Brian Amundson is pulling double duty.
Three months after being selected as Canyon Creek Middle School’s new principal, Amundson accepted a similar role at Cape Horn-Skye Elementary School, taking over for Penny Andrews, who was recently appointed as the Washougal School District’s new director of special services.
Canyon Creek and Cape Horn-Skye share property at 9731 Washougal River Road.
“I couldn’t leave if I didn’t know you would be in the very best hands of Brian Amundson,” Andrews stated in a letter sent to Cape Horn-Skye parents. “He leads with his heart and is excited to guide students from kindergarten all the way through eighth grade. Principal Amundson is someone who is passionate about working with kids and creating a safe environment where they can thrive.”
Amundson began his career teaching social studies at Washougal High School for 15 years, then served as the dean of students at Jemtegaard Middle School for three years before moving to the Battle Ground School District in 2016, serving as principal at Tukes Valley Middle School before accepting the Canyon Creek job in June.
“I am excited about the opportunity to be the principal at both Cape Horn-Skye Elementary and Canyon Creek Middle School for many reasons,” Amundson said. “This is a special community that has a deep sense of tradition, community support and high expectations. I am reminded of that daily as I interact with staff, students and families.
“It is a challenge to take over for not only one outstanding principal in Sandi Christensen at Canyon Creek, but also now for Penny. Both of these principals left a profound impact on this campus and I have big shoes to fill. Being the principal of two schools presents some challenges, but it also brings a wealth of opportunities. Most of the challenges are logistical, so they can be overcome with intentional planning and clear, timely communication.”
Amundson’s first task is to help implement the school district’s new “impactED” remote learning platform at both schools.
“The plans for this year, at least during this time of distance learning, is to make sure that the needs of our students are being met, both academically and emotionally,” he said. “Distance learning presents a number of obstacles, and those vary for every family. Continuing to develop and refine systems and supports that address those obstacles is my primary focus right now, along with making sure our teachers and staff have what they need to be effective. Other than that, my plans for both schools this year are to build relationships with students, staff, and the community, and develop a K-8 vision for this campus.”
Andrews is replacing Allison Watkins, who accepted a position at a Seattle-area school district. She joined the Washougal School District in 2004 as a third- and fourth-grade teacher at Cape Horn-Skye, a position she held for nine years. She then moved into a role as an instructional coach in mathematics for students in kindergarten through fifth grade. She was named Cape Horn-Skye’s principal in 2017.
“As a building principal, I focused on building on the wonderful community spirit and commitment to provide rich opportunities for students and ensuring great instruction and learning outcomes through professional development and support for teachers,” Andrews told the Post-Record. “Although I will miss (Cape Horn-Skye) because of the relationships I built with students and staff, I feel very fortunate that I am able to continue to grow and build new partnerships with students, families and staff across the district.”