Two Battle Ground educational leaders recognized as ‘Real Heroes’

Lydia Sanders, Battle Ground Public Schools’ coordinator of the Family and Community Resource Center, and Colleen O’Neal, president of the Battle Ground Education Foundation, were both recognized last week as “Learn Here Real Heroes” at the fourth annual Learn Here Project awards banquet.

At the banquet, regional business and community leaders recognized 26 of Clark County’s exceptional educational system staff and volunteers. The project is an effort by Identity Clark County to showcase the region’s educational system and its remarkable leaders to inspire others and to attract people and businesses considering relocating or expanding in the region.

Lydia Sanders
As a trusted community resource, Battle Ground Public Schools’ Family and Community Resource Center (FCRC) provides students and families with hope. They provide Battle Ground students with needed clothes, shoes, coats, backpacks and school supplies. But, more importantly, their five-member staff assists students and families with the tools necessary to achieve independence through their tutoring, mentoring and Skills of Success programs. The FCRC served 2,000 visitors and fielded almost 10,000 calls for help last year alone. Pouring her heart and soul into establishing a program that keeps individuals as the core focus, Sanders has been there from the beginning, building the program from the ground up. Read more about the FCRC at

BGEF President Colleen O'NealColleen O’Neal
Battle Ground Public Schools offers dynamic facilities and exceptional education to more than 13,000 students. Embracing the mission, vision and values of the district, Colleen O’Neal makes education her heartbeat, contributing to student success in multiple capacities throughout her years of service. The former Principal of CAM Academy, O’Neal now leads the Battle Ground Education Foundation (BGEF), an all-volunteer, non-profit organization striving to leverage community resources to ensure quality education for Battle Ground students. Under O’Neal’s keen leadership, the BGEF has grown by leaps and bounds, secured valuable partnerships with local businesses and now allocates thousands of dollars to district schools to support students and teachers. More information about the BGEF is available at

“We are incredibly fortunate to have Lydia Sanders and Colleen O’Neal working on behalf of our students and supporting education in the Battle Ground community,” said Battle Ground Public Schools Superintendent Mark Ross. “Their hard work and dedication enables students to focus on learning, inspires others to give back and support our schools, and helps strengthen our community. We’re proud of each of them for earning this well-deserved recognition.”

The Learn Here Project showcases Clark County’s 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. It 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


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