Kerry Griffin has seen a lot change in Lake Oswego over his lifetime. But as he’s transitioned from local student to parent and leader in the community, he’s noticed that one thing has remained constant. “Lake Oswego residents,” he explains, “still share a commitment and passion for education.”
Kerry has spent six years on the Board of Directors of the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation, including two years as President. During his tenure, he has worked tirelessly to help improve education for all Lake Oswego students and encouraged other to do the same.
This year, he is stepping down from his position on the Board, but he remains committed to helping Lake Oswego schools be the best they can be. He is dedicated to the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation because he has seen first-hand the incredible impact it has had on local schools based its mission to fund additional teachers across the district and support a more diverse curriculum.
“I want to make sure all the kids of Lake Oswego get the personal attention and world-class education they deserve,” he explains. “Aside from very minimal overhead, every dollar you give to the Foundation goes to adding more teacher positions across our school district. It’s a very tangible, meaningful way to support our schools, our kids and our community as a whole.”
The Foundation’s efforts have helped set Lake Oswego apart from school districts throughout Oregon and across the country. At the junior high and high school level, the Foundation supports a wide variety of advanced placement courses along with additional instruction in music, art, science and the humanities. At the elementary school level, the Foundation supports teaching positions and specialists in math and reading, which are crucial for making sure kids are performing at their grade level or higher.
Kerry and his family witnessed the incredible impact personal attention can have in the classroom. Jean Underhill, a Foundation teacher, was instrumental in helping his daughter catch up in her reading proficiency. “My daughter is now an excellent student and we owe that to Mrs. Underhill and the Foundation,” says Kerry. “Sadly, she passed away a few years ago, but the impact she had on my family and on so many other students will last forever.”
“In some ways, Lake Oswego schools seems very different than when I was growing up here,” says Kerry. “When I was a student, the expectation of inclusiveness was just not there.” He attributes this change to the positive impact great teachers have had in the schools.
“It takes a whole school community to create a positive and safe learning environment, and teachers are on the front line to help our students grow, learn and develop. Our high schools now have clubs for LGBT, alternative learners, disabled and other students who never had those options in the past. It’s a great step forward to now have the expectation of respect and inclusiveness for all students,” says Kerry.
One of Kerry’s passions is helping to build the Endowment Fund for the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation.
“I want our school district to have a long term, stable source of funding to help us through good and bad economic times,” he points out. “A strong Endowment Fund is the best way to ensure this, and I’m committed to helping that fund grow.”
The Lake Oswego Schools Foundation is grateful for the tireless and continued support of parents and community members like Kerry. Together, we can ensure that Lake Oswego’s legacy of educational excellence continues for generations.
Please help us support the students and teachers of Lake Oswego. Give generously today >