Reception hosted for Dr. Hamm

Mark Schnabel
mschnabel@thekansan.com
Dr. Deborah Hamm was honored with a reception Thursday afternoon at the McKinley Administration Center. Hamm is retiring after eight years at the Newton school district superintendent.

After a career in education than spanned 32 years, including the last eight as the superintendent of Newton USD 373, Dr. Deborah Hamm was feted Thursday at a public reception at the McKinley Administration Center.

“It’s been a wonderful career,” Hamm said. “Education has absolutely been the best thing that I could have done with my life. I have enjoyed it more than I have regretted it. When you can say that, it’s all good.”

Hamm said her biggest challenge, as well as the moment that stands out for her, has come in the last few months of her tenure at Newton.

She had to lead the district in the transition from traditional classrooms to distance learning as the buildings were closed in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“I am proud of the work we did with the technology in the district,” Hamm said. “When I first came here, we had all outdated equipment. We’ve done a lot of improvements. All of the students had access to a device. We were able to continue to provide education, which is important with what we’ve just been through.”

Hamm said she’s going to take some time to travel in her retirement.

“I’m not done yet,” she said. “I will do something in education, either at the university level or, I don’t know. I can’t pre-plan anything. I don’t really know what the future holds.”

A cake presented to Dr. Deborah Hamm, who retires as Newton USD 373 superintendent after eight years.