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Life-changing events keep coming thanks to foundation


My first extraordinary and life- changing experience with a teacher in the Lake Oswego School District was in third grade with Laura Nelson.

At the beginning of each month we had to give a book report in front of the class. While this may not seem daunting, my nervous and very shy third grade self would have rather gotten my tooth pulled than had to give a book report in front of a teacher and my fellow classmates. My first book report was barely short of a disaster. Mrs. Nelson, throughout my third grade year, helped me meet new people, and helped me feel more confident speaking in front of others. She worked with me one on one in front of the mirror, saying speeches aloud along with other helpful and wacky activities.

While it was not a short or easy process, the last book review of my third grade year was a success. I delivered it with confidence, and when I looked over at my teacher, she was the one crying, instead of me. I was touched that she was so proud of how far I had come that year. She helped me become the confident and outgoing person I am today.

Mrs. Nelson, however, was not the only life-changing teacher I have had in my years in the Lake Oswego School District. Clay Christie was my English teacher my freshman and sophomore years. At first I was skeptical of whether I would do well in his class because I had heard what a challenging teacher he was. In those two years my writing improved tremendously and I learned to love how a challenging class can make you a stronger student. In fact, every teacher I have ever had has made a positive influence on my life in some way. I love that my teachers are so passionate about teaching and excited by knowledge. I have been honored to work with and learn from every one of my teachers.

Because of the huge influences my teachers have had on my life it has been clear to me from the start what my calling for the future is: To be a teacher. A teacher can change someone's life. A teacher can be like a mother or father and be a role model. I can only hope to make half of the impact my teachers have made on me, on a student.

But I am writing not to just say thanks to my teachers, but to encourage all parents and members of our community to support the remarkable education in LO by contributing to the Lake Oswego School District Foundation. The money given is used exclusively to pay for teachers' salaries, including in the arts, foreign language programs, special electives and Advanced Placement classes.

These donations really and truly do make our educational experience memorable and our success possible. I've attended Lake Oswego Schools since I was in kindergarten and if my calculations are correct I have had 56 teachers in total. All 56 of them have been special in their own way and each one memorable. But many of these teachers would not have been hired, rehired or had the individual time to devote to each student without the funds from the foundation. Please donate today at www.losdfoundation.org .

Abby Ernst, Lake Oswego, is a junior at Lakeridge High and a student board member, Lake Oswego School District Foundation.