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American Legion honors three for service

Estacada American Legion Carl Douglas Post 74 presented awards to the city’s firefighter, teacher and law officer of the year Thursday, April 28.

Recipients were Officer Jeff Argubright of the Sandy Police Department, Lt. Ron Schmitt of the Estacada Fire Department and Kari Hulsey of Clackamas River Elementary School.

The post has awarded the firefighter and police awards for nine years, and the teacher award for two years.

“These are people who have dedicated their lives to the community,” said post commander Douglas Jamieson. “They’re the pillars that make society go around.”

Recipients were honored with dinner and an awards program at the Estacada Community Center.

Hulsey was honored for her dedication to students inside and out of the classroom. In addition to engaging her students in class, Hulsey was also the driving force behind after-school classes at Estacada's elementary schools designed to engage students with science, technology, reading, engineering, art and mathematics.

“She has an unconditional regard for all of her students,” said Estacada School District Superintendent Marla Stephenson.

Sandy Police Chief Kim Yamashita noted that a group of citizens from Estacada approached her about nominating Argubright.

She praised his relationship with the Estacada community, recalling an instance where he was on patrol and helped someone who was struggling with their lawnmower, eventually finishing the yard work for them.

“He does stuff like that all the time,” Yamashita said. “We’re supposed to be part of the community, and he really gets that.”

Gayle Watts of the Estacada Fire Department was glad to see Schmitt honored. Schmitt has worked department since 2009.

“He’s so dedicated to what he does,” she said. “He has a heart and soul for making a difference.”

Jamieson said it’s important to the Legion post to honor the individuals that serve, protect and educate the community.

“Without their dedication and professionalism, we’d have a very different way of life,” he said.