SASEE 2017 Educator Finalists
Cole engages students at seven schools. He heads up the business department at Portland Community College and service learning projects at Marylhurst University where students raise funds and volunteer in a community-based organization. He also founded and leads a non-profit organization called Weathered Hands and Weathered Hearts for the past 15 years to provide food and clothing to those experiencing homelessness. A few organizations Cole is involved in include: Foster care system of Oregon, Portland Fit Wounded Warrior, Veterans Organizations, The Oregon Food Bank, Portland Animal Welfare, Potluck in the Park, Fences for Fido, Portland Rescue Mission, School House Supplies, Hollywood Theater Education Program, Animate it, Special Olympics, Dress for Success, PJ Bowl, LiNK Global, and The Raphael House. "I'm actually really humbled that I'm being recognized for this, because the students are the ones that are being mobilized for all this effort in the community," he says.
As Vice Principal of Our Lady of the Lake Catholic School, Denise is the Vice Principle of Our Lady of the Lake Catholic School. She has organized a student council that performs service projects, including The Refugee Service project and food drive, which have helped hundreds of people. She puts others' needs before herself, and is always thinking of ways to help others in need. She is gracious and kind to anyone she meets, and there seems to be a special place in her heart for the less fortunate and those who struggle in areas of learning. She truly cares about helping everyone, whether it be a teacher, faculty member, or student. She has a way of helping people become the best they can be in a supportive and kind manner. "I am very passionate about helping (everyone), and to receive recognition from talented and hardworking colleagues made it even more special," says Denise.
Nancy is a Pathways Program teacher supporting students with intellectual disabilities at Lake Oswego High School. She has spent countless hours developing and supporting various vocational activities on campus such as Joe's Boathouse, the Spirit Store, Food Service assistants and the Laker Garden. She built many of these programs from scratch, including designing the curriculum. These programs greatly help students build their independence and advocacy skills. Nancy had to coordinate and fundraise each project with the community and parent groups. The sites make a profit and have created two $1000 scholarships: One for students in the Pathways program and one for student mentors who work alongside the Pathways students. Both Joe's and the Spirit store serve the general school population and community members. The Laker Garden is supported by many community garden clubs as well.
Laura Paxson Kluthe
Laura has served for 23 years as Building Representative, Political Action Chair, President of the Professional Teachers Union, and currently as a social studies teacher at Lake Oswego High School. She is fully engaged in the political process and has used her days off to lobby Oregon state senators and representatives on behalf of the teachers and students of the state of Oregon. Laura's service is selfless and always focused on the betterment of the school, community, city, state, and nation. Before becoming a teacher, Laura worked at Reed College and lived in Paraguay working for the Peach Corp. "Most teachers I know perform service above self on a regular basis without recognition or fanfare," Laura says. "I am often humbled to be in the company of so many committed teachers."
As principal of Lakeridge High School. Jennifer’s focus on excellence is embodied in the mission statement she helped create for Lakeridge High School: "Lakeridge promotes a respectful community where each individual is responsible for contributing to excellence". Jennifer has truly helped Lakeridge own this motto. This has resulted in a standard of excellence that is seen throughout the school and the best SBA test scores in Oregon. Jennifer is a superb leader and is very well respected by her colleagues, teachers, staff and students. Jennifer is amazing at helping students successfully navigate their high school career while pursuing excellence and prepare them for life after Lakeridge. "I have striven to create a culture that embraces everyone's strengths and keeps responsibility for excellence evenly distributed across the entire Pacer family," she says.