Superintendent of the Hood River County School District
Rich Polkinghorn has been an educator in Hood River County School District since 2008 and assumed the role of Superintendent of Hood River County School District on July 1, 2020. Previously, Mr. Polkinghorn served seven years as the Principal at Hood River Valley High School (HRVHS). Before that time, he was the Vice Principal at HRVHS. Prior to moving into school administration, Mr. Polkinghorn was an advanced mathematics teacher and coach (wrestling and football) for ten years, in three high schools in three different states; Columbia High School in White Salmon, WA, HRVHS, and Cathedral City High School in Palm Springs Unified School District in Palm Springs, California. Mr. Polkinghorn is a bilingual educator (Spanish and English).
Polkinghorn earned his Masters of Arts in Educational Leadership from California State University, San Bernardino in 2004. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Oregon; a double major in mathematics and Spanish. While in school, Mr. Polkinghorn was a member of the University of Oregon men’s varsity wrestling program. “I began my journey into education during my time at U of O. Working with the student-athletes at the summer wrestling camps, really opened my eyes, mind and heart to find my calling - to work with kids,” he said. “I believe every child has the right to an outstanding education. When we provide outstanding instruction, foster meaningful relationships with our students and systematically intervene when students are struggling, then we support each student’s academic achievement, as well as their personal and social-emotional development. With this, we are preparing them well for their future.”Since joining Hood River County School District, Mr. Polkinghorn has been especially impressed by the cooperation between the school district and the community as they work together to provide the absolute best for the young people of Hood River County. Polkinghorn stated, “It is unique to find someplace so special. I am honored and humbled to lead this school district. I embrace the continued partnership with our community as we embark on our journey toward continuous improvement so that every student graduates with the knowledge and courage to learn, serve, and pursue their dreams.”