• Press Release

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    July 2, 2020

    Hood River County School District names Ocean Kuykendall as principal at Westside Elementary School

    HOOD RIVER, Oregon — The Hood River County School District has named Ocean Kuykendall as principal at Westside Elementary School starting July 9, 2020, pending School Board approval. Kuykendall replaces Bill Newton, who left to take the position of Curriculum and Instruction Director for HRCSD.

    Kuykendall has served as assistant principal at Hood River Middle School since 2014. Prior to that, she taught at HRMS for eight years. She got her start in education at Chenowith Middle School in The Dalles in 1999 and also taught at The Dalles Middle School. She earned her bachelor’s degree in exercise science and master’s in teaching from Willamette University.

    “Ocean is ready to be a principal,” said Rich Polkinghorn, superintendent. “She’s done so much work building systems, working with staff, collaborating. She works hard and understands how to pull teams together and get work done.” Kuykendall, who moved with her family to Hood River when she was in the fourth grade, attended Westside Elementary School and is an HRVHS graduate.

    “I’m really excited to get right to work,” Kuykendall said. “I know we’re all a little nervous about the upcoming school year. It will hold challenges, but I’m confident we’ll be able to provide a valuable education for our kids. I’m committed to tackling those challenges along with our staff, with hope and determination and optimism.”

    Kuykendall and her husband have twin sons who will be sophomores at Hood River Valley High School.

    The HRCSD will hire a new assistant principal at HRMS.