Washougal assistant superintendent set to retire

Gause Elementary principal will take over role starting July 1

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Dr. Patricia Boles will retire from her role as assistant superintendent in the Washougal School District at the end of the month, a role she has held since 2015. Contributed photo courtesy of Jodi Thomas, educational service district 112

Dr. Patricia Boles will retire from her role as assistant superintendent in the Washougal School District (WSD) after a cumulative 44 years in education, serving as an elementary teacher, special education teacher, principal and assistant superintendent.

Boles first considered retirement in 2015, but then accepted the assistant superintendent position in Washougal, a position that she thought was a one-year commitment.

In a news release from the WSD, Boles is credited with helping to implement an eight-year curriculum adoption plan to provide all students equitable access to high quality curriculum and 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.

During Boles’ three years as the assistant superintendent, she is also credited with adding approximately three weeks of instructional time embedded within the future elementary school calendar providing for the opportunity to consider enhanced electives, adding two Family Resource Centers to support the needs of students and families and hiring talented school administrators, teachers and support staff throughout the school system.

Boles said a highlight of her career was watching her colleagues flourish.

“I watched a lot of paraeducators pursue their teaching degrees to become teachers and watched office staff grow in their positions,” she said. “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.”

Boles is looking forward to the next chapter of her life which includes becoming a grandmother in January. She said she will also make time for her personal passions, which include art, photography, travel and much more time for family. Boles has no doubt that retirement will be a big change for her.

She said while it is hard to leave the district, she is confident that the district is in good hands.

Renae Burson, the current principal at Gause Elementary, will succeed Boles on July 1.

“I know my replacement will do this job with even more grace and thoughtfulness,” Boles said.  “She will do good things for Washougal.”

Burson became the principal at Gause in 2016, and has held roles as a teacher at the elementary and middle school levels. She has also worked as an instructional coach, a K-8 principal, a curriculum coordinator, a special education director and an Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) district director.

Burson was named the Shasta County, California Administrator of the Year in 2016, Teacher of the Year for the Mt. Lassen Math Council in 2011 and a California Distinguished Teacher in 2010. She has a Master of Science degree in Applied School Leadership.

Contributed information courtesy of Jodi Thomas, Educational Service District 112 and Marian Young, Washougal School District director of human resources.