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School Notes: Beloved teacher dies; LA Clippers star visits Reynolds; PSU sustainability institute's new leader; Portland reps on the OSBA board; Baby Grad program

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Beloved teacher, radio DJ dies

David Lifton, a recently retired teacher at Portland Public Schools’ Creative Science School and radio host at KBOO, has died.

Lifton was remembered Dec. 30 in a four-hour tribute on KBOO radio, where he had been program director, volunteer and fundraiser in addition to hosting the long-running program “A Jazz World.”

“David had a tremendous impact on the CSS community and was one of our founding teachers,” said Principal Kristie Lindholm in a Christmas Eve note to parents. “He touched the lives of students and families for many, many years. He also had a huge impact on the larger Portland community through his involvement in many organizations, including KBOO. David will be missed tremendously.”

“We’ll always remember Dave Lifton,” said KBOO host Bob Riddle.

Lifton had a sudden brain aneurysm before Christmas and received life support but died shortly after, on Dec. 22.

LA Clippers star visits Reynolds school

Chris Paul, point guard from the LA Clippers, toured Reynolds School District’s Alder Elementary School Jan. 6 to celebrate the new Learning Lab his foundation helped fund.

Chris Paul Family Foundation, State Farm Exist to Assist, and Brand Jordan paid for a learning lab with new computers for the East County school.

Chris Paul toured Alder Elementary classrooms, interacted with students, and was featured at an all-school assembly.

Former Metro councilor takes PSU sustainability helm

Robert Liberty, a councilor at Metro regional government for six years and a longtime land-use attorney, is the new director of Portland State University’s Institute for Sustainable Solutions.

The ISS supports sustainability-related research, curriculum development, student activities, and community partnerships. Liberty says he will focus on creating and supporting a business plan at ISS, while still serving as the leader of the PSU Urban Sustainability Accelerator, which works with cities and regions across the country on the implementation of sustainability plans and policies.

Liberty, formerly a staff attorney and executive director of 1000 Friends of Oregon conservation group, resigned halfway through his second council term to take a job with the University of Oregon but switched to PSU in 2012.

Anthony, Acosta join OSBA board

Portland Public Schools board member Paul Anthony and Multnomah Education Service District board member Frank Acosta Jr., are among the newest members of the 19-person board of the Oregon School Board Association.

OSBA is a member services and lobbying group for the state’s school boards.

New year opens Baby Grad program

The Oregon College Savings Plan is ringing in the new year with the return of its Baby Grad Program, in which any Oregon College Savings Plan account opened on behalf of a new Oregon baby during the months of January, February and March will automatically receive one $25 matching contribution from the Oregon College Savings Plan.

Any adult who opens and funds an Oregon College Savings Plan account on behalf of a new Oregon baby is eligible for the $25 match; a new Oregon baby is defined as any person living in Oregon who was born in the 12 months prior to the account being opened. The minimum funding requirement is $25 and there is a limit of one match per baby.

Families can learn more and open an account by calling 866-772-8464 or visiting the website at: OregonCollegeSavings.com/BabyGrad