St. Paul Public Schools deputy superintendent Michael Baumann, who served as the district's chief spokesman on budget and transportation matters, will be leaving this month to do consulting work, Superintendent Valeria Silva said Tuesday evening.

Silva announced Baumann's departure during the school board's monthly meeting. She thanked him for his work and said it was difficult to see him go.

But, she told board members, Baumann has agreed to return to the district on a short-term basis at the start of the 2013-14 school year — the final pivotal year of the district's "Strong Schools, Strong Communities" reorganization. Silva said she wanted his help to ensure that the district's upcoming transportation changes go smoothly.

Board Member John Brodrick noted that when the board would "pepper" the administration with questions, Baumann was the "one who got peppered." Brodrick thanked him for always answering honestly and respectfully. "You're a good guy," he said.

Baumann did not address the board about his departure. Minutes later, however, he was answering a question on a finance-related matter.

Anthony Lonetree