Every day after the morning bell rings, Buffalo High School is reawakened by the familiar voice of Activity Director Tom Bauman giving students the latest updates on sports and most importantly, inspiring everyone to “Fire-Up!’. Bauman will be retiring this year after working at Buffalo High School for over 20 years.
Growing up, Bauman always thought he was going to be a teacher. He also wanted to be a coach like his dad. Bauman went to school at St. Cloud State University where he took some general education classes. He then transferred to Bemidji State University, soon then transferred back to finish school at St. Cloud State.
“I wanted to be a teacher and a coach,” Bauman reflected.
When he first started working in a school, he taught second grade. He then moved to the middle school teaching sixth-eight grade. Later on, Bauman took a long-term substitute teacher position teaching higher Algebra here at Buffalo High School.
He then returned to Buffalo Community Middle School in 1999 where he took the job as an assistant principal.
“Many students don’t know I was a ‘Mr. Hayden’,” Bauman said, in reference to Middle School Assistant Principal John Hayden.
Regularly, Bauman’s job consists of “capricious occasions” and plans that are moving targets. The day is never certain.
“You can have everything planned out, and then you can have somebody who tests positive for COVID, or you can have something that all the sudden a team might be quarantining that we are playing,” Bauman said.
When nothing seems to be going the right way, Bauman has always been there to lift the spirits and energize everyone across Buffalo High School. Some students here use Bauman’s enthusiasm to make a great start to their day.
“I’ve had people say, ‘Your morning announcements kinda fire me up too’,” Bauman said.
The history behind his class “Fire-Up” catchphrase comes from his Dad. Bauman said he woke up every morning to his dad exclaiming, “Fire up! Get out of bed!”
Bauman said that not every day is going to be a good day. He said that all you can do is approach the day, and try making something special.
Assistant Principal Nick Guida will be taking over Bauman’s position next school year. One piece of knowledge that Bauman would pass onto Mr. Guida is, “You can always tell parents and kids that you wish the best for them because that’s genuine. And you’ll do really well in the chair if you’re genuine.”
As Bauman exits with the class of 2021, he feels as connected to the class of 2020 as he does to the class of 2021.
“I’ll remember the class of ‘21 as much as I’ll remember the class of ‘20,” Bauman said. “They dealt with it but you guys have been the ones that have persevered through it.”