Dr. Boles retires after 44 years in education

Dr. Patricia Boles began her career in education as a fifth-grade teacher in the Longview School District in 1973. Forty-four years later, she still loves the work that she’s doing and is still passionate about serving students and families.

“I still love what I’m doing,” said Boles. “It’s all about the kids and asking what we can do to better serve students and parents. As educators, we are public servants.”

Boles says that she still remembers the names of many of her first students.

She also worked for Portland Public Schools as a special education teacher for the hearing impaired, followed by administration of a federal project for the district.

In the 1980’s she took a position with the Camas School District as principal of Lacamas Heights Elementary School, where she worked for six years and then moved to Zellerbach Middle School as principal, following the kindergarteners she had started with at Lacamas.

She then took a position as principal of South Ridge Elementary in the Ridgefield School District for five years before moving to district office administration where she spent 25 years as assistant superintendent.

In 2015 she was considering retirement but took the Assistant Superintendent position in Washougal for what she first thought was a one-year commitment. She ended up staying three years and now says it’s hard to leave. She’s confident that the district is in good hands. “I know my replacement will do this job with even more grace and thoughtfulness,” said Boles. “She will do good things for Washougal.”

Boles can boast many accomplishments as part of the Leadership Team during her time in Washougal:
• Implementation of an eight-year curriculum adoption plan to provide all students equitable access to high quality curriculum
• Restructuring high school instructional support programs and Career and Technical Education pathways to meet the diverse needs of students on their personalized path to high school graduation
• The addition of approximately three weeks of instructional time embedded within the future elementary school calendar providing for the opportunity to consider enhanced electives
• The addition of two Family Resource Centers to support the needs of students and families
• Hiring talented school administrators, teachers and support staff throughout the school system

One of the highlights of her career has been watching the people she works with grow and flourish. “I watched a lot of paraeducators pursue their teaching degrees to become teachers and watched office staff grow in their positions. It’s important to help others be the best that they can be, encourage them to have a positive impact in their work with others.”

“Every day is a standout moment” says Boles when asked if any special moments stand out in her career. “Washougal School District holds a special place for me.”

Boles is looking forward to the next chapter of her life which includes becoming a grandmother in January. She says she will also make time for her personal passions, which include art, photography, travel and much more time for family. She has no doubt that this will be a big change for her. “I’ve held a job since the summer of my sophomore year in high school,” said Boles.

Boles says one of her favorite roles was working at the middle school level as a principal. “There is never a dull moment at the middle school level,” she said. “I always tried to be understanding of what they were going through and appreciate them for the intriguing young adults they are becoming. The basic needs of kids and families hasn’t changed.”

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