Citizen's View: Community cares about schools
"Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community"
— Anthony Burgess, author of "A Clockwork Orange"
Our community cares about education. Most people consider the Lake Oswego School District the best in the State of Oregon, and according to the Oregon Department of Education's 2017 Report Card ("LOSD outpaces rest of the state on Report Card," Oct. 12), our community provides 64 percent of the district's funding. That is the most support that any Oregon community gives its schools.
Our community also supports education outside the classroom. The community has renovated a downtown school as a community center for the arts — performing and visual. It has renovated a private home as an historical museum and community center; it supports preserving its heritage with trails and monuments. It supports a vibrant public library and with it a literary tradition of "Lake Oswego Reads." In addition, it supports an arts festival and public art projects, among other educational community projects.
Finally, our community has a long tradition of "service above self," with individuals volunteering to give back to the community. This is most evident when students, educators and citizens in the education community innovate and support our local and international community with projects. We have seen a middle-schooler create a local food pantry, a high-schooler set up a fundraising club for water projects in Zambia, a music teacher create a community choir and a citizen create science enrichment programs in our elementary schools.
Last January, the Lake Oswego Rotary Club set out to honor these individuals and others in the educational community who cared enough to give back to their community through Service Above Self: Educational Excellence (SASEE) awards. Rotary honored 15 projects with awards to students, educators and community members at Marylhurst University.
Now it is time to nominate a new set of students, educators and community members in the educational community who care enough to give back to our community. The second-annual SASEE Awards banquet, scheduled for Feb. 28, 2018, will also be held at Marylhurst University, and you are invited to attend and honor those making a difference in our educational community.
To find out more about the SASEE awards and how you might nominate an individual, please go to www.rotarysasee.org and fill out an application. Nominations are open through Jan. 10 for individuals from public and private Lake Oswego schools, including from Marylhurst University.
Please care enough to honor those who make our community what it is.
Ted Ricks is a member of the Lake Oswego Rotary Club.