McGarvie becomes new leader for Washougal

Associate Principal will oversee athletics and activities at the high school

Gary McGarvie looks forward to wearing three hats for the Washougal Panthers.

The new associate principal will also oversee athletics and activities at the high school, beginning at the start of the 2017-18 school year.

“It’s a chance to be in a one high school town,” McGarvie said. “It’s kind of like coming home.”

McGarvie, 45, has lived in Washougal since 2003. He joined the teaching staff at Union High School when it opened in 2007. There, he worked his way up to becoming the head football coach and the athletic director.

This year, McGarvie is serving as the Dean of Students at Cascadia Technical Academy, in Vancouver.

“His background in education, athletics and administration fit the qualities we’re looking for,” said WHS Principal Aaron Hansen. “He lives in this community. He has the connections. He’s all about Washougal.”

Although McGarvie is taking over for Doug Cox, Hansen said Cox wants to continue to be an advocate for Panther athletics. He has served Washougal students for 35 years as a teacher, coach and athletic supervisor.

“Doug has done a phenomenal job,” Hansen said. “He wants to continue to be involved and we want him to be involved.”

Taking a year off from coaching has given McGarvie the opportunity to attend several Washougal athletic competitions in football, soccer, basketball, wrestling, and most recently, track and field.

“I love going to sporting events and seeing kids in their element,” he said. “I don’t really see it as work, honestly.”

McGarvie’s goal is to give Washougal coaches and athletes the tools to get to the next level.

“Grandparents went to school here, parents went here, and now the kids and grand kids are here,” McGarvie said. “The best part of high school sports is seeing generation after generation come through here and have success.”