HERMISTON - After 25 years of working and leading Hermiston High School, Principal Dave Ego is retiring.

"There are lots of things I'll miss, and there are things I won't miss," Ego said Monday. "The people here are fantastic. They've become an extended family of sorts."

Ego won't miss the parent confrontations, but most of all, he won't miss the many hours he works.

Between the long days and the extracurricular activities, Ego figures he puts in 65 to 75 hours a week - and that's a conservative estimate.

But don't expect to find Ego sitting at home vegging after he receives his final paycheck.

He plans to help out more at The Cottage, a floral and gift shop with a hall that is rented out, owned by himself and his wife, Gloria, who runs the shop.

"She'll work me just as hard," he said.

Ego will officially retire in December, but stay on to finish out the school year.

At its meeting tonight, the Hermiston School Board will announce the high school principal selection committee and the timeline for the search.

Ego began his teaching career at Parkrose Middle School in Parkrose, teaching social studies and language arts for three years.

He then moved to Hermiston High School, where he was a counselor for 10 years, a vice principal for six years and then the principal for nine. He also was the head boys basketball coach for the Bulldogs.

"I'm pleased for Dave that he's able to retire," said Vice Principal Jann Tresham. "We've implemented some great things here. It's always a challenge maintaining things that you've implemented without continuity."

Having his knowledge of what's worked and what hasn't has been important, but not as vital as his understanding of what the community wants to see and what the students need year to year, Tresham said.

The staff has known on and off that he planned to retire this year, he said. He hasn't yet made a formal announcement to the student body.

"With the way the Public Employees Retirement System is, I think now is a good time to get out," he said.

Ego will stay involved with the events at the high school, and will have a little more time to work in the garden at home.

"Hermiston is home for us," he said.

But he'll miss the school and the people for which he's worked for so long.

"He'll always be busy," Tresham said. "The challenge I think for him will be the mental challenge. He'll miss it."

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