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.

“(My previous tenure in Washougal) was definitely positive,” Amundson told the Post-Record in June. “I wouldn’t trade my time there for anything; it shaped me as an educator and a person. I attribute a lot of what I have been able to do in my career and personal life to my time in Washougal.”

Amundson’s first task is to help implement the school district’s new “impactED” remote learning platform at both schools.

“We have to go into it as learners first,” he said. “We’re all learning new things. I told (my previous) staff, ‘The one thing we know is that it won’t look like school as we knew it. We have to make adjustments.’ I think we need to move forward the best we can to reasonably provide the students with (the best possible education experience) while paying attention to capabilities and limitations of teaching staff and resources.”

“One of (my philosophies) is to just focus on the things that we can control,” he continued. “Education becomes harder if you get caught up in the external factors. As teachers or principals, we just have to deal with situations in front of us best we can. Also, whether we’re talking about students or teachers or para-professionals or whatever the role is, there needs to be a quest for continual improvement. It can’t be a status quo institution. We have to be adapting and evolving to best meet the needs of the kids.”

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.”

By Doug Flanagan | September 17, 2020 9:19 am |