Lake Oswego Rotary Club honors Heather Beck with 'Service Above Self: Educational Excellence' award
Lake Oswego Rotarians paid special tribute to Heather Beck on Wednesday night, honoring the outgoing school superintendent with an Inspirational Educator award at the annual Service Above Self: Educational Excellence banquet at Marylhurst University.
Mayor Kent Studebaker presented the award to a visibly surprised Beck, who has announced she will leave the Lake Oswego School District at the end of the current school year for a new job in Singapore. In his remarks, Studebaker shared quotes from a variety of school officials, who all pointed to the legacy Beck will leave behind.
"She brought attention to how essential it is that we build opportunities for success for all students," said Lilian Sarlos, the principal of Oak Creek Elementary School, "and asked us to truly open our district's sphere of success to be broader."
Amy Blakey, the principal at Forest Hills Elementary, said Beck "brought to LOSD a fresh new way of looking at education for all students."
"She inspired and empowered leadership to make significant changes," Blakey said. "As a female administrator, it is always inspiring to see another female leader succeed at worthy causes. Heather's heart for children and a shared leadership model are the two things I appreciate most when I reflect on her work."
Several educators pointed to Beck's willingness to engage in courageous conversations surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion and her deep-seated belief that "all means all."
"She has met challenges head-on, and has rallied support for causes that were overdue for discussion," said River Grove Elementary Principal Dan Draper. "There is no doubt that LOSD is better off for having had Dr. Beck as its leader."
SASEE awards honor individuals who serve as an inspiration to others and exemplify a stalwart commitment to education through projects, activities or other work that underscores a longstanding devotion to "service above self." More than 200 community leaders gathered at Marylhurst on Wednesday night to honor award recipients.
In addition to Beck's award, SASEEs were handed out in three categories:
• Citizens/Volunteers, who each received a $2,500 scholarship established in their name to support the college education of a current high school student. This year's honorees are Jobs Seekers founder Larry Bowman, Art Literacy and sustainability advocate Courtney Clements, Constitutional Law and Mock Trial adviser Laura Kosloff, Westridge Elementary volunteer extroardinare Amy Mai and musician Aaron Nigel Smith;
• Teachers/Administrators/Support Staff, who each received $1,000 to apply toward their school or service activities. This year's honorees are Forest Hills Elementary fifth-grade teacher Ron Bagwell, Lake Oswego High football coach Steve Coury, LOHS Principal Rollin Dickinson, choir teacher Adam Johnson and special education assistant Candee Swenson; and
• Students, who each received $500 to apply toward their school or service activities. This year's honorees are Lake Oswego High senior Delaney Ericson, LOHS senior Mya Hudson, LOHS senior Morgan Jones, Lakeridge High senior Max Krueger and Lakeridge Junior High eighth-grader Claire Sarnowski.
"Last night's SASEE Awards event was another wonderful evening for the Lake Oswego Rotary Club," said club President Bill Baars, who is also director of the Lake Oswego Public Library. "The recipients were as inspiring as they were deserving and reflect wonderfully on our community and our schools."
For profiles of all the winners, go to tinyurl.com/SASEE-Winners.