As I reflect on a special Easter weekend with my family, I am appreciative of the community we call home and the opportunities an education in the LO school system has provided for me and my extended family. While not all of us went to school in LO, our family clearly sees the benefits throughout our lives and realizes all the ways we can give express our appreciation:

n My parents, residents since 1967, see firsthand the value of an LO K-12 education enabling their kids to go anywhere for their college and graduate educations — they give at the highest levels annually to fund the LOSF Endowment to keep our system great for future generations.Stirek

n My sisters, both who married/moved away from LO after graduating and had their kids attend elsewhere, have fond memories of their schooling and give annually as proud alumni.

n My wife Kate begrudgingly moved to LO after we were married in 1989 as apparently Sunset Apollos did not think highly of LO kids back then. After graduating our two kids and having both of them well prepared to do well at OSU, she now would never have it any other way. We’re empty nested, but all of us, including our kids, will continue to give our time and resources and lean on our local friends and businesses to step up in order to keep our school system the best in the state.

n And looking forward, my smart niece adds all this up, remembers her parents that moved her and her brother away from an LO education, so when she got married, she quickly moved into LO so her kids can be a part of it. In anticipation of that, my niece and her husband gave $750 to the current campaign so our quality schools will still be so when it’s their kids’ time to attend.

You see, schools are a critical part of our circle of life. As the LOSF campaign concludes for this year, I ask you to think about all the ways the foundation may touch your life by investing in teachers to keep excellence in our schools. I’ve realized that the LO Foundation is really the larger foundation of our community and I ask that you join us grandparents, parents, alumni, students and grandchildren to “Invest in Success” together.

John Stirek is a 47-year resident of Lake Oswego and proud alum of Palisades Elementary, (the former) Waluga Junior High and Lakeridge High School (‘78). He is a former president of the Lake Oswego School Foundation.

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