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Citizen's View: New awards honor educational excellence

Education is a foundational component in the work all Rotarians do to make the world a better place. In Lake Oswego, Rotary gives dictionaries to all third-graders in the Lake Oswego School District and provides college scholarships at each high school.

As part of that effort, Lake Oswego Rotary believes in recognizing the incredible work of educators and the strong supporters of education in our own community.

As president of the Lake Oswego Rotary Club, I am proud to announce a new program honoring educators and those supporting education. The “Service Above Self: Educational Excellence” (SASEE) Awards program is our way of saying “Thank you! We are acutely aware of the importance of your work and dedication to this community, and we are so very proud of you all.”

The SASEE Awards are intended to recognize and honor “Service Above Self” in three categories: teachers, administrators and support staff; students; and community citizens and volunteers who are affiliated with Lake Oswego public and private schools, including Marylhurst University. The ideal nominee demonstrates a commitment to education through projects, activities and work that emphasize service above self and inspire us to be better people.

Teachers/administrators/support staff honorees will be awarded $1,000 to apply toward their school or service activities. Student honorees will be awarded $500 to apply toward their school or service activity. Individual citizens and volunteers who support education will be awarded $2,000 to support student scholarships in their name.

The SASEE Awards are based on exemplifying one or more of the following six criteria:

— Performs in an exemplary manner and participates in extracurricular activities;

— Participates in community activities that benefit students and citizens alike;

— Demonstrates selfless conduct toward others;

— Actively engages with and inspires others to reach their highest level of educational excellence and works to maximize their social and emotional development;

— Builds a strong sense of confidence, competence and responsible citizenship in the minds and hearts of others, and/or

— Cultivates a life-long interest in learning.

We are seeking champions of education in our schools and community who deserve to be recognized and honored for their service. Finalists will be honored at our Service Above Self tribute dinner, scheduled for Jan. 25, 2017, at Marylhurst University, to which everyone is invited.

Do you know someone who makes a difference in our educational community? If so, I encourage you to nominate a candidate for a SASEE award. To nominate teachers, administrators, support staff, students and/or community members, simply fill out our online Rotary SASEE nomination form at www.lakeoswegorotary.org by Dec.1. All of the nominees will be carefully considered by a panel of judges who will identify the finalists and ultimately select those to whom awards will be given.

Plan to attend the SASEE Awards Banquet with other community supporters on Jan. 25. Let’s show our support of our educational resources by packing the banquet room at Marylhurst University. Banquet tickets can be purchased online on the Lake Oswego Rotary website noted above.

Let’s pull together to reinforce education — one of our significant community treasures here in Lake Oswego.

Rob Le Chevallier is the president of the Lake Oswego Rotary Club.