Meet the Swygards. You may recognize them from this year’s Foundation video. For four generations, they’ve all been either teaching at or attending Lake Oswego Schools.
Pam Stewart (pictured third from the right) is sentimental about the days when Lake Oswego was more of a village than a town. She remembers riding her horse up the mountain where Lakeridge High is now. Pam’s mother, Margie Rebensdorf, started teaching at Lake Grove Elementary in the early 1950s before moving on to teach at Lake Oswego Junior High. She eventually became the head guidance counselor at Waluga Junior High (later renamed Lakeridge Junior High).
Pam Stewart would go on to marry Don Swygard and raise their two sons in Lake Oswego, Jamie (pictured fourth from the right) and Jason. Don taught science at Waluga Junior High where his sons attended and where their neighbor across the street, Ron Severson, was also a science teacher.
Jamie and his wife Kerri (pictured on right) were high school sweethearts at Lakeridge High. Kerri (also a local teacher) took a science class with Jamie’s dad and often talks about the “two degrees of separation” in Lake Oswego. Recently, their son Max (pictured second from the right) was asked about his last name by his science teacher, Trevor Tesar (who was featured in a recent ad for the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation). It turns out it was Max’s grandpa, Don Swygard, who had inspired Trevor to pursue a career teaching science.
Pam Stewart is a long-time supporter of the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation and believes strongly in its mission to hire and retain teachers across the district each year. “A good education is the foundation of your community,” she explains. “It’s a symbiotic relationship. Yes, you have a good community. Yes, you have good education. And you can’t have one without the other. Both of them have to work together.”
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