Dale French previously served several roles at Valley Catholic School in Beaverton.

PMG PHOTO: SCOTT KEITH - Dale French, the new athletic director at Scappoose High School, comes from Valley Catholic in Beaverton. As Scappoose High School prepares for another prep sports season, a new athletic director has been announced.

As we cross our fingers and hope for a near-normal season of sports, Dale French is ready to take on his new duties, arriving in Scappoose from Valley Catholic School in Beaverton.

In addition to athletic director, French will also assume the role of vice principal at the Scappoose school.

French has an extensive history at Valley Catholic — a regular Metro League power — having coached basketball starting in 1999. French became athletic director at the private high school in 2002, and he served as athletic director for three years before becoming vice principal of the high school.

French eventually moved over to the middle school's vice principal position to help with curriculum and to integrate iPads into the classrooms for student use.

For several years, French has been head track coach at Valley Catholic and has served on different coaching staffs during his time at the school.

While he's moving on from his longtime school, French is eager to get to work in Scappoose.

"Scappoose is a great fit," French said. "They were in our league until they moved up to 5A a few years ago. I always really liked the coaches, kids and parents."

French continued, "After interviewing with a few schools, I wanted to work at a school that wasn't too big. Scappoose's size is great. I was familiar with the type of kids that were in Scappoose from coaching against them."

For the last few years, French said, he has wanted to make the move to public schools and work more in school athletics.

French said, "I've always coached in high school, even though our campus (Valley Catholic) has three schools."

French will have no problem getting his feet wet in Scappoose High School sports in the months ahead.

"All of the fall sports are kicking off," French said, noting it won't be long before cross country, football, soccer, volleyball and cheerleading get started.

French added, "There are a lot of summer activities going on right now. So it's a busy time. We are resurfacing the track and building a field house for softball and baseball. So it's busy, that's for sure."

Looking at football, French is hoping for a season that will feel more normal, depending on how things go with COVID-19.

"We saw a little bit of that toward the end of the year," French said, adding, "I would anticipate a full slate of contests across all the sports, and limited masks, hopefully none."

French likes what he sees at Scappoose High School.

"Scappoose has got a great tradition, not only in athletics, but also in the classroom," he said, noting his focus will not only be on athletics but on how students were impacted with online learning.

French will also be focused on ensuring that "everyone has a chance to thrive and reach their potential."

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