camp director as well as various administrative positions at ROCORI.  After my recent retirement from ROCORI schools, I was given the opportunity to lead the BLHS district and I am excited to begin.

To tell you a little about my past, the BLHS community was my original hometown as I attended Buffalo Lake Elementary School as a child from kindergarten through second grade.  My family owned a small farm south of Buffalo Lake at the time and decided to move to the Glencoe area.  We eventually moved to Hutchinson where I graduated from HHS.  Although that was a long time ago, I still have relatives and connections in these communities.

In my approach to education, I hold the values of hard work, strong ethics, creativity, and balance in high regard. My wife, Kim, is also involved in education as a teacher and administrator in Cold Spring. Kim and I are blessed with four children named Justin, Brittany, Keisha and Colton, all adults and involved in real life adventures outside the home. Additionally, we have two grandchildren, Kai and Alora who bring immense joy to our lives.

As an individual, I am solution-oriented and strive to do my best to support students, staff and community. Collaboration and communication is the cornerstone to success, and I firmly believe in the power of listening and will focus on helping to promote the united positive culture of the BLHS community.  This united community will help to overcome any educational obstacles we may face.

I am excited to help promote unity with our students, staff and community as our school enters the first year in a single building.  Coming together as one school and functioning as a learning institution for all of the BLHS students and the entire community is our ultimate goal. As the new interim superintendent of BLHS schools, I believe that building strong, trusting relationships with all stakeholders is key to creating a thriving educational community and positive climate where families will want to send their children.

BLHS is already a remarkable school, largely due to its incredible people. Working in a school requires special individuals with unique skills and talents that our staff possesses. Together, we will make tomorrow a better place for all of our students. By supporting them in their dreams and helping them reach their goals, we can make a meaningful difference in their lives. 

Representing each of the communities of Buffalo Lake, Hector and Stewart in our BLHS School District is important to me as our district leader and getting to know and work together with stakeholders will be essential. Even though there is much work to be done, I am excited for the future of the BLHS District and our new school year together.

Thank you, and I look forward to a successful journey together at BLHS School District.

Go Mustangs!