Lakeville lands a military hero to lead district’s business services

Baumann has a highly decorated past

Michael A. Baumann
Michael A. Baumann

A retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army and Lakeville resident has been hired as the Lakeville Area School District director of business services.

Michael A. Baumann will begin work Sept. 9, replacing Randy Anderson who left the district last month to pursue a doctorate after eight months on the job.

Baumann, 50, said he plans a long tenure in the position, coming to the district after almost nine years in St. Paul Public Schools where he served in several positions, ultimately second-in-command as the district’s deputy superintendent.

Leaving the state’s second-largest urban school district for Lakeville’s smaller suburban one will be a change that Baumann said he will welcome.

“I’ve been looking for an opportunity to work in the Lakeville or Farmington area for a while,” he said.

Baumann’s credentials and leadership background include significant achievements.

He is a Distinguished Military Graduate of the University of Minnesota, earned bachelor of arts degree in political science at the University of Minnesota and a master of science degree in education administration at Texas A&M University.

He is an Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom veteran. In Baghdad, he commanded an Army battalion task force in the First Cavalry Division from 2004-2005.

While serving in Iraq, he befriended Fadi M. Fadhil “Freddie,” an Iraqi interpreter, and helped Fadhil gain political asylum in the United States in 2006.

The two have given public presentations about their experiences, and Baumann authored the book, “Adjust Fire: Transforming to Win in Iraq,” in 2008.

The book tells the insider story of Army tactics employed in Iraq and the challenges Army leaders faced; it is highly rated and described on Amazon as “an incredibly compelling story.”

Baumann said he wrote the book because he felt the media “had very badly represented the American effort in Iraq,” by distorting its reporting “for purposes that were more self-serving than factual.”

He said many things reported were “tied to political issues and the election,” and he decided to write the book to offer a counter narrative.

Baumann served 20 years in the Army, from 1985-2005, earning numerous awards and decorations including the Legion of Merit Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (four awards) the Army Commendation Medal (three awards) and Air Assault Badge.

His experiences were also varied in St. Paul Schools, where he served in numerous positions including chief business officer from 2010-2012 and chief financial officer from 2009-2010.

Baumann said his broad range of experiences allow him to bring a strong work ethic and unique perspective to the job.

“I can really help the district to look at opportunities and options available to them regarding school finance and business operations,” he said.

Baumann and his wife Shelly have lived in Lakeville since 2005 and have one son, a senior at Farmington High School.