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Fired Farmington coach loses appeal

A room full of supporters and a direct appeal to school board members were not enough to get Lynn Baumann her job back.

Farmington School Board members declined Monday to take any action to overturn last month’s decision to fire the longtime Farmington High School gymnastics coach.

Baumann made her appeal in person at Monday night’s board workshop, addressing and attempting to explain the reasons given for not renewing her contract. Those reasons all connected back to community education’s Twist ‘n’ Tumble gymnastics program, which Baumann launched and ran for several years before leaving in August to form her own gym.

Reading from a prepared statement, Baumann said the written explanation for her firing cited her decision to register the Twist ‘n’ Tumble name with the state, her removal of property from the Twist ‘n’ Tumble facility and her removal of Twist ‘n’ Tumble posters hung after she left the program.

Baumann said she registered the program’s name because she started the program, and took down the poster, which used the name, because she hoped to eventually bring the Twist ‘n’ Tumble name to her new gym. She said a janitor gave her permission to take the equipment — a cabinet — because it would have been thrown out otherwise.

Baumann also pointed out her success with the Tiger gymnastics program, which she has coached since 2006. The team has regularly sent gymnasts to state in recent years, and last year was named Class AA academic champions with a 3.995 grade point average.

“I sacrificed my time with my family and friends each year to ensure gymnasts have what they need,’ Baumann said. “I did nothing but good for the program.”

Boeckman Middle School’s little theater was filled with Baumann’s supporters Monday, but board members did not discuss the matter and did not take any action to reverse their decision.

Immediately before hearing Baumann’s appeal board members voted to approve a written version of the reasons for her firing. Only board chair Tera Lee voted against that decision. She was not at the September meeting when the board first voted to terminate Baumann’s contract and said she didn't like the process state rules required the board to follow in making its decision.

“I’m very frustrated with the order of things, but I don’t blame the school district for that,” she said. “There are a lot of (state) statutes.”

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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