Education Hero: Chris Barhyte
LO man makes a difference at Lakeridge High and Westridge Elementary
Chris Barhyte will tell you that it took a lot of people to create Westridge Elementary Schools new playground, and that everyone has to help in the fundraising effort to improve the stadium at Lakeridge High. But theres no denying the role Barhyte has played in making sure both of those projects are successful.
As the Westridge Parent-Teacher-Student Organization president, Barhyte was among the leaders who worked to raise about $335,000 for the playground, gaining support from the community, city and school district. Now, his kids are in sixth and eighth grades at Lakeridge Junior High, where his wife is a parent club board member, and he is running the Lakeridge High School stadium fundraising project.
I cant do it all myself, he says. You just need someone to help and push everyone in the right direction.
That push appears to be working. The Lake Oswego School Board recently approved the use of donated funds to install a fence and create an entryway after learning that community supporters had raised $90,000 to pay for the improvements. The project is scheduled to be finished on Sept. 19.
Without those donations, the improvements would have been included in the districts bill for the stadium project, which will add additional seating to accommodate 600 people, a cover over 1,000 seats and a new press box. The projects $2.4 million price tag sparked public outcry, leading to the creation of a group to brainstorm cost-cutting measures and the founding of a fundraising group that was asked to raise $500,000.
Enter Barhyte, who has been involved in a host of fundraising efforts.
Barhyte, Westridge PTSO Co-president Analeis Weidlich and a team of parents polished off the schools playground project just last year. The Westridge PTSO also is responsible for the new reader board at the school, which replaced a wooden sign.
Its just having great leaders in the school that can help at every level, Barhyte said.
The PTSO also made it possible for every Westridge teacher to have an iPad for creating lesson plans and iPad cards for third, fourth and fifth graders. Barhyte said he just wants to improve things. His philosophy: Try to enter a system and leave it a better place.
Hes got the background to draw from when it comes to making changes. Before arriving in Lake Oswego in 2011, Barhyte served on the Tualatin City Council for nine years and sat in the council presidents seat. So, he knows how government finance functions. He also knows how to manage an organization. He helps run his Tualatin-based family business, Barhyte Specialty Foods, which makes items such as mustards, marinades and wings sauce.
Barhyte knows his experience spurred the invitation to run the stadium fundraiser, but he insists that hes not the only one who helps make good things happen at local schools.
Its not just me: Its everybody who is at the school and any school, he said. If you organize as a group, you can accomplish amazing things.
To nominate an Education Hero, contact Jillian Daley at 503-636-1281 ext. 109 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Add a comment