Olson to Join HHES as Associate Principal

M. Olson

Michael Olson has been named Assistant Principal at Hockinson Heights Elementary School, beginning in Fall 2023.

Although not new to public education, Olson is new to Hockinson. He and his family relocated from Clovis, California to Clark County last year when his wife, who is a nurse, secured a new job at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center.  This was not an entirely “site unseen” move. The couple had visited the area twice before - even though their first trip to Vancouver was happenstance. They were originally planning on visiting Eugene, but bad weather forced their plane to land in Portland and, after landing, they made a fateful excursion north over the I-205 bridge. “My wife and I love the outdoors and when we saw the Columbia River, Mt. Hood, and all of the natural beauty in southwest Washington - we both pictured our family here,” said Olson. “Our kids were at the right age to take an adventure as a family so we jumped at the opportunity,” he added.

Still, it was a big move for Michael and his wife. “We had both re-established ourselves in Clovis after college. Having both grown up in Clovis, we had a lot of history there. It wasn’t easy saying goodbye to our friends and family” said Olson.

The Olsons are excited to set down roots and make Hockinson home for their two children, ages 3 and 6.  “We are eager to be part of the Hockinson community,” said Olson. His family is looking forward to attending Fun Days as well as HHES events next school year. “My daughter will be entering first grade. She and I will be learning about Hockinson Heights together,” smiled Olson. They also look forward to exploring local hikes and spending time at the coast.

Mostly, though, Olson is excited about joining HHES. “I am thrilled to be joining the team at Hockinson Heights Elementary and I am looking forward to meeting the students, staff, and families,” he said.  He is no stranger to a large elementary school having served as an administrator at an 800-student campus in his former district. Regardless of the number of students, Olson said he works to make sure students retain their love of school: “As both a teacher and building leader, it has always been my goal that students gain academic skills but also maintain the joy of learning and excitement of coming to school.”  

Another priority for Olson is building relationships with students and families. He is eager to get to know each student and learn what motivates them. Olson is also curious what traditions are important to Hockinson families, saying, “I want to continue to celebrate what’s going well at HHES while at the same time look for new ways to involve families and bring us together.”  

When asked what he hopes to accomplish at HHES in the first few months, Olson replied: “HHES is a high-performing school, especially academically. I want to continue the school’s efforts to engage students in co-curricular activities. I also want families to see me as visible, enthusiastic, and committed to their students.”

Olson and incoming principal Meredith Gannon will be setting up get-to-know-you events with HHES families prior to the start of the school year.

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