BEAVERTON — A Valley Catholic High School teacher and student have been honored by the City of Beaverton for community service. Incoming senior Erin Cochran and teacher Erin Cole are winners of the 2013 Service to Beaverton Awards, presented during a luncheon at Nike last month.
The awards recognize those who "have made a significant contribution to the community." Cochran received the "Emerging Leader Award" and Cole the "Educator/Teacher of the Year Award."
Cochran has helped start many projects in Beaverton, most aiding homeless youth. Along with others on the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Board, Cochran helped identify the problem and implement a response.
“From planning the Beaverton Teen Idol contest to raise funds for HomePlate for Homeless Youth to her work with after school meal programs, SOLVE, and civic work, Cochran inspires others with her positive and caring attitude,” said award organizers.
In accepting the award, Cochran said, “It’s an honor to serve Beaverton....I look forward to helping and serving in the future.”
Cole teaches environmental science and is an advisor for the Serving Our Community Club at Valley Catholic. She involves her students in SOLVE environmental cleanup activities in her classroom, leads the service club with monthly veterans’ game nights, prepares sandwiches and lunches for homeless shelters and supports the club’s “Hunger Awareness Banquet.”
As he presented the award, Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle called Cole “a passionate advocate for developing young minds in our schools.” He added, “She has shown them the value of being connected with the community. And isn’t that what a teacher is supposed to do?”
Cole thanked the awards committee. “You had an amazing group of teachers,” she said. “I’m just honored to be in the same group.”
Cole acknowledged Valley Catholic 2013 graduate Yamini Naidu, who had nominated her for the award. She thanked the Valley Catholic community “for providing us so many opportunities...the wetland there, what an amazing place to teach about ecology.” She also thanked the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon; the Salvation Army’s Veterans and Family Center, which is located on the SSMO campus; and SOLVE, for their support of outdoor education.
Video from the awards presentation is available at www.youtube.com/valleycatholicschool.