Cross-Town Family Feud: Meet the Haugans
April 11, 2022
Everyone knows the rivalry between Redmond and Ridgeview high schools. In a town with two high schools, you expect a bit of cross-town competition. What you may not know, however, is that this cross-town rivalry has a family feud aspect to it.
In this case, we have a mother-daughter duo fueling the (friendly) rivalry. Dr. Audrey Haugan is the principal of Redmond High School. Amanda Haugan is an assistant principal at Ridgeview High School.
Audrey has been in education for 36 years, first as an English teacher, then as a principal for 13 years at Maine West High School in Illinois. With family here in Central Oregon, she moved west and took on the principal job at Redmond High in 2019, seeing the school through the COVID-19 pandemic. Since she moved to Redmond, two of her children have joined her in Redmond.
This is Amanda’s sixth year in education. She started teaching English in Florida after attending college there, then relocated to Redmond two years ago. After teaching at Ridgeview, she took on the assistant principal position in the middle of the 2021-22 school year.
Amanda went into teaching because of her mom. “Just seeing how much of a positive impact she’s had, and how involved she’s been in the schools, I wanted to have that impact, too,” she said. She said she even chose to teach English in a nod to her mom. Teaching is a family affair – Amanda’s older sister is also a teacher, her younger sister a nanny.
Growing up, Amanda had an up-close view of her mom’s dedication to teaching and serving as principal of a public high school in the northwestern suburbs of Chicago. While Amanda didn’t attend her mom’s high school, she was there all the time for summer camps and events. She said her mom’s dedication to building a school culture and developing strong relationships with students and staff were inspiring.
“It was not just a job to her,” she said.
Audrey agreed that school culture is a priority for her.
“My goal is for students to feel comfortable at school, to have a sense of belonging, and to be proud of their school and have a good experience,” she said. “I want them to be proud to represent RHS both in and out of school. They’ll do that if they have fun at school and feel a sense of belonging.”
To that end, with most COVID restrictions in the rearview mirror, Audrey has been pushing her school to return to traditions – regular assemblies, music during passing times (including the school fight song), and other fun activities that help students feel that they belong at RHS.
Amanda has watched her mom for years, and now it’s her opportunity to put those lessons into action. “It’s about how to up the ante,” she said. “This is a healthy rivalry, but I look at what we can be doing in our building that they’re not doing over there-yet.”
As it turns out, this rivalry is making everyone – students, staff and our community – better. We all win with two Haugans at the helm, even if it’s a little awkward at times.
“When I see her in Ravenwear, I definitely cringe,” Audrey said, laughing. “I’m RHS through and through. But I’m also extremely proud of her, and I learn from her. It’s amazing to work alongside my daughter in a profession where we can make a difference together.”
And with the two administrators spending much of their off hours together (last weekend, for example, they did a Dri-Tri at Orangetheory Fitness), they collaborate at least as much as they compete.
“We definitely brainstorm, collaborate and share ideas,” Amanda said.
In the end, the center of this rivalry will always be love, respect and admiration between the two schools and their administrations. When Audrey took over at Redmond High, she had a conversation with Ridgeview High Principal Lee Loving that stuck with her. “I asked him what the relationship between the two high schools was like, and he said, ‘Compassionate competition,’” she remembered. “I think that’s really important. A rivalry can be fierce but it should not be rude. Our district places importance on that, and we appreciate it.”
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