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HRCSD names Rolland Hayden as next Hood River Middle School principal

The Hood River County School District (HRCSD) Board of Education appointed Rolland Hayden as the next principal of Hood River Middle School on Wednesday, July 13, in its board meeting.

“Rolland’s background as a middle school teacher, middle school principal, and AVID leader are a great match for the Hood River Middle School community and the qualities it was looking for in the next principal,” Superintendent Rich Polkinghorn said. “He has a deep commitment for student success and understands the importance of elevating teachers, engaging students, and partnering with families to achieve student success.”

Hayden has served as the principal of Gordon Russell Middle School (Gresham, Ore.) for the past eight years. Prior to this role, he was the assistant principal of curriculum of North Salem High School. Hayden started his professional career in education at Claggett Creek Middle School. At Claggett Creek, Hayden served as a teacher (choir, AVID, and video production), coach (football, wrestling, and track), and assumed various leadership roles on campus. 

An influential middle school music teacher inspired Hayden toward his path in education. He chose to study music in college, and his first teaching position was music. After a few years, his teaching colleagues encouraged him to pursue school administration. While Hayden experienced success as a teacher, he was interested in having a larger influence on student success and saw administration as an opportunity to fulfill that interest.

Hayden earned a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Education degree from Portland State University (Portland, Ore.). He earned a certificate for his initial professional administrative license from Willamette University (Salem, Ore.). In 2020, Hayden earned his professional administrative license from Portland State University. 

“I am really excited to meet students and families of the Hood River Middle School community and to learn about them and their values,” Hayden said. “It is important to me to work directly with new families in middle school, helping them transition into 6th grade, as well as to work directly with students and families who will be transitioning into high school.”

Hayden and his wife, Sarah Hayden, are looking forward to moving to the Hood River area with their two children, Whitney (11) and Carter (8). Their family is passionate about cycling in all its disciplines. In addition to cycling, the Hayden family enjoys skiing, hiking, and trail running.