Meagan Benson is a bright, kind, honest member of the eighth grade class at St. Ignatius. She is a friend to all and a well-known staple of the St. Ignatius School community. She is also the fourth child in her family to attend the Portland school. However, Meagan’s family history at the school goes back much farther. St. Ignatius School and the parish have been at the heart of the Benson family for five generations. 

Walking through the Creston Park neighborhood to and from the school has been part of Meagan’s life practically since birth. Similarly, her three older siblings as well as her own parents, Mike and Jenni Benson, made that same walk. All are alums of the school. Meagan’s parents met while students at St. Ignatius and were married in St. Ignatius Church in 1999. 

Dig even deeper and it all started in 1908 — the year St. Ignatius School opened in Southeast Portland. Leona (Warmuth) Snodgrass, Meagan’s maternal great-great-grandmother, joined the school as a fifth grader. Although it probably seemed unlikely to Leona Snodgrass that there would be four more generations attending St. Ignatius, the Benson family is still active in the community. Since Snodgrass joined the school, dozens of family members spanning generations have been active and engaged in parish and school life. Through the years, the Warmuth, Snodgrass, Schechtel, McNicholas, and Benson families have melded into one St. Ignatius chain of lineage — and Meagan is proud of that lineage.

“Both sides of my family tree have been involved in many school, church and parish activities,” she said.

As students, parents and grandparents, generations of her family have been involved in altar serving, Scouts, the school board and more.

“The community of St. Ignatius is inclusive and welcoming. And no matter if you’re visiting or a long-time member, there’s a place for you,” said Meagan.

As Meagan gets ready to finish her eighth grade year this June, she knows there will always be a place for her at 3330 SE 43rd Ave., St. Ignatius School.

Smitstanza is an eighth grader at St. Ignatius School.