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Students, educators and citizens were honored at the sixth annual Service Above Self: Educational Excellence awards

COURTESY PHOTO: BRIAN GERATHS - Recipients are nominated by community members and judged by a panel that selects a winner. 
The educator recipients this year were Ann Nelson and Tori Hamacheck, with citizen awards going to Wan-Shu Lu, Esther Schaezler and Brian Madden. Student awards were received by Mark Williams, Emma Streano, Nancy Anderson and Kylie Morrissey. 
It takes great students, educators and citizens to make a community, according to Lake Oswego mayor Joe Buck.

On Wednesday, July 13, nine Lake Oswego community members were celebrated as recipients of the 2022 Service Above Self: Educational Excellence. The Rotary Club of Lake Oswego hosts the awards annually, recognizing people who go above and beyond to continue making Lake Oswego the number one school district in Oregon.

Recipients are nominated by community members and judged by a panel that selects a winner.

The educator recipients this year were Ann Nelson and Tori Hamacheck, with citizen awards going to Wan-Shu Lu, Esther Schaezler and Brian Madden. Student awards were received by Mark Williams, Emma Streano, Nancy Anderson and Kylie Morrissey.

"When we think of why people come to Lake Oswego, the reason we hear time and time again is education. While education — strictly defined and equitably provided — is the great equalizer in society, we all know that realizing that dream is far more complicated," Buck said. "The goal of education is what brings us together and it's thanks to the work the award recipients do (that) improve the human experience, and unite community members."

Six years ago, the SASEE awards were created by founders Erica Allenbaugh and Malcolm Mathes. Every year, the rotary club, school district and recipients would gather for a large gala in recognition, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the awards were held virtually — until this year. Families and community members gathered at Lakeridge Middle School for a night of food, music and celebration.

"This event is a celebration of people within our community who really go above and beyond to support students and to support education. And so we obviously want to recognize and celebrate those people," said SASEE co-chair Deanne Crone Knipple.

Since she was around eight years old, Lakeridge rising junior Streano has spent every Saturday during the summer at the Lake Oswego Farmers Market selling homemade products, with proceeds donated to local and national organizations. Through her charitable work, Streano has raised over $7,000, and on Thursday, she was handed a small token of appreciation at the award ceremony.

"I've been (working at Emma's Farmstand) for so long so this award really assures me that I should keep going and raising money," she said to the Review.

Other community members who were celebrated were people like Nelson, the lead school nurse for the district who retired this summer.

Nelson was honored for her essential work during the COVID-19 pandemic and advocacy for students with health concerns like diabetes or cerebral palsy. Schaezler, Lu and Madden, meanwhile, were honored for their continuous community service and advocacy within the school district.

Each recipient receives a "pay-it-forward" prize of $1,000, which is then donated to a nonprofit project, school or charity of their choosing.

Morrissey and Anderson started the high school's Crafts Club a few years back; the pair sell jewelry to raise money for patients at Doernbecher. The donations help these patients pay for expensive medical procedures.

"It feels like the whole community supports us and has our back and motivates us to keep doing what we're doing," Anderson said.

Williams, an incoming junior at Lake Oswego High School, was honored for founding a student-led campaign that 3D printed over 500 face shields for hospitals, frontline workers and medical professionals in the state. Hamacheck was celebrated for her many years of work for people with disabilities in Lake Oswego. COURTESY PHOTO: BRIAN GERATHS - Students, educators and citizens who go 'above and beyond' in education were celebrated on July 13.

The nomination process for the 2023 SASEE awards will begin in September. For more information, click here.

"We thank each one of the award winners for the role they play in making a community that puts others first and continues to create a legacy for our community, one of openness, time, excellence and service," Buck said.


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