The Rotary Club of Lake Oswego announced on Monday, May 2, the nine recipients of the 2022 Service Above Self: Educational Excellence (SASEE) Awards, which recognize citizens who have gone above and beyond to support education and students in Lake Oswego.
Six years ago, the SASEE awards were created by founders Eric Allenbaugh and Malcolm Mathes. 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 given to Mark Williams, Emma Streano, Nancy Anderson and Kylie Morrissey.
Student and educator honorees each receive $1,000, which they donate to a nonprofit project, school or charity of their choosing. The citizen award winners have a scholarship named after them that goes to a graduating Lake Oswego senior.
The award ceremony will be presented virtually this year, with a keynote speech by Lake Oswego School District Superintendent Jennifer Schiele. The award video will be available to stream on YouTube at 7 p.m. May 18 at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzc-XiHw0ps. For more information about the ceremony or recipients, go to rotarysasee.org.
Bios of each winner, provided by the Rotary:
Mark Williams, a Lake Oswego High School sophomore, is being honored for taking the initiative during COVID-19 to use his unique skills to help his community. In early 2020, Williams learned that there was a shortage of personal protective equipment for health care workers and began a discussion with his robotics team. Using his passion for engineering and familiarity with computer-designed software, Williams founded a student-led campaign that 3D-printed over 500 face shields for hospitals, frontline workers and medical professionals in the state. In one special case, a shield was sent to Hawaii.
Through continued charitable actions, Lakeridge sophomore Emma Streano has raised over $7,000 for local and international charities by setting up a farm stand called "Emma's Farmstand" each summer since she was 7 years old. Her farm stand sells environmentally-sound organic products made by her that include soaps, jams, body lotions and eggs from her own chickens.
For her business, Streano also has a business license, makes all her products by hand and spends many hours researching the charities that she would potentially donate to.
Kylie Morrissey and Nancy Anderson
Lakeridge High School students Kylie Morrissey and Nancy Anderson co-founded the high school's Crafts Club. The pair sell jewelry to raise money for patients at Doernbecher Children's Hospital. The donations help families pay for expensive medical procedures.
Jashn Pande also was a finalist for the student award.
Educator Award recipients
For almost two decades, Nelson has served as a nurse for the Lake Oswego School District. She also serves as the district's primary liaison for all things related to public health. Since the pandemic, Nelson's days are filled with contract tracing and COVID-19 testing of staff and students. But beyond that, Nelson also has volunteered at the COVID-19 testing site for Clackamas County Public Health and hosted clinics to vaccinate as many people in the community as possible.
As a student support specialist at Forest Hills Elementary School, Hamacheck is no stranger to helping those in the Lake Oswego community. For several years, the educator worked with a community of teenagers and young adults with different disabilities, only stopping once the group aged out of the organization at the age of 22. But Hamacheck decided then to put together a group with a similar goal for people of all ages. Alongside parents, community members and volunteers, the nonprofit Common Grounds was founded by Hamacheck two years ago. The organization has created a community for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Melinda McDonald and Ana Ryan also were finalists for the educator awards.
Wan-Shu Lu has dedicated more than 6,000 hours to the four Lake Oswego robotics teams that she started and manages. Under her guidance, the teams made up of all grade levels have competed in the Oregon State Championships for 11 years, and the International World Championships for the past four years. In 2022, her team won first place in Oregon and was one of only two teams in the state to head to the World Championships where they placed 14th out of 80 teams. She is honored for her commitment to the robotics teams and for connecting students to great goals and encouraging interest.
As the current Parent Teacher Organization president at Lakeridge Middle School, Madden is known for his successful fundraisers that have gleaned over $350,000 over the years for both the Westridge Elementary and Lakeridge Middle schools. Madden also is a relentless volunteer, putting in more than 2,000 volunteer hours over the past 11 years in the school district. One of his SASEE nominators said, "It will take a team of people to replace this one man."
Esther Schaezler has volunteered with the Lake Oswego School District for more than 15 years. Her focus is on art literacy and the READ WELL volunteer program. But her greatest impact on the community might be her advocacy for science, technology, engineering and math in LO schools. Schaezler has led and coached robotics teams for many years and served on the LO Robotics board. She secured the opportunity for robotics team members to compete to earn varsity letters and helped address a gender disparity in the field by mentoring the first all-girls robotics team, All Hands on Tech.
Courtney Lindsey and Jamie Harwood also were recognized by the SASEE judges as finalists for the citizen awards.
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