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Kelly O'Boyle and Pete Bartel Among Education Staff and Volunteers Honored by Learn Here Project
Saturday, October 19, 2019

Ridgefield honorees, Kelly O’Boyle and Pete Bartel, were among 23 staff members and volunteers recognized by 150 business and community leaders at a reception on October 17th for their exemplary work in the region’s educational system.

According to a press release from Identity Clark County, the Learn Here Project showcases our quality educational system and honors exemplary staff and volunteers, with cooperation from area educational institutions.  The project is supported by Real Living, The Real Estate Group, Northwest Capital Mortgage and the Port of Vancouver USA.  The region’s educational system is cited by many prospective residents and employers as a prime reason to locate in Clark County.

                                                                                                       2019 Learn Here Project Real Heroes Honorees

Kelly O’Boyle, special education teacher at Sunset Ridge Intermediate School in the Ridgefield School District has dedicated herself to Ridgefield students for nearly 30 years.  Her daily lessons empower students to believe they’re capable of more than they think and in return, students are receptive and excited to learn – so much so that more than 50 students signed up to be on her “Math Is Cool” team, which she coaches.  The annual statewide math competition allows grade school students in local communities to compete in solving mental math problems, team tests, relays and more.  This year, fifth grade students from O’Boyle’s team took first place, and the sixth grade team took second place at Clark County’s competition.  O’Boyle combines high expectations with compassionate understanding for her students who see her classroom as a safe and supportive environment responsive to their individual needs.

Pete Bartel is a Ridgefield School District volunteer.  His family roots date back to the 1870’s, and the well-known Bartel family of Ridgefield fame has supported the Ridgefield School District since its founding days.  With the rapid growth currently taking place in the city of Ridgefield, Ridgefield School District is working diligently to keep up with the resulting unprecedented uptick in student enrollment.  Part of the district’s growth strategy hinged on its new, two-story combination intermediate and middle school which opened in 2018.  The campus sits on land once owned by the Bartel family, and Ridgefield schools purchased the 50-acre plot in 2004.  Building the innovative campus was a calculated move by the district, reducing building costs and preserving the natural land.  Effectively housing two schools under one roof, it serves students in Grades 5-8.  A retired physical therapist, having owned and operated community practices for more than 40 years, Pete Bartel strives to continue serving his beloved Ridgefield community in any way possible.  Of his family’s homestead, Bartel says: “though the ground is no longer a farm, and will no longer grow spuds, it will continue to grow Ridgefield spudders.”

Congratulations to all Learn Here Real Heroes honorees:




Battle Ground

Marcy Sprecher

Jason Foster


Alison Benjamin

Valerie Parbon

Clark College

Cheree Nygard


Toby Lucich

Holly Long


Julie Atchley

Eirik Huset

International Air & Hospitality Academy

Donnie Sellers

Eugene Ferstman

La Center

Eric Stenberg

Rebecca Morris


Pete Bartel

Kelly O’Boyle


Alicia Dunn

Anatoliy Romanchenko


Rona Ager

Dani Allen

WA State School for the Blind

John Bannan

Corey Grandstaff

WSU Vancouver

Lindsay Fisher

Dr. Gisela Ernst-Slavit

The Learn Here Project is part of the Land Here, Live Here business growth initiative created and coordinated by the non-profit business leaders’ group Identity Clark County.  More information is available from Identity Clark County at