New school year, new principals at HRV, Horizon

Polkinghorn assisted by Jones, Rosselle; Horizon promotes Kempf

The Hood River County School District Board of Directors recently approved the administration’s recommendation to appoint Rich Polkinghorn, previously vice principal of Hood River Valley High School, as interim principal for 2013-14.

This summer the school board also approved the hiring of Kyle Rosselle and Columba Jones as vice principals for HRVHS.

Meanwhile, Horizon Christian School students will see a familiar face in the principal’s office: Faith Kempf is the new principal for grades 7-12. Kempf has been teaching for 22 years, with 12 of those years at Horizon Christian School.

The Hood River County School District had advertised for the position of vice principal in May after Todd McCauley announced his resignation as vice principal. The district received more than 60 applications.

“Multiple committees made up of teachers, parents, classified staff and administrators screened and interviewed an excellent candidate pool,” said Kevin Noreen, district human resources director.

In the case of the principal position, the district advertised for the position in May after Karen Neitzel announced her resignation as principal. The district received six applications and a screening committee made up of parents, teachers, classified staff and administrators decided not to advance any of the candidates to the interview phase of the hiring process.

Polkinghorn has served as vice principal at Hood River Valley High School for the past five years. Prior to coming to HRVHS, he taught mathematics at Columbia High School in White Salmon, from 2006-08.

Polkinghorn also taught math at HRVHS from 2004-06. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Oregon and a master’s in educational administration from California State University, San Bernardino.

Before moving back to the Northwest, Polkinghorn taught advanced math in the Palm Springs Unified School District and was head varsity wrestling coach and an assistant varsity football coach.

Polkinghorn is bilingual in English and Spanish and says he is truly dedicated to the students of the Hood River County School District.

Jones has been teaching at Wy’east Middle School for the past eight years; this is her first administrative position.

Rosselle had previously served as vice principal and athletic director for The Dalles-Wahtonka High School. Before that, he taught various courses, including agri-science and technology, social studies and leadership at Pendleton High School while serving as assistant varsity football coach.

Rosselle holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Arts in teaching, both from Oregon State University, and completed his administrative licensure program through Lewis & Clark College.

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