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Chs Hires New Principal; Starts July 1

Former Texan has 17 years experience

Columbia High School's new principal brings 17 years of experience to his new posting in White Salmon.

Malcolm Dennis starts here on July 1. He succeeds Tim McGlothlin, who retired after 17 years of service to the White Salmon Valley School District, including the last seven years as CHS principal.

The local school board approved Dennis' hiring last Thursday during its June monthly meeting.

Superintendent Dale Palmer told school directors Bill Clack, Josie Salka, Dan Rawding, and Tom Stevenson that Dennis was the "No. 1 choice" among the three applicants interviewed by an ad hoc selection committee.

Rick George, principal of Wayne M. Henkle Middle School, was also an applicant for the CHS job.

"Rick was a good candidate," Palmer said, "but we didn't want to be in the position where we were disrupting two schools (CHS and Henkle)" by transitioning to new administrators in two buildings.

Dennis most recently served as principal of Westview High School in Beaverton, Ore., from 2002-2004.

In a letter dated June 8 to CHS staff, Palmer noted: "(Dennis) was a leader in this school of 2,350 students and 190 staff members in grades 9-12. He provided students and the staff a setting to understand and appreciate diverse ethnic backgrounds in a campus of over 30 percent minority enrollment."

Dennis came to the Northwest from Texas, where he worked in "a wide range of educational environments, including ... in campus settings ranging from 1,400 to 3,280 students in grades 9-12."

He received a bachelor's of science degree in 1976 from Texas State University, where he majored in history and minored in math. In 1981, he received a master's in education administration from the University of North Texas.

Dennis began his career as a school administrator in 1981 as associate principal of Lewisville (Texas) High School.

"(Members of the selection committee) were very impressed with him," Palmer said. "We were very pleased with the way the interview with him went. We found him to be astute, politically savvy, and I think he'll do a great job."

In other business, the school board:

Approved a $9,933,511 budget for the 2005-06 school year based on a projected enrollment of 1,121 students in grades kindergarten through 12.

Raised Food Service meal prices (breakfast and lunch) 25 cents across the board at Whitson Elementary, Henkle Middle and Columbia High schools.

Accepted the resignations of Bonnie Welch, human resources director; Rob Jones, Columbia High music director; Daniel Ray, Henkle Middle School music director; and Fred Hansen, Henkle Middle School science teacher.

OK'd leave-of-absence requests for Linda Tolbert, Whitson kindergarten teacher, and Phil Brady, Henkle grades 5/6 teacher.

Learned the school district had received $10,000 from an anonymous donor to help pay for a security system for Columbia High.

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