One of Washougal’s longtime administrators has announced her retirement.
Carol Boyden, who has worked as a special education teacher, special services director, grant administrator and principal, will begin a new chapter in June.
Boyden noted there is no way she could narrow down her favorite memory, but a definite highlight has been helping students succeed, especially those who faced extreme hardships.
“Watching a student who faced challenges during their high school career walk across the stage at graduation, and knowing they are there, in part because of something you did, is really a special moment,” she said.
In college, Boyden was working toward degrees in psychology and Spanish. After completing an internship working with severely handicapped children, she changed course.
“I thought, ‘Well, I might as well get my teaching credentials,'” Boyden said.
This small decision began a career in education spanning more than 46 years.
Boyden began her teaching career in Maryland in 1970. She served as a special education teacher for 23 years, teaching in Delaware, Colorado and California before moving to the Northwest.
She worked in the Battle Ground School District for 13 years, before taking an administrative position in Lincoln City, Oregon. She joined the Washougal School District in 1998. She is currently principal of Excelsior and associate principal at Washougal High School.
Boyden has worn many hats during her time in Washougal. She was a special services director and administrator of the district’s Teaching American History grant.
“I’ve saved a few of the different name plates I have had over the years, just for fun,” said Boyden.
Boyden says she is amazed at the resilience of students faced with obstacles and a lack of outside help, who still succeed.
“It’s a joy to be able to hang out with students and to build a relationship to keep them accountable and working toward their goals,” she said.
Principal Aaron Hansen said Boyden’s absence will be felt.
“I feel extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with Boyden for the last seven years at WHS,” he said. “Carol’s breadth of experience, her compassion for our students, and her commitment to the Washougal community will be missed, but the impact she has had on the students, staff and parents will last a lifetime.
“She has been a champion for students who struggle for reasons out of their control. She has provided support, guidance and resources for individuals who needed it most.”
Boyden, who enjoys flower arranging, crafting and painting in her spare time, says she’s likely to pursue something “artsy.”
Currently, she coaches her grandson’s soccer team and plans to continue spending time with her two daughters Kelly and Meredith, and three grandchildren.
“I’ll take some time off and think about what I’d like to do next,” she said. “I’ll definitely spend more time at the beach.”