A Washougal High School teacher — a 2010 finalist for state teacher of the year — has been placed on administrative leave pending a school district inquiry over undisclosed allegations.
Washougal School District administrators placed Brian Eggleston, a Spanish teacher at the high school since 2005, on paid administrative leave on Friday, May 5.
When contacted by the Post-Record, Eggleston denied any wrongdoing and said he has heard the allegations stem from a grading issue.
“I have not been fired and nothing (inappropriate) happened,” Eggleston said. “The students know it, and it will clear up shortly.”
Eggleston said he believes district officials are “just being cautious.”
WSD Superintendent Mike Stromme confirmed that Eggleston was placed on paid administrative leave Friday. He declined to give a specific reason, noting that the school district cannot comment on personnel matters.
“We approach these issues on a case-by-case basis,” Stromme said. “The safety and security of students is foremost a priority, and we have acted accordingly.”
In 2010, Educational Service District 112 named Eggleston Regional Teacher of the Year. He was described as enthusiastic, fun and inspiring by co-workers and parents in a Post-Record article.
“My teaching rests on the belief that students learn best when we teach through activities that are engaging, worthwhile and purposeful,” Eggleston said in his 2010 interview with the Post-Record.
He has a bachelor of arts degree from University of Colorado and a master’s degree in teaching from Evergreen State College.
During his 12 years at WHS, Eggleston has served as chair of the foreign language department, helped organize several cultural events for students, and served as staff advisor to the Spanish Club.
In 2010, then-assistant superintendent Rebecca Miner called Eggleston’s contributions to education “remarkable” and remarked: “It is sometimes said that teaching is a combination of art and science, and Brian is a teacher whose artistry makes the science of teaching a pleasure to observe and his students richly benefit from his talents.”
Before joining the Washougal School District in 2005, Eggleston completed his student teaching in Tacoma and Olympia, Washington, and worked as a provisional teacher in Oakland, California. He also has taught English classes in Madrid, Spain; worked as a tutor at South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia; and was a Spanish teaching assistant at Seattle Central Community College.
Stromme said the district has not forwarded the matter to the Washougal Police Department.