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Lakeridge library honors the memory of teacher Jane Cohn

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Relatives of  the late Jane Cohn gathered last week to dedicate the Lakeridge High School library in her name. Front row, from left, Jamie Helling (Jane’s niece); Henry Cohn (husband); Kelly Cohn (daughter); Jenny Helling (niece); Carson Cohn (nephew); back row, from left, H.J. Cohn (son); John Helling, Jr. (dad);  Millard Cohn (father-in-law);  John Helling III (brother); Tammy Helling (sister-in-law); Linda Cohn (sister-in-law); Jill Bjork (sister); Connor Cohn (nephew); Scott Cohn (brother-in-law). Not pictured: Carter Cohn (son).

Friends, family members, students and co-workers of the late Jane Cohn gathered last week to dedicate the Lakeridge High School library in her honor.

Cohn, who spent 22 years teaching in the Lake Oswego School District, retired from Forest Hills Elementary School in 2006 after she was diagnosed with liver cancer. She died later that year.

Led by Cohn family friends former Pacer Club President Mary Vigo and Ed Israel, a year-long fund-raising effort raised more than $100,000 to dedicate the library in Cohn's name through the Lake Oswego School District Foundation. More than 300 donors contributed.

The money will go toward supporting teachers in the district, which was Cohn's wish, according to friends and family.

A silver plaque with Cohn's photo and quotes from students now adorns the library entrance.

Her family, including relatives from Wisconsin, was in attendance at the dedication reception, along with husband Henry and children HJ, a senior at University of Oregon and Kelly, a freshman at Lakeridge. Other son Carter, a Lakeridge senior, was preparing for a home wrestling meet.

The emotional reception featured Company members singing 'That's Where the Music Takes Us' and Principal Mike Lehman singing 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow.'

Of Cohn, Superintendent Bill Korach said, 'I immediately think of her presence, her integrity, her many talents and her tremendously positive contribution to others … her passing caused many of us to confront the pain of her loss, but her passing also helped us to reaffirm the mystery, the wonder and the possibilities of life.'

Henry Cohn thanked Vigo and Israel for their tireless efforts to honor his wife, who 'wanted to be a second grade teacher since she was in the second grade.'

'This has touched our family so much,' he said.

A Lake Oswego resident since 1981, Jane Cohn was involved in the National Charity League, Our Savior's Lutheran Church and the Multnomah Athletic Club.

One parent described her as 'the most child-oriented person I have ever met.'

The Jane Cohn Library is the third facility in the district to be dedicated in someone's honor. The others are the Pamela G. Schreyer Black Box Theater and the Donald M. Lea II wrestling room at Lake Oswego High School. Dedications must be pre-approved by the school board.