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Brandon Hundley resigned as the FGSD's middle school principal during a leave of absence

COURTESY PHOTO: ART HEERWAGEN - Neil Armstrong Middle School Principal Brandon Hundley has resigned his position after taking a year-long leave of absense last school year.Former Neil Armstrong Middle School Principal Brandon Hundley has resigned permanently from his post, about halfway into his yearlong leave of absence.

Hundley gave the Forest Grove School District official notice of his resignation late last year, citing personal business opportunities as the reason.

Hundley planned to leave his position for one year to help his wife, Olga Hundley, and his friend and business partner Kirk Foster run Wapato Shores Inc., a non-emergency transportation company.

Hundley told the News-Times in June 2017 the company has grown from a one-van shop with one employed driver in 2002 to a company with 75 employees. Wapato Shores vans take people with mobility issues to medical and personal appointments.

Foster and Olga Hundley "have allowed me to focus on my career for the last 15 years while they learned the industry, built the business and became passionate about providing safe and caring service for those in our communities who need this support," Brandon Hundley said last year, adding that one of their first customers was his grandmother. "I look forward to supporting them and working with them to build the business even further."

Hundley had planned to help out with operations and human resources, acting as a "bridge" with new contracts, and then return as Neil Armstrong's principal for the 2018-19 school year.

Osvaldo Garcia-Contreras, who formerly served as Neil Armstrong's vice principal under Hundley, has been filling in as principal since the summer. Colene Lord — who hailed from the Bend-La Pine School District, where she taught middle school and emphasized technology — took over as vice principal.

David Warner, the Forest Grove School District's director of communications and engagement, said the district will start the search process for a new principal soon and Garcia-Contreras will have the opportunity to apply.

The district held a "listening session" with Neil Armstrong staff this week to learn about the qualities they would like in their principal.

Hundley started working for the Forest Grove School District in 1997 as a language arts teacher. He then became the Dean of Students at Tom McCall Upper Elementary School in 2001, then assistant principal a year later. Hundley took the job as principal at Neil Armstrong in 2009.

Warner said Hundley worked hard to change the "culture and community perception" at Neil Armstrong, making it "an inclusive and positive learning environment for both students and staff."



By Stephanie Haugen
Reporter, Forest Grove News-Times
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