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‘DON’T PANIC’ wins FTC Robotics awards; LOJ forms team for Polar Plunge; College Notes

SUBMITTED PHOTO - DONT PANIC team members pose after last week's qualifying tournament (from left): Miles Smith, Erik Meckel, Logan Knipple, James Kang, Mason Schuster, Bella Meyn, Brendan Schaezler, Gene Liu, and Allison Saier. Not pictured: Asher Nys, James Harding, coaches Esther Schaezler and David Schaezler, and mentors Gabie Griffin and Ethan Schaezler.

'DON'T PANIC' wins FTC Robotics awards

Lake Oswego High School's FTC Robotics team "DON'T PANIC and Always Carry a Towel" did itself proud in late January at a qualifying tournament at Philomath High School.

The team won several awards, including a first-place Connect honor, second-place Motivate award and third place in the Inspire category. DON'T PANIC was also the first team selected for a finalist alliance in the tournament's championship round.

Up next: a Super Qualifier this weekend in Roseburg.

Esther Schaezler, who has coached DON'T PANIC for seven years, recently worked to transform a multi-purpose room at LOHS into a place where the school's three robotics teams can meet. Last year, she also worked with school administrators to establish requirements for students to earn a varsity letter in FTC Robotics. Later this year, DON'T PANIC captain Brendan Schaezler will become the first Laker to do so.

In addition to Brendan, DON'T PANIC team members include Miles Smith, Erik Meckel, Logan Knipple, James Kang, Mason Schuster, Bella Meyn, Gene Liu, Allison Saier, Asher Nys and James Harding; coaches Esther and David Schaezler; and OSU sophomores Gabie Griffin and Ethan Schaezler, who serve as mentors.

LOJ forms team for Polar Plunge

Kasie Hansen, a Pathways teacher at Lake Oswego Junior High, will lead a team for the annual Polar Plunge into the Columbia River later this month.

The Polar Plunge is an opportunity for individuals to support Special Olympics Oregon (SOOR) athletes by plunging (or walking) into the Columbia River's icy waters. Hansen led a Polar Plunge team in West Linn last year, when she worked at Stafford Primary School.

Now that she's in LO, she decided to bring the tradition with her. "It's a chilly job," she says, "but someone has to do it!"

Hansen formed the team at LOJ not only to raise money for Special Olympics Oregon, but also to raise awareness. "I'll be taking the chilly plunge into the river to support 14,000-plus participants of Special Olympics Oregon," she says. "Each year, the athletes of SOOR train and compete their hardest, giving it their all, and being brave in the attempt."

Anyone interested in supporting Hansen or joining her "LOJ Freezing Sailors" team can visit A fundraiser is also planned from 5-9 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9, at Chipotle in Lake Oswego (8 Centerpointe Dr., Suite B) to benefit SOOR.

The Polar Plunge itself will be held on Saturday, Feb. 23, with events beginning at 7:30 a.m. The plunge will take place at 11 a.m. For more information, visit

College Notes

GONZAGA UNIVERSITY: Lakeridge High graduate Nancy Bignell has been named to the Gonzaga University President's List for fall semester 2018. Students must earn a 3.85-4.0 grade-point average to earn the honor.

NOTRE DAME UNIVERSITY: Lake Oswego High School graudate Connor O'Brien has been named to the dean's list in the University of Notre Dame's First Year of Studies for outstanding scholarship during the fall 2018 semester. Students who achieve dean's honors at Notre Dame represent the top 30 percent of students at the college.

NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY: Lake Oswego residents Morgan Lloyd and Sophia Mantell have been named to the Dean's List at Northeastern University for the fall 2018 semester. To achieve the Dean's List distinction, students must carry a full program of at least four courses, have a quality point average of 3.5 or greater and carry no single grade lower than a C- during the course of their college career.

— The Review

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