Washougal High associate principal keeps position

By Ray Legendre, Columbian staff writer



A veteran Washougal High School administrator who faced the prospect of having his job title and salary downgraded due to district budget concerns will keep his current position, the Washougal School Board has decided.

The school district’s budget blueprint initially suggested moving Washougal High Associate Principal Gordon Washburn to a school services administrator position as just one of several cost-cutting measures designed to slash more than $600,000 from the budget for the upcoming 2011-2012 school year.

Public school districts across Washington are scrambling to make cuts after the Legislature ordered significant decreases in education due to a $5 billion budget shortfall.

At Tuesday night’s board meeting, the Washougal School Board chose to retain Washburn in his current capacity based on a re-evaluation of the district’s budget and in response to the public’s vocal opposition to cutting an administrator position for the third straight year, Superintendent Teresa Baldwin said.

“The Washougal School District has been given a mandate from the public that it can no longer cut administrative staff,” Baldwin said. Washougal High has the only two associate principals in the district.

Washburn is a 27-year veteran educator who has served as Washougal High’s associate principal the past 10 years. The school’s performing arts auditorium bears his name.

Washburn would have received a $13,733 pay cut had his job title been changed. School officials did not immediately know Washburn’s projected salary for 2011-2012.

Washburn did not immediately return a phone call Wednesday morning seeking comment.

Read Thursday’s edition of The Columbian for more on this story.

Ray Legendre: 360-735-4517, ray.legendre@columbian.com//www.twitter.com/col_smallcities//www.facebook.com/raylegend